At the moment, it feels like financially everything is going wrong. It has just been one thing after another. Unexpected bills, trying to do the right thing only for it to fall back in our faces, trying to earn extra and it amounts to a lot of stress with little return. We have not been overspending but bills have come in higher or unexpected costs have appeared and then keep appearing. We are in the midst of this story and we don't yet know how it will end.
It is tempting to work out why is this happening. My go-to thoughts (negative automatic thoughts) is to blame myself - Have I been sinful? What have I done wrong? Perhaps I have become too worldly? Maybe I've put too much faith in things rather than God? God gives and takes away, now he's taking everything away and I'm being tested if I will still have faith in Him? Basically, my thoughts are - that I'm being punished for something.
It could be the above and that I'm trying to work out what God is doing so I can fix it quickly. Being a mum, I fix problems and come up with solutions. I organise and I plan. I preempt difficult situations and look for alternatives.
I'm careful with our money. When things started to go wrong, I didn't like it but we had savings. Once they continued to go down and things continued to go wrong, I tried to look at alternative sources of income.
I am full time home educator and my son is not in a position to return to school. I am their full time carer and there is no way this can change at present. So we decided to tighten up our ship - de-clutter, sell what we don't need and make sure we were getting the best deals for utilities/bills and get rid of any payments for things we no longer needed or could do without.
There is nothing wrong with doing any of these things but it didn't stop or answer the problems. I became angry at the situation. This also did not help or solve it. We had been praying, yet unable to work out why is this still happening? What am I not seeing? I was tempted to blame God because He is in control of everything. Then I stopped and reminded myself - the character of God is not vindictive or spiteful.
I shared this with my prayer partner and she pointed out the above. She reminded me of my go-to thoughts and how I often try to work out God, as though he's presented me with a complicated and impossible puzzle. I am not going to fall back on my old understanding, where I have to solve my own problems and clear up all the mess. I am going to wait and see what God will do in this situation. He has done amazing things for us, when we had nothing - He made a way for us to buy a house, when I thought all was lost with school - He made a way and showed us a better school.
Recently God has put on our heart a desire we can't afford and with the way things are currently going, it seems impossible. This desire well may lead us to something else, to a completely different angle or it may well be fulfilled. It is not for me to work out, I can't. I can however have hope and faith, that whatever the reason for this desire, God will see it through.
I am going to trust, rather than work this out. That doesn't mean I am going to ignore our finances but I'm going to stop treating this as a punishment or puzzle. I'm not going to blame and try to fix it. We will adjust our finances accordingly (being a good steward of what we have) and press on with the mission God has given us (for me, this is being a wife and mother - household manager). This gives me peace and when the negative thoughts come, I will tell them truth. I will remember Gods goodness and stick close to Him. I will wait and see what He has in store for us.
Whilst this might not be a neat story with an ending - I hope this post still encourages you to have hope and faith when life takes a turn to where you weren't expecting. As you can read from above, I needed a prod to get in the right direction and I'm thankful to God for the friendships He's given me. I'm thankful for what I've learned so far in my relationship with Him and that He is still making stories with me.