SO my husband recently had a job change. It was expected and planned, but still nerve racking and stressful. This job change would mean the equivalent of a $1300/month paycut. Ouch. OUCH. OUCH.
While he technically brings home a bigger paycheck (which bumps us a tax bracket), there are way less benefits and to lessen that gap (that’s right, we still don’t have as good as benefits as before), it’s quite a bit every month.
I want so much to have our credit cards paid off….to pay off my student loans….and not have a car payment and this pay cut means it will be even longer until that happens.
What is worse is that even though I complain, we are still way better off than many people around us. It makes it hard to justify my stress and frustration over not being to meet some of our goals as quickly.
I could stay home and work to help the people in my town. I could help the local churches set up food pantry and closets for those in need. I could help families set up and follow budgets. I could help with the paperwork that many struggle with when trying to get help. I’m good at all those and I like it. I’m also good at my job and like the work.
Maybe I just need to get over myself and make more time for my passions. Maybe I need to convince my husband that we should buckle down even more and get our debts paid off. Maybe I need to really learn how little money means in the scheme of things and maybe I need to struggle more so that I can have the gratitude I should.
Maybe I need a day off.
Years ago, my husband and I let several friends stay in our house with us for over a year and only asked for a small rent the last few months. Three couples and a bachelor meant a full house, little alone time and three queens trying to rule the roost. Okay, really it was only two and one that stayed off to the side. On a few occasions the disagreements escalated into shouting matches. The third queen, who was very young, was also very sensitive and I know the fighting caused a lot of stress. Though she was never dramatic there were several occasions where her actions were petty. The time I was most surprised was when I asked her if she would give my husband a ride to the place she was already going and would be leaving at the same time. She said no she didn’t want to drive him. I was livid. The past two weeks, our husbands, who worked in the same place, had to go to a facility which was an hour and half drive one way. I would drop them off and then return later the day to pick them. No offer was made to compensate for gas and neither spoke their thanks. I realize that you shouldn’t always doing things expecting anything in return, but as they lived with us for free for so long running up the utility bill and catching rides with us, I felt that the least she could do was let my husband ride with her. I should also mention that she was giving a ride to the bachelor and the other wife, but still had two open seats in the car. Months later when they moved out, they packed up all their items and just left. No goodbyes. No thank you. We knew they were moving, but thought they would at least say goodbye.
I was hurt. We had done a lot for this couple and though living together in a crowded house wasn’t always easy, I still cared for her. For a long time I felt hurt and resentment towards the couple. I knew I shouldn’t waste my energy over it and knew I needed to let it go, but it was hard for me. A little over a year later, I found she was pregnant. It was hard to hear since I have struggled to try and get pregnant. Still, I wished we had at least enough of a friendship that I would see the announcement on facebook; she unfriended me when they moved out of the house. I decided to try and look up her registry at the most common places at which people register. Eventually, I found her and decided to send her a smaller item along with a note on the gift slip wishing them all the best and prayers for a healthy baby.
This act, which took relatively little time and effort was freeing for me. I no longer felt the hurt from their actions. I felt like I had done everything I could to help them, to be their friend, and to apologize for the times I was in the wrong.
There is no better way to cure hurt than to bless those who did the hurting.
I wish more than anything right now that I had enough mastery over the English language that I could truly convey how I feel, that I could cause other people to stop and think and feel, and that I could write a statement powerful enough to sweep the nation and become the platform which brings us all together.
I do not have that mastery. So instead, I invoke change by doing what I know- praying.
I pray for all the people who have broken hearts. Hearts broken by pain, by anger, by greed, and by fear.
I pray that people are slow to judge and quick to love. That they research issues and that they forgive.
I pray that people learn to move beyond past events and be willing to grow.
I pray that people don’t forget the past so they will not repeat the same mistakes and so that they see the power of YAWEH.
And all this time my heart weeps and my heart mourns and more than anything my heart REJOICES because there is HOPE. Because LOVE is POWERFUL.
I have faith that there will be change.