This is Matthew and I when I was 6 yrs old and he was 2 yrs old in Yukon, OK after Daddy had died.
Christmas is coming and all over the newspapers are tales of people whose unemployment benefits are running out. They are scared of what will happen to them and Christmas is a wishful thought for them.
In reading these, I find it awakens my own fears. My worries that what happened to families in the 1930's and prior to WWII will happen to my girls. We will have to separate our family and send them to live with family while Chris and I try to find work. Logically in my head I know there are programs to help prevent that from happening, but it is a possible reality for my family in a few months and I have to be honest, it terrifies me to think of our girls going hungry or crying because they have empty tummies.
I can easily imagine the heartbreak of those women in the 1930's who had to watch their children slowly dying from hunger and malnutrition or who sent them to family to live in hopes of giving them a better life or putting them in a state orphanage, because it was better than letting them starve. I work hard to not go there in my head and I know that I have friends and family who will help if we come to that, but with a Lt. who is making Chris' life extremely difficult and who refuses to let him deploy because she's a witch on a power trip and she's decided she doesn't like him - it makes those fears hard to allay for now.
In 1997 my family and I spent a summer struggling to make ends meet. Mom would buy groceries and Matt and Meg would eat them faster than she could put them in the refrigerator. I had a hard time finding work that summer, so I spent a lot of that summer hungry and looking for work. I found out a lot of things that summer. I found out I am not a good cashier - it just isn't a good job for me. I found out that years of making sacrifices for Matt and Meg didn't mean anything to them. I am sure that has changed now, but then they were at the peak of being selfish teens then and Matt was struggling with the aftermaths of the car accident that changed all of our lives in 1996. It also gave me an insight into how grateful I should be that in attending Southern Nazarene University it meant I was able to eat three meals a day. I may not always like those meals, but at least I had them there to eat.
Here we are in 2010 and we are fortunate enough to be qualify for food stamps. It istough walking into that building when for ten years you've been able to provide for your children with only a little assistance from parents (you know they buy clothes and fun stuff - and maybe the occassional tank of gas when we were short back in the early years of our marriage). But at least our girls have plenty of food and they have health insurance, we have a roof over our heads and know if push came to shove we have places we can turn to for assistance. I know that if push came to shove we could move to Idaho or other places - but I also know Chris will find the next available unit and deploy so we can keep our home and make sure that the girls and I are taken care of as long as there is breath in him. I also know that the time has come to bite the bullet and go back to college. With only 19 hours remaining, I can do it at a pace that will help the girls and myself remain sane. This would mean being able to find steady work and providing for Chris and the girls so Chris can attend college and get a degree.
These are the times when I remember the Casting Crowns song:
I will praise you in the storm.
I will lift my hands.
I know who you are, no matter where I stand.
I don't remember the rest of it, but these things I know. God has always taken care of my family and provided for us and I know He is faithful. So even when I am afraid, I will trust that God will take care of my girls and will provide our needs.
I hope you all have a good weekend.
Love in Christ,