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! 🙂