God Provides - Help
Updated: Jul 19, 2018
Back in 2007 there was a recession, my husband managed to keep his job but his salary went down by £10K. This was a lot of money for us to loose. We had just bought a fixer upper, taken on a loan to do some work in the house and just had our third child. It could not have come at a worse time.
We were so excited to have a house project, we enjoyed designing and creating a home. However, now it all had come to a halt. The money had run out and we were struggling to keep our head above water. We tried to look at alternative sources of income but the doors were firmly closed. For the next 5 years we had to live with little disposable income and a house that needed a lot of work and looked very run down. We had to budget, ask for help and swallow our pride.
It was a really hard and anxious time. It was not how we envisioned living or bringing our children up. We had to learn to live on a very tight budget and slowly save to get everything done in the house. I did not like waiting - I was a product of the time - and we had to accept, when we opened our front door, the hallway gave the impression we were squatters. We chose to still have people over, to serve God and use the rooms we had - I had to get over being house proud (this was a massive inward struggle). I have always longed to have a home, a beautiful home, designed and decorated to reflect us. I was obsessive about keeping it clean but having young children and unfinished building site type rooms - this just wasn't happening. I could never live up to my own self imposed standards. We were given a word from God through our friend, that we ourselves were like the house and that as we were working on each of the rooms, God would be working in areas of our hearts, restoring them. He did. I think having young children was definitely a time for us to grow into maturity and to grow spiritually.
In this time, God provided for us. He did not clear the debt, we had to work this off but we made contacts, friendships etc which helped us to get the work done within our budget and to live within a budget. We hit snags like the boiler breaking but he provided a way for us to get this fixed. I did regret buying the house but we got there. It took 5 years to do the house up, we originally hoped to get it done within the year. We paid off all the house debt in these 5 years too (apart from the mortgage) and where the house value had dropped, it had now increased beyond what we had originally paid. At the end of the 5 years, God was calling us elsewhere and it was time to sell and move on. Lessons had been learnt and we were glad that we learnt to persevere and come out the other side.
I have empathy for people who are living through building works and raising children on a tight/non existent budget. I am thankful for learning these lessons even though at the time I felt like a failure. I felt so ashamed and stupid for this happening to us. We had lived for the moment and took on a loan, which although made things tight, we thought would be bearable as we put our faith in our earnings and wanted a nice house, done up to raise our children in. It was hard to admit we got it wrong. No punishment could be worse than what I felt internally. I thought if we told our church that we would be punished but I was wrong about this too. They were understanding and wanted to help. This is everyday life. The church is not about people who are perfect and have it all together, we are a community that helps one another through the life lessons we all face, even though we can face different lessons/weaknesses. It is not about condemnation. We are still acceptable, works in progress - God loved us just as much as He always had and this was not about to change. If we were all perfect we would not need Jesus. I'm very aware how much I need Him and how i am accepted by Him as I am.
We learnt that this can happen to anyone, circumstances can change beyond our control and not everyone has savings to help you through it. God helped us through it by teaching us to become dependent on Him. I'm thankful my God allows us to make mistakes and doesn't throw us out when we get things wrong. I'm glad He works in us and that good can out of all our circumstances.
Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love