Thursday, February 28, 2013
Fear of the Future
Off and on for the past four years, I have feared the future. In the last three months, my fear has increased. This past month, almost daily I look to the days to come and worry. Why? I am a strong Christian and put my faith in God. If this is the case, why am I fearful?
I have always been a numbers oriented person. Yes, I love to write and read, but I love numbers as well. Growing up, I used to spend hours in the tiny little bedroom in our trailer house that my mom used as a pantry. In the closet were a ton of shelves where she kept all of our canned goods and extras. This was in the days before barcodes, so each item had a price tag on it. I played grocer with a pen and pad of paper or if I was lucky the little calculator. I would pretend I had a certain dollar amount and then I would determine what I could spend without going over. As I grew up, I did this as well with my babysitting allowance. How many shirts and pants could I buy? We always had enough food in our bellies, but I did grow up on the poorer side of life pinching pennies.
As an adult, I am very fiscal conservative, but I married the opposite. However, when my husband came home from Iraq, he decided to work a budget. Now, he is a fiscal conservative. I literally have thanked God for the change. This has left us doing very well in our finances, but things have been changing. I lost my job due to health reasons and haven’t worked in about three years. We still have prospered. The past seven months we paid for a surgery, a last family trip, and braces. This month both my vehicle and my son’s have broken down with a chunk of change going into fixing them. Now my husband is looking at having to go on furlough. Oh, my. I am scared and a little depressed.
As Christians, how do we face the uncertainty of our finances? We can pray and be thankful. These are always the first things I do. I ask God to be with us and I thank him for what we have. Yet, this isn’t enough. I need to apply Saint Francis of Assisi’s principle of want verses need. When I go to the store, I have to weigh whether I need the steak verses wanting it. Do I need a new car or want it? Is fixing the old one a better financial choice? Then there are the bigger questions. Does my son really need a car with insurance? The way the world is going, this last question and other tough decisions could very well be a reality in the near future. As a family, we will also have to discern my husband getting a third job and me going back to work.
I can also turn to my Bible. A year ago, I wrote about Proverbs 31:10-31, The Ideal Wife. In this passage, it talks about sewing, long hours of work, and gardening. I am contemplating making my garden bigger so I will be able to can and freeze more food for the next year. Instead of buying new clothes, patching old ones could become more common place. I have been putting in longer hours with my writing in hopes of maybe selling something in the next year. Also, I can’t lose sight of charity. I need to continue to give money in tithing and to the poor. God has always provided for us if we remember to give.
So, in these uncertain times, I am struggling with worry. But I place these worries at the foot of the cross. I also look for ways God has given me to fix the struggles. Is my worry completely gone? Hardly, but I know He is with me. My heart goes out to all of us in these dark days.
Blessings to you all.