anxiety, Bible, Counseling, depression, domestic violence, Faith, God, Health, Pastoral counseling, Single-parent, Soul Healing, stress, Trust
Coming down with pneumonia was not in my plans for this week. My immune system has tanked again; it seems that stress is bad for your health, financial stress in particular. I had to make a choice between paying the rent and paying my daughter’s spring tuition; they are roughly the same amount of money. If I don’t pay her tuition, she can’t go online and see her grades, and there is a hold on her account, meaning she can’t register for her fall classes next week. If I pay the tuition, but not the rent, she won’t have a place to come home to at the end of the month.
Running away is not an option, and appears to be the realm of ex-husbands, ex-fathers and irritated pastoral counselors. But not mothers. We don’t bail, jump ship, or disappear. Mothers get a cup of coffee, a Bible, and get alone with God to see what He has to say about the situation. About us, in our situation. And what He has to say is “Persevere … remain steadfast … trust, and see the salvation of your God.” In other words, don’t jump.
So, I paid the rent. Not all of it, but at least enough to cover April. I haven’t said anything to my daughter, because I want her to be able to concentrate on her grades, and studying for final exams. I don’t have a clue what to do next, or what is going to happen now. The money is gone, and there’s no getting it back. I’m not even sure I did the right thing; paying bills lately is akin to shooting arrows at a target while wearing a blindfold.
Every time the phone rings, or I see that there is a phone message, I think it’s the landlords saying we have to go, or National Grid saying they’re shutting off the utilities, or the school, demanding payment. I try not to answer phone calls unless I’m sure of who it is. I have a hard time looking at my bank accounts without feeling sick, nervous, or nauseated. I have so much apprehension about going to the mailbox that some days I just don’t. There is rarely anything good in there. Most of it is anxiety-provoking demands for money that I don’t have.
I am the queen of avoidance.
When my daughter came home for Easter last week, her acceptance for nursing school came in the mail, and she was so excited. I am so proud of her, and didn’t say a word about the fact that I don’t know how we’re going to pay even for this semester that hasn’t ended yet. She can’t just suddenly stop in the middle of her junior year of college. Those who are unfamiliar with the dynamics of domestic violence say that I should just ‘make’ her father pay for her schooling. Well, wouldn’t that be lovely.
So here we stand. I don’t know how it will all work out, I just have to believe that it will. Pneumonia isn’t fun, but it will clear up. I have a modicum of faith.
But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. James 1:4
Hey! Grad student here- just wanted to let you know that if your daughter is getting into nursing school than that counts as grad school, so she can take out grad plus loans for whatever you guys need covered. It means a high interest to pay back on future loan debt (about 7% interest) but it’s so worth it. If she works at a non profit for 10 yrs, then she’ll get complete loan forgiveness, too. Hope this gives you some relief!! It certainly helped me, physically, mentally, and financially – I was able to pay for rent and food with loans as well as my tuition.
Best of luck and light,
Thank you, A.J., for taking the time to read and comment. 🙂
Bob Goodnough said:
I don’t have any profound words of wisdom to offer, just want to say I sympathize with your situation and admire your courage (even if you don’t feel like you have much). You made one step, sounds like the right one, now trust God to reveal the next one.
Thank you, Bob, for taking the time to read and comment. “Trust God” is always the most profound word of wisdom. Trusting all the way.
I was touched by your writing. First, please take care of yourself. Without your health nothing else matters. I speak from the experience of trying to ‘push through’ pneumonia last fall, resulting in a three month illness instead of a much shorter one. Second, be open with your daughter. While not worrying here, sharing the learning process of understanding how to balance life and money is a lesson many of us could have benefited from. Third, your decision to keep a roof over your head is calming for you and for her. Her sense of security will be tied to yours and knowing you have somewhere to put your head down at night will matter more to her than you might think. Fourth, you clearly have a talent for writing. Consider talking with a book coach to publish your musings and you may find a whole new form of income. One that is long lasting and generates royalties long after you have written. Fifth, last but first, keep praying every day. The routine of prayer, the rhythm of prayer, is not only a great healer, it is a great grower of spirit, hope, and love.
Thank you, Stephen, for stopping by and reading, and leaving such a thoughtful and encouraging comment. I absolutely love how you phrased that “…the rhythm of prayer…”. Such a beautiful, peaceful way to put it. Thank you.
I agreed with everything Stephen said, and I too am in a similar boat as you. I have been sick for the past 4 months with something the Dr.s’ have yet to fully diagnose, even though I’ve had every cat scan, brain scan, MRI, under the sun. Another one of the companies I design for went into chapter 11, so my 6th source of royalties/income has dried up. It’s unbelievably scary!
You write beautifully and you got it, the headline grabber, etc. You should absolutely pursue earning an income along those lines. Blogging about your journey with your daughter may be a way to do that. I don’t know enough about it but a lot of the licensing coaches and my contemporaries are bringing in income by blogging.
I totally believe in the power of prayer. I have a friend who always says “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. I pray every day for guidance and direction. My prayers are answered in subtle little ways. The sun is shinning, as I stroll around my frozen yard, I see some wonderful signs of spring popping out of the ground…I think to myself, oh I want to paint those! Then I get an email from my agents in London, we want you to paint more flowers. Voila….answered prayers.
Keep your faith.
Oh, gosh. Now you’ve made me want to spend the day painting flowers, instead of writing! Hard to know sometimes, where to focus effort for the greatest results. But, today is a ‘getting things done’ day, in spite of pneumonia. Thank you for reading, and for the encouragement, Kim. If I may ask, what do you do, and do you have a website?