Hope in Front of Me

I think that women, in general, tend to worry more than the opposite sex.  Men see a problem; and although they may be overwhelmed, frustrated, or even scared about how to solve it, they will focus solely on that one thing – Solving it.  We of the female race see a problem… and then we come up with fifty other potential problems that may arise once – or before – the problem is fixed.

We want to see our families cared for, and so we run through every possible, worse-case scenario.  We don’t only want a solution to the problem at hand.  We want to be prepared for every single problem that could potentially arise.  (And many of us are pretty good at coming up with that list of potential problems.  It’s like a super-power, only not a good one).

And on the surface, carrying the safety and well-being of a family on her shoulders may seem like a noble cause for any wife or mother.  But in reality, no one can hold that weight for long.  The worry of ‘what if’ and ‘what may be’ begins to eat away at peace, leaving behind an intense fear.  And no one should have to live like that.

But so many of us women do.

After we spent thousands fixing Nate’s car, Nate and I had decided to bite the bullet and dish out a small chunk of money to help put a down-payment on a really good, family vehicle.  The Jeep.  We decided that we’d rather have a planned, monthly payment than put money into a vehicle that was dying.  We also knew that – with strict budgeting – we could rebuild the savings account.

(This was all determined after Nate didn’t go along with my plan to run away to Amish country and just buy a healthy horse instead).

Days after taking the Jeep home, my car’s check-engine-light went on; and the fix brought the recent fixes on my little, yellow Cobalt up to about $3,000.  (I don’t even want to do the math of how much we’ve spent over the past few months on car repairs / down payments, but let’s just say that the local mechanics know us by name now.  They’re also probably going on a really nice cruise, thanks to our constant business).  Nate and I again decided to just go with the fix, since the car is paid off.

Today, after last week’s expensive fix, my car’s check engine light went on… again.  I wanted to cry.

And by this point, the ‘what if’ wheels were running full-speed.

Nate was obviously discouraged as he watched the savings account go down yet again, but he immediately worked on solving the problem.  He checked the savings account, set up an appointment to get the car fixed, and then looked into solutions that we could consider if this car repair is another huge expense.

“Everything is going to be okay,” he assured me, when he saw my eyes well up with tears.

I, on the other hand, instantly panicked and thought about every worst case scenario.  I had us losing the house…  I had us needing a new water heater, or fridge, or stove and unable to afford one (even though everything in the house is working quite well)…  I had us eye-deep in medical bills that we were unable to pay…  I had us financially struggling just as a baby was born.

Thanks to our very large car expenses as of late, the ‘what if’ situations were easy to come by.  And to me, they were terrifying.

And I’m sure that, as I’m writing this, many of you readers are personally relating.    Finances are a huge worry on many of our minds.  And with or without car problems, most of us are probably worrying about the possibility of car troubles.  There’s always something that might happen hanging over our heads.  Finances might not even be the thing.  There may be relationship, health, parenting, or even transition fears.

As I felt my chest tighten with fear over how much money we have had to dish out lately (and with fear over what else could go wrong), I sat myself down in the spare bedroom with my Bible and just had a chat with God.  I prayed for peace… for guidance in making the decisions we had to… and for provision.  Then I Googled the word ‘devotional’.

I know, I’m so spiritual sometimes.  Oh, the ways that one can use Google!  😉

The first devotional I came across was a Daily Devotional by Joyce Meyers.  It read:  “Dread is expecting something unpleasant to happen, and it has nothing to do with faith. Faith looks forward to something good. Listen and obey the word of the Lord, and He will fight for you.”

It really spoke to me, because too often I do look to the future and see dread.   I see worse-case-scenario, and I panic over what might happen.  Instead, I should be looking to the future with hope.  The same God who has stood by my side in the past (who has shown me miracles) is still by my side now.

It doesn’t mean that the future will always be easy.  Because let’s face it, bills happen.  Cars break down.  Sometimes we get sick, or we have to deal with change, or family members hurt us.

BUT through that all, God will be present.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He is that never-ending peace that can help us look to the future and see promise… not dread.  We just need to start focusing on Him – on the ways He has provided and on the ways that we can live to praise Him – instead of focusing on the problems (or potential problems).

I know that I want to look to the future and see hope!  And someday I want to teach my son to see the future the same way.  Life is so much more beautiful when you live it that way.  🙂

And honestly, I truly believe it’s the way we were meant to live.

Oh, and on the same day that I discovered the encouraging devotional, I also heard this song on the radio.  It’s such a powerful reminder that there is hope.  There is ALWAYS hope!  🙂

 

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Hope in Front of Me”

  1. (((Hugs))) So sorry about all the car payments as of late. What a bummer! But you have a great attitude through it all.

    Whenever calamity strikes me in the face or if I start to worry, I remind myself to focus on God and not the storm around me. It’s so easy to feel shaken with so many things going wrong (or at least not as planned!) But God is greater.

    Hang in there girly!! I hope the “check engine light” turns out to be nothing but a quick fix that THEY (garage) will cover!

    1. Very true! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if your focus is on the storm around you. The only way to find peace is to turn your eyes onto the One who has power over the storm!
      And here’s to hoping that the check engine light stays away for at least a few months!!! 🙂

  2. Wonderful post. We, too, have spent some time recently at the mechanic for a nice sum of money. Michael and I are backwards on this stuff, though. He tends to worry about us being homeless a lot faster than I do. However, I worry a lot about other things that I have no control over!

    I hope things get better! Whenever I hear about the check engine light, I always think of Penny’s car on The Big Bang Theory. It was always on, and became a small running joke through the series.

    1. Awwww, the Big Bang Theory! I’ll need to try to focus on that humor if the ‘check engine light’ becomes a major issue. Ha, ha.
      And it’s SO easy to worry about those out of control situations, isn’t it? I’m so grateful for faith in Someone greater!!

  3. This really resonated with me! We have had a lot of household expenses come up recently. There is something about repairs that leaves a person feeling very vulnerable. I guess because it reminds us that everything needs “fixing” at some point.
    I know that everything will work out – but it is scary getting there! Good luck!

    1. Very true! Repairs do make us feel vulnerable and remind us that things break… and need to be fixed. I’m learning to take it one day at a time!!
      And thank you!!

  4. Sooo… I’ve heard that song I don’t even know how many times on the radio, but I’ve never seen the video. Excuse me for a moment while I go wipe away the tears… *sniffle* So true! There is always hope! And everything you wrote about God’s faithfulness is so true. Just love this post, sweet friend!

    Also, we went through this exactly four years ago. Except instead of having a baby on the way, we had just bought a house in April. Then August came around and my car (which was supposed to be the good reliable car because Christopher’s is definitely a town car without a/c and it shakes when you drive it, haha!) broke down for the 4th time that year. And instead of fixing it (AGAIN) we finally decided we needed to just sell it and get what we could and buy a new car. Well, new-to-us car. After all the money we put into that Nissan (my old car), we DOUBLED what we’d originally paid for it when we bought it used. And we only had it for a year. So we were a little worried about finding a reliable car on such short notice (because we needed two cars for work and I was out a car). We felt so stressed about finding a good deal and all of that with so little time to plan, but somehow we found our fabulous little Scion XA within a week and we both still love him. (His name is Apollo since I know you’re wondering).

    I definitely remember us having moments where we asked ourselves what we had just gotten into with a new house and a new car (which we paid for in cash, but definitely depleted our savings account down to the lowest number it had ever been). The mechanics all knew us by name and sometimes Christopher would just call one of them (Matt) who he became friends with over this process to ask about a car we’d seen for sale before we even bothered taking it on a test drive. Matt helped us pick out Apollo (our current car). And it’s been a beast. In 4 years we’ve put over 82k miles on it because we travel SO much and it has kept up with us! 🙂

    Aaanyway, sorry about the forever long comment. Just saying that I definitely understand. I am a tend to be a “worst case scenario” person because I know that if I can handle the worst case scenario then I can handle anything less that would come our way. Worst case scenario… we go bankrupt, lose our house, and move in with you guys! 😉 Just kidding, but we do have a great church family that we’ve seen rally around others in similar situations. So I have no doubt that we will be fine. I just have to remind myself of that when I start to worry, haha! {ps. worse case scenario… you can move in with us! We have a whole upstairs that is just ready to be filled up! Highstreet will like Oreo, right? 😉 } Plus, all that worry isn’t FAITH. One of Christopher’s favorite passages in the Bible is the “do not worry” section of Matthew. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years of trusting in God and not worrying. 🙂

    1. Oh goodness, have you heard the song “Never Gone” by Colton Dixon? I bawled through the entire music video the other day. Ha, ha. There’s something about a prodigal son and a loving father who waits for him until the end that just pulls my heart strings!!
      And thank you for sharing your story about being in a similar situation!! It helps to hear that others faced the same circumstance… and made it through! Nothing scares me more than a low bank account, but sometimes life happens… And all you can do is trust God and do your best to budget and save carefully! So thank you for sharing what you and Christopher went through!
      (And we’re going to do something similar if we end up having to replace my car. Hopefully we won’t have to anytime soon! But the check engine light went off, and our mechanic thinks that it’s only a matter of time before it starts acting up again. So it’s kind of a waiting game until the next time it goes on… and requires an expensive fix. So we’re talking to our mechanic – who we trust – and asking for advice on future cars)!! 🙂
      AND you are also totally welcome here, should worse case scenario happen! Ha, ha. 🙂 But I too know it won’t. We’ll be okay! As you said, worrying isn’t FAITH! And I definitely have FAITH that God is going to carry us through, as He always does.
      Thank you, friend, for all of the encouragement and sharing!!

      1. Oh my goodness, no! I hadn’t seen that video before. I just watched it and predictably I’m sitting here wiping away tears, haha! I’m with you, prodigal son stories really get me.

        I really hope your car stays steady! If it makes you feel any better, our car ALWAYS has the check engine light on. We’ve had it checked by I don’t even know how many mechanics and they can’t figure out why the light is on. So it’s just been on for the past year and it still runs great, haha! I do feel a little like Penny from Big Bang Theory, though, whenever someone gets in my car and points out that the check engine light is on and I’m like “yeah, I know, it’s always on…” Haha!

  5. I’ve read your blog alot recently but have never commented. I have a 4 year old daughter and 4 month old son. It’s funny how we worry about something as silly as money when we know God always provides. 2 months ago we had 2 paid off cars but 20 thousand plus in student loans, a new baby and my husband started his own business. Then it all changed and we had to get 2 new cars (used but with car payments) and then being on maternity leave not getting paid for half. Talk about worry!!! Today I look back and glad I have a God who provides and shows me everytime how great He is and how I need not worry. My husbands business is expanding after being open 1 year and we paid off all but 2000 of our student loans. My MIL paid our hospital bill for baby even!!! It’s also funny how our devotional for the day always seems to speak to you at your exact moment, GOD IS SO GOOD!!! Sorry to overload your comment and talk like you know me. I’m just a working mom from Iowa listening to the quiet of my house with 2 precious babes sleeping:) Can’t wait till you get to experience this goodness:)

    1. Hi, Leianna! Thank you SO much for reading and for commenting!!! I love hearing the stories of readers and of what God is doing in their lives. It’s so wonderful to ‘meet’ you!! 🙂
      What a testimony that God provided for you financially when so much was going on. I would have most definitely been worried out of my mind! But isn’t it so amazing to look back on those times and to see the provision and blessing amidst the storm?
      And I absolutely LOVE it when the day’s devotional or Bible verse is exactly what I need in that moment. It happens so often and feels as though God Himself spoke to me… or gave me a warm hug. 🙂 God really is SO good!
      Thanks again for leaving a comment. It was so nice to hear from you.

      Enjoy your quiet time while the little ones are sleeping!! 🙂

  6. I feel like pregnancy especially brings out the dread and anxiety in me. I had my appendix out when I was 11 weeks pregnant, so about 14 weeks ago. The medical bills from that are just flooding in now and it’s hard to trust that God will take care of us! He has provided abundantly so far and I know he will take care of us, but I too can project financial doom onto our future.

  7. I know I can personally relate to this – both pregnancy and out of pregnancy stages. I’ve always been that sort of woman.. the woman where if ONE little thing goes wrong, she’s thinking of a million case scenarios and back up plans in the back of her mind. ALWAYS. Praying for peace is what helps keep my anxiety down.

    Like you said in this post – bills will ALWAYS be there. They are never going away (because, even if you pay off cars/houses/loans/credit debts/what have you, there will always be house maintenance issues, appliance maintenance issues, care maintenance, and little mishaps that life throws our way..) We have been in DESPERATE need of a new vehicle for some time now.. We have WAYY too many problems out of the one we have (and mind you – space is now an issue. there’s six of us for a five person car.. SO not a good idea….even though its VERY rare for ALL of us to go somewhere at once…) I finally broke down (like you guys did) and decided that we just needed to suck it up and get a new/reliable vehicle for all of us. (ahem.. I refuse a mini van though…)

    Bills will always be there. ALWAYS. And… if there’s ANYTHING I learned from my parents….

    It doesn’t matter how big or small your bank account is – the good times or the bad times.. with faith in GOD, you will make it. one way or another. you will survive.

    Now, I am NOT saying by any means just be full out irresponsible and buy a million things you can’t afford.. but.. on the responsible side of things, I’ve seen that statement my mother always told me time after time prove to be true. I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve had it rough financially.. whether I was pregnant or not.. it was a test of faith.. and a test of many things.. but we survived.

  8. Well that blows. You’re still fortunate though. You have a supportive and problem-solving husband, you still have a bit in savings, you have a fairly flexible job so you don’t have to use of “time off” just to take care of your car, and you have all of these awesome comments supporting you and saying “ditto that for me!”

    Hugs to you guys. You’ll get through!

    1. YES, I am SO very fortunate! It’s silly how easy it is to focus on the bad and on the bad that ‘could’ happen? I’m really trying to focus more on the good every day. And I’m trying to be thankful for what I do have every day, instead of waiting for it to break.
      On my travels today to do errands, I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m SO glad that my car is running right now.” It might not be tomorrow… or the day after. (who knows) But it was right now! And for that, I need to be thankful!! 🙂
      And I’m SO blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing family members and friends (bloggy friends included)!

      1. I am particularly bad at being grateful “in the moment” so I can appreciate you making an effort to do so. I still have no clue how to not worry about those million what-ifs in the future so if you discover the secret to that, do share! 🙂

  9. I feel you about worrying about the future and especially finances. I don’t know how many times I have just chewed away all my finger nails while worrying about whether or not Jimmy and I can afford our house and all other expenses if some kind of emergency comes up. It’s scary! I like being a grown up, but it’s also hard. Go figure, huh?! Then today, I took Lola to the vet and got a bill over $300. Ouch, haha. So yeah, I know how you feel! Thank you so much for sharing. I love your perspective on this and how you want to be an example of trusting in God for Brady. Everything you said really resonated with me and so many thoughts I’ve had lately.

    And I have totally Google “devotional,” “uplifting scriptures,” etc before haha!!

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