Do Not Fear

It's the Sunday after spring break.

Nope, don't check your calendar (or think that AISD can't do seasons). I'm writing this the Sunday after spring break, scheduling it to post exactly six months after I wrote it. I THINK the reason will be clear why I did such a crazy thing later.

I did share this post -- about Do Not Fear verses with you, saying it was for a later project. This is that project. I also recently tried to disspell the idea that I have it all together, and this should go a long way to that end!

Here's the deal.

I'm terrified.

All the time.

I'm very frightened.

Not one hour goes by that my fear doesn't seize me -- by the throat, stomach, or heart.

I give it to God only to take it right back.

What in heaven's name could possibly create such fear in me?

Well, money of course.

About this time last year (keeping in mind I'm writing this in March) I decided to walk away from a teaching job to try my hand at this writing business. Oh, I had grand plans and have made a little headway, but financially we are a bit of a mess.

Who would have had any idea the stock market would shrivel to 1/3 while unemployment climbs? Timing has never been my strong suit, and this has certainly been no exception.

Thankfully, at this moment, other than our mortgage, we have no debt. And we had a comfortable emergency fund built up that has been bled almost dry with various and sundry expenses.

We do own our vehicles, but the one I drive has needed repair after repair after repair. Our emergency fund is currently one major repair away from being done. Then I look at what else around our house is on the verge of breaking. What if the fence finally falls all the way over the same day the car completely dies? Our hot water heater has been on borrowed time since we moved in 7 years ago and we're very proud of the 17 years of service our washing machine has given us...

These are the things that roll around my head. It's the middle of the month. I look in my wallet and cannot imagine how the piddly few dollars in there will get us through. Then I get notice: "Youth group needs $10 on Wednesday!" "Camp deposits due!" "Trip money is due!" It's EVERYWHERE and I know it's only going to get worse as the end of school gets closer. I TRY not to bark at the people responsible for collecting that money, but it's CONSTANT.

And because you're reading this wondering, "Why didn't I know this at the time?" is one of the reasons we all think each other has it all together. The main reason I don't post this on my blog right now is because I feel called to be CONFESSIONAL about my fears and how I'm allowing them to control me -- and many of you would feel called to ACT and HELP. I am not asking for help -- not because I'm that prideful. If/ when the final shoe drops and we're totally out of repair money and out of car, we will have to seek help. I don't feel like God is calling me to humble myself to seek help in this situation.

I believe that God is calling me to trust in Him.

Believe me, my first instinct is to ask everyone I know to pray for me. But how much am I praying? My first instinct is to work harder, move faster, but I believe God is calling me to listen to Him.

Oh, 'lest you think that I believe God is calling me to sit in lotus prayer pose waiting for money to fall from the sky -- I have submitted an application to a job that I think I would enjoy. It's even a 40 hour/ week/ 50 weeks/ year job. NEVER had one of those. So I'm waiting to see where that goes -- and having a very hard time trusting. Remember that unemployment rate? Yeah, evidently I'm not exactly "one in a million", but I'm at least "one in a dozen" applying for this job.

Which is another reason I wanted to have this post six months after I wrote it. SOMETHING will have happened with our finances by now. We may have hit rock bottom and be in the process of losing our home. I may have gotten that job and worked all the way through summer. Maybe I signed a book deal this summer. Maybe Troy finally pulled all of his hair out from listening to me. Whatever. My life will be different. Better or worse, it will be where God takes us.

So I am going now to claim those verses. That is my first course of action. I want to look for other jobs -- writing and otherwise -- and many other things, but first and foremost I must claim that One who loves me more than I can ever understand has it totally in control.

And... I think frequently of my friend Donna who says, "If you have problems that money can solve, then you don't really have problems." In my heart I know that -- yet I panic.

Where we are, 6 months later, tomorrow...


Gabbin' Gal Nan said...

Our paths have been eerily similar. Can't wait for tomorrow's post.

Amanda Sanders said...

This post has me on the edge of my seat. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Anne said...

Timing...I just paid some more bills and then balanced up the checkbook to the best of my abilities, and I come here. I need some "Do not fear" verses right about now...

Linda said...

very timely for me as I compare the outstanding checks to the available balance and consider shuffling things around a bit.

BUT, then I LOOK AT my checks.... they say: "Great is Thy Faithfulness".

We have never had a need go unmet.

Thank You, God!

(looking forward to tomorrow!!)

Roxanne said...

I did NOT see this until this morning. . .probably because I went home and collapsed, then called you. :) Of course, I knew. . .but I love that you wrote it all out, then had it post 6 months later. Wonderful, Sarah. And even MORE wonderful that God continues to provide even when we are impatient and worried and choose to be crippled by the lies Satan whispers in our ears.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

Amazing and a very powerful reminder to us all that though we think We are in charge and in control, we're not But God is. Thank You so so much for being so brave to share this. What an inspiration. God Bless

Be still and Know that I Am God.

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