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