Monday, April 16, 2007

Dealing with faith & fear

Hello all,

To be painfully honest, we are still struggling financially (who isn't, it seems nowadays). We have good times and not so good times. We (my dh and I) are struggling with really living out what we believe in this area. It's pretty complicated (and a fairly private issue) but I'll share a bit here just to air out my thoughts mostly.

I have been reading the book, Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver. Of COURSE, this past chapter is exactly what I needed to read. I even had a rough night last night with Elijah - so I was up looking for something to read - low and behold, I remember this book and it was just what I needed (thank you, God).

It this particular part, she talks about fear vs. faith. Fear says, "God can't, God won' I must". This is kind of how I have been behaving lately - even though I know it's not true. I have been overly concerned and fearly about money. About what we will eat. About what the kids will wear. The Lord has always provided in the past - I know He will this time too - but yet still, that FEAR begins to infect my heart and my thoughts and eventually my behavior.

Then she talks about faith. Faith says, "God can, God wants to, and God I choose to trust Him with my life". I KNOW this to be true, I do. But I'm having a hard time with the "God WANTS to" part. I KNOW He can. I KNOW He has in the past. But there's this part of me that is concerned about Him really wanting to. It's like, He's had to help us out last time, the time before that, the time before that. Some of it is due to our negligent behavior and bad decisions. Yes. But some of it is just due to things beyond our control. The unexpected. The high cost of moving cross country is still coming up in certain bills here and there. ugh....I don't want to discuss it.

So anyways, I'm struggling. I have DECIDED that I am making the decision to believe it ALL. To believe that God CAN. To believe that God *wants* to. And to believe that God will. It's not easy. But I'm laying it down at His feet, 'cause I can't do this anymore. My dh shouldn't have to deal with a frantic, fearful wife as well as the stress of financially supporting our family. He is doing a FABULOUS job. He works *so* hard at this new job (which he loves), he is continuing to work hard towards obtaining his seminary degree. He is a great husband and a loving father. He doesn't need the guilt a nagging, fearful wife brings upon him. I'm so sorry Dean.

So I give up - I give it up to God. Take it, God, 'cause it's too big for me. I can't make it work on paper. I can't find the "quick fix" solution. I'm lost. I need YOU. Thank you for always being there. Thank you for taking me again and again, even when I show my unbelief again and again. I'm so sorry.

Ok, enough. Now I'm off to go through the kid's clothing. I have my piles started: too small, too big, give away and put away in closets/drawers. I'm not even half way done - this is no small task with four little ones. Praise Jesus for His provision in this area as well!! Our children are well dressed and have never NEEDED anything. Thank you to those of you who have allowed God to bless us through YOU. You ROCK!!!

One last verse for me to think about today:

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Thank you God, for your Word.
*Michigan Momma*


Anonymous said...

Lori, I can really empathize with you on the finances. The last 2 1/2 years have been really hard on us due to a corporate lay-off, not being able to find full-time work, to being self-employed and now DH has full-time employment. We're not completely out-of-the-woods yet. It doesn't take long to get into debt, but it takes a lONG time to get out.

But through it all, God was/is faithful!

One of my favorite verses to remember during these hard times is "The fear of man brings a snare." Sorry, I can't remember the reference, but I think it might be Proverbs. Whenever I let fear take the place of trust, I always find myself in a trap. Fear in of itself is the trap (or at least one of them). Trust is the opposite. If we fear God, then we are trusting Him. Therefore, we don't have the fear of man, nor are we entangled in a snare.

I'll be praying for you!

Anonymous said...

I struggle with the same thing. Tis tough when you live at poverty level income, and hubby is working 60+ hours a week! When we first went full time a year and a half ago, we used the credit card way more then we should have. We've whittled our debt from about $12,000 (two credit cards and a van loan) to about $8,000 in almost two years, and it will take us another two-three years to pay off the remaining credit card and loan. We have determined NOT to EVER use the credit card again. Because of this, we rely totally on God to meet that extra high heat bill, groceries, etc.... It can be daunting at times. Hubby would love to get a part time job, but like I said, he's just too busy with being assistant pastor/youth pastor/ACE supervisor at our one room school/janitor/ song leader/ and whatever else needs to be done at the church! I have to hold myself in check- I can get very bitter, afraid, and depressed over not having money. Good for you at realizing that you shouldn't live in fear!