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.

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