Monthly Archives: June 2016

“Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart,” Even For Your Finances

Dear Readers,

This will be my only blog this month.  It’s about a financial and physical crisis that hit my family, and God miraculously brought us through…

 

TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, Even For Your Finances-  Journal Entry, November, 2004

A miracle is taking place in my life.  I’m not quite sure when it started.  Maybe it was when my husband went out on disability five months ago!

The miracle is this; A total dependency on living day to day and trusting in the Lord to take care of me, financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, totally!  At first it was the scariest venture I have ever been on.  But with no other direction to turn for help, I didn’t have a choice.

I retired a year or so ago because of cancer and cancer related complications.  This left me, for the first time in several years, with almost no income of my own.  My dependency then became totally on my hubby’s income, but I adjusted and when I got well enough, I even started to enjoy being home away from the stress of the corporate world.

But then, within a short time, my husband, whose health had been failing for a while, had to stop working to have knee replacement surgery.  Financial panic set in!

I’ve always been excellent at living within my means, but in 18 months our income dropped to only 15% of what we had earned together the previous year.  This adjustment would have been impossible had I not been prompted by the Holy Spirit to get debt free before I retired.  I was plagued with messages from God daily like, “I want you to pay off your mortgage,” or “I want you to pay off your credit cards,” I heard over and over in my prayers, in my dreams, and in my mind.  So, one by one, I started paying off my cards, small loans, and finally my mortgage.

At first while C.J. was still working, this seemed great because our monthly expenses dropped to a bare minimum.  But I found it difficult to stay debt free, because unexpected needs arose constantly.  My kids even started telling me it was a foolish move to drain my savings.  Our income had dropped so much, that it became impossible to replenish my emergency money.

When I was alone I would cry and pray, “Lord, did I make a mistake?  Did I hear You right, about owing no man, and living within my means?”  Then, I found myself not praying, but begging the Lord to provide for my financial needs.  It required more trust than I had experienced in my life.

Oh, I fought for us!  I fought hard and went after all the financial help available to people out of work and disabled, but it takes months for these government applications to be finalized, and tons of paperwork.  I filled out forms, and more forms, and each time I dropped one in the mailbox, I prayed for the Lord to get it approved.  I got used to the looks and stares when I used a food stamp card or asked for free care at a hospital.  I learned about humility, true humility!

My personality started to change.  I found myself looking at homeless people and indigents through compassionate eyes.  When I myself, was referred to as indigent for the first time, I got violently angry at a hospital nurse.  All she said was, “We don’t do indigent cases here,” referring to me and my hubby, who both needed surgery at the same time.

I know now, as I look back to that moment in June of 2004, that this experience was only one part of the Lord’s lessons for me to learn.  At that precipice, I had yet to experience sitting with a social worker and applying for free care, waiting in a room full of people for two or three hours just to fill out an application for fuel assistance, or digging back in months of papers to prove the need for food stamps.  After all, I lived in a nice house!  I never had to think about food stamps, mass health, R2 electric, or disability income when we were both working, did I!

When I got through the crying stage, the anger stage, the fear stage, and the pride stage, then and only then did I start to realize the vastness of God’s provisions.

Over the next several months, my husband and I were gifted with two large church donations, discounts on all our utilities, food stamps, free health insurance, unexpected sick and vacation pay from our former employer, love gifts from our kids, and disability approval for my hubby.

But the most valuable gift I’ve received in the last five difficult months, was a trust in God that surpasses all understanding.  He had to put me in this special place; a place my pride previously wouldn’t allow me to be in, and God hates the sin of pride, because pride takes credit away from where it belongs.  The Word says, “All good comes from God!”  All good!

One more priceless lesson I hope has made me grow; patience has become my best friend.  As soon as my stomach gets tense I say, “One day at a time Claire, one day at a time!”  The government moves at a snail’s pace, and all the anxiety in the world doesn’t change that.

Besides, God commands us in Philippians 4:6+7, “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (NIV)

Every circumstance in life is supposed to teach us something.  Through this one, I have learned to share my home more; I’ve learned the man living in the street is no different than I am; and I’ve learned that I have a God that wants me to trust in Him unequivocally.  He knows my needs and promises to provide for me.  I’ve learned to take life one day at a time, because each day has enough problems of it’s own.  But mostly, I’ve learned that my Lord is way more powerful than I ever imagined.  My finances were the last thing I needed to relinquish control of.  God is amazing, isn’t He?

Love in Christ,   Claire  xoxo

Facebookmail