Thursday, January 17, 2013

Defeated...but never without hope

Do you ever feel like you are in a season of life where your faith is being greatly challenged? A time when God is really using struggles to refine you?

I feel like that right now. Except I feel like it's been going on for almost 3 years and my heart is starting to grow a little weary.

We haven't had cable in a long time, so the news is not constantly in my face, but you'd have to be a hermit to not know all that is going on with our world and economy. And no matter what they say, there is nothing about the financial world that is looking very positive for the future.

I find myself from time to time trying to find ways to cut spending, but I think I'm almost out of ideas. And I refuse to eat hotdogs for dinner every night...I do draw the line at our health. We can't afford to eat organic, but our bodies still need fresh, healthy food. We don't have cable, or smart phones, or ipads, or ipods. (I do have a nice laptop that was a gift...not something I purchased). We have no home phone...only the most basic cell phones you can have these days. We don't have car payments. What else is there to do?

After two years with our house on the market, we finally decided to try and refinance. We had not been able to before because our house was for sale. So, we took it off the market, got an appraisal, and applied for a refinance in hopes that it would save us some money until we could sell our house (and then we were planning on putting it back on the market again).

But, then the appraisal came back and it was so disgustingly low, that the bank refused our refinance which seemed like a done deal. (This all just happened in the last few days)

I also applied to go back to work last October back as a nurse, but working opposite hours of Andrew. Since childcare is too expensive, we knew this would only work if I worked weekends and evenings.  Sacrificing our little time together was not a great option...but, we couldn't see any other option.

But for the first time in 10 years, I didn't get a job I applied for.

It was sort of like a punch in a stomach. It was humbling and humiliating all in one breath.

I've sort of felt sick over it all the past few days. Looking to God and asking "what else can we do, Lord?" 

I guess I feel irritated when people make comments about "all these people who bought more than they could afford." That's just not always the case.  Like many, many people, we definitely lived within our means...but, now my husband makes 40% less and we have a family of 5. I make some money from my photography and he has a side business on top of his full time just stinks when you are doing everything you know while others live off the government and are in some ways better off than you...who is doing EVERYTHING. I get so upset when people would tell us not to sell...what choice do we have?

Monday night, Andrew and I had a long talk about it. We sat in silence a lot too because I didn't want to say anything that made him feel worse.

We keep reminding each other of how incredibly blessed we are. Blessed because God answered our many prayers for children. He has blessed abundantly through all the hard times and refined us into better people and a stronger couple because of it. He has used our own struggles to encourage others who are struggling as well.

So, in a word, I feel defeated. Defeated because I can't see the big picture of how God is going to use this for His glory and good. Tired because the past few years since the job loss and everything with the twins has just been a lot to carry.

Yes, tired and defeated.

But still hopeful that He will provide. Because He promises this. And He has always been faithful.

(Sorry for a sort of depressing post. I don't want people to feel sorry for us. There is nothing to feel sorry about. God has been so good to us. But, sometimes it's good for people to know that everything is not always as it seems on the outside. Just because people seem happy and have a beautiful family doesn't mean that there isn't some cross that they are carrying...a burden that is weighing very hard on their hearts. My only point is for others to know they are not alone. There are so many walking this path. Don't lose hope.)


Jess said...

Funny you should post this - I was just looking at my teeny tiny bank account yesterday. I've definitely been living the opposite - slightly above my means. Not out of control, but enough to have about $1000 on my credit card and not even 4 digits in the bank account. I do have all those unnecessary things too - the smart phone, the full cable, and the car payment.

But, I have been on a spending fast for the month of January. Nothing extra except with the cash my mom gave me at Christmas - which I have $5 left of! And, when I just paid all of my bills - the tiny little amount left over in my account was shocking.

There's no excuse for me to be living paycheck to paycheck. I'm a single girl living on a great salary, but I spend so unnecessarily on STUFF.

So thank you for sharing, and reminding me that money is on the minds of so many of us. I will pray for you guys!!

Cadie said...

I am right there with you. With my hubby in school, and me home with the girls, money is something we are very short in. It is extremely worrisome and scary, especially with children involved. I will definitely keep you in my prayers. If you find a get-rich-quick scheme that works, let me know! :)

Robin said...

Oh how I feel this. We literally sat down and asked ourselves if we needed to see our house. Of course, we feel the same, totally blessed, and do not want to seem ungrateful. We are certainly not. God does provide. He keeps showing me that in small ways financially but in big ways through His blessings. He's teaching me to see His gifts in every corner. Will certainly be praying for you!

Shawn said...

oh sweetie, keep the faith! i've been feeling so much of the same - you're not alone! i will keep you (and family) in my prayers!

Lori said...

My struggle lately has been health. It is really weighing on me. Wondering why God picked me to be sick like I am.
But I know there is a plan. I just have to hang on. Praying for you girl! We need to hang out soon.

Brittney said...

I can relate - we are in a very similar season of life. Praise God that He certainly does provide.((Hugs)) Will be praying for you guys!!