A friend of mine on Facebook (Hi, Shirley!) told me today that I need to be thankful for everything God has done for me. I started to type a response to her, but it got too long, so I have turned it into a post. Here’s my answer, Shirley:
It’s not that I’m not thankful for everything I have. I have said many times that Christ has saved me, and if He does nothing else for me on earth, that would be more than I deserve. However, I have been dealing with debt my whole adult life. It seems like just when we are starting to get back on our feet and make some progress, something always happens to shove us back in the hole.
2009: We made the commitment to cancel extra things we didn’t need like Colts tickets, television, etc….then the economy went south and we kept falling behind financially. We finally managed to claw our way out of that one in 2010, and our air conditioner broke, my engine in my car died, etc. etc. We got caught up in November, but things started happening again.
In February I sold my car so we could catch up on bills (and I could buy a more efficient car). I got sicker than I’ve been in a long time and had to miss two weeks of work. We fell behind to where we are $2000 behind on our bills, and I still don’t have a car. Kim’s family s getting sick of driving us places when I have to work (and giving me rides to work). I have signed up to work every overtime opportunity I can this month so we can try to catch up. Then our air conditioner breaks again ($500). Then I get called off for last night’s OT shift (which I am thankful for the opportunity to be home, but it is still lost money). Now we are looking at the real possibility that we may not get to go to family camp next month.
Forgive me if I sound ungrateful, but I keep wondering when the next thing is going to hit to push me back into the hole, and when God is going to say, “OK, he’s had enough.” I’m trying everything I know how to get ahead, but nothing is working. I am serviing Him faithfully and trusting in Him to provide. Our basic needs are met, but the calls keep coming from people who want their money.
I remind myself that Joseph was in Pharaoh’s prison for years before God got him out of there. Abraham waited 25 years before Isaac was born. The nation of Israel were in Egypt for 400 years before God sent Moses to deliver them.
I see Christians around me doing amazing things because they have the money to do it. I do not envy them their riches. I do not want to be rich, I only want to be debt free. If I were debt free, I would make enough money (WITHOUT OVERTIME) to pay all of our bills, send our kids to Colonial, AND take family vacations. But I have debts, so our trip to Washington DC goes to Bank of America. Our tution money for the girls this school year went to pay the student loans. As Yul Brynner would say, “Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.”
And so I keep putting one foot in front of the other. I keep praying and trusting God that He knows what is best, and that He will continue to provide for our needs. Who knows, maybe Christ will return this month. Then all this is moot.