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Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday's Testimony

I have taken a few days away from writing on SavingYourCents.Net. Don't worry though...it's not permanent. I needed this time to sort out family matters. I have been "going through the motions" this week and truly need a break.

This last week I have thought a lot about my life. Things have happened that have made me more aware of my self being. I would like to share a few things with you...some of you may be experiencing similar life changes and I hope that what I have to say may inspire you to be more aware of yourself. If you haven't experienced any of these things yourself maybe someone you know has.

Although I am not prepared to share my deepest darkest secrets with the entire world I will share with you that multiple situations and lifestyles have occurred throughout my life that shouldn't have happened and instead of talking about them I kept them bottled up inside. My husband...the same!

The entire duration of my marriage (11 years) has been dedicated to helping others. We would take family and friends into our home to offer them a fresh start. Most had lost their jobs, or were in a situation where they just couldn't do better for themselves...couldn't get ahead!

In the 11 years of marriage my husband an I have only had about 8 months worth of "us" time. Meaning that the other 10 years and 4 months we were helping someone out by allowing them to come and live with us. At times I wondered if we were truly helping them.

I believe with all my heart that we were and so did my husband. Some did right and were able to move on successfully (with the normal bumps in the road) and others took advantage of our kindness. Regardless the turnout we never hesitated to take the next person in. We truly believed that helping others is what we were put here on earth for...our destiny.

Over the last few months our stress level has been the highest ever. My husband lost his job, we had to voluntary give our vehicle back to the bank because we could no longer afford it and the house payment, we accrued a hefty credit card debt, we had to put our home up for sale in a market where it was worth $30,000 less than what we owed on it, we had to sell over half of what we owned before we moved and even more when we got down here, we have destroyed our superb credit (the credit that we both worked so hard to obtain), we had to uproot the life that we had made for ourselves and make a move across the state, we almost didn't find a home to rent out due to our credit, and the list goes on and on.

I swear I felt like I was going nuts. I have always been a very strong individual. I always know what I want but found that if things didn't go my way I lost it and didn't know what to do about it. I believe that we do have a certain percentage of control in our lives...the rest...up to God.

I was cracking under the pressure (along with my husband) and it took its tole on me and my family. We had been so use to helping others and now that we were in need of help and guidance we didn't have a clue. We found ourselves not being able to take our own advice. Advice that we had given time and time again to those surrounding us.

We have realized that neither one of us has ever taken the time to help ourselves or each other. We have spent our lives together worrying about others and don't really know how to handle each other. There has not been a time (more than now) when we felt what we were doing was wrong...but we were and our relationship is struggling because of it.

The one thing that I have learned (and am working on) is that you have to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Your physical and mental health are a vital part of your life and if you don't take care of them you are asking for trouble. You are affected as well as others around you.

This past week I have been given the opportunity for some "Me Time", time that has been long overdue. I feel a since of relief even though there is a lot more to work on from here on out.

I have been able to dig deep down and confront issues that existed but that I refused to acknowledge. It's a beginning.

There comes a point when even the strongest person (man or woman) needs to allow vulnerability (which is extremely hard to do) into their lives in order to start the mending process. This is the point where you have to let go and allow God to take over and I am just now realizing that.

I may not be able to fix things in the past but I know now that what the future holds needs a little less me and a lot more God. It will take time because honestly I have never trusted God to lead my life. Up until now I didn't feel that he deserved that trust but I have come to the realization that I cannot do it alone anymore.

I have accepted some advice of those dear to me and with that advice I hope to be able to sort through all of this and to be able to finally accept God into my life.

If you are feeling the same or know someone who is...I promise that you are not alone.

The state of the economy and its impact on my family has pushed us to our ends but it has also given me something I have never had before. A true understanding of why you should have religion as a part of your life. You can't do it alone (no matter how hard you try)...know that there is help...you just have to be willing to open up and let it in!


Kim said...

I can understand your story and the challenges you and your family have faced recently. While my husband and I have not taken people in, we have focused on ensuring that our children (grown) and grandchildren have what they need. In one instance, this included my car - a generous and expensive gift.

We have found ourselves transitioned from a two income household with enough income to meet our needs and help our children to a one income household. With my income being the only cash coming in (aside from unemployment) for the last nine months, we're struggling. Our savings continues to dwindle and we are praying that a job opportunity comes soon or we will be faced with some heavy decisions.

One thing I have definately learned this time around is that I never want to have credit card debt again. We are determined to pay this off as quickly as possible after he's employed again.

Your are NOT alone. There are many of us who are in the same situation. May God bless you and guide you.

Crystal said...

I have told you a lot of my secrets and you know alot of my past situations so you know I know what you're going through and I totally understand! I have grown extremely close to you in the past weeks and am truly saddened by your situation. Just know that I am here for you if you need me no matter the time of day! I love you girl!!

Cosean said...

I am new to your site but I feel your pain - actually felt your pain. Five years ago I crushed my legs and was sat in a recliner (except for physical therapy outings) for six months. We were in the process of adopting our 2nd special needs child after wracking up tons of debt trying to adopt our first. The medical bills got out of control, we had just bought a house. Then the mother of the child we were adopting said she was giving birth in the next month to yet another child (4th) and won't keep it. We jumped at the chance to have one of our child's siblings (forgetting our $ issues and the fact that I couldn't move). Then my inlaws moved in because my father in law became disabled. The list goes on and on. I had a job but wasn't getting paid for six months. We turned back a vehicle also. We were able to keep our house, filed bancruptcy and eventually did recover. We do well now but still struggle to make ends meet because we give as much as we possibly can away to help everyone else who is struggling in this economy and to give my inlaws some feeling of financial independence. You will recover - and yes, just stay away from those dreaded credit cards. We did get one just to rebuild credit but keep the limit low and very little on it. Good luck - it will turn around as you are looking in the right places. God is always the first place to start and the ability to accept help is another.

Jennifer H said...

You sound just like my Dad & Step mom. They have done the same (over 1/2 of their 10+ year marriage has been taking others in and helping them). They are now struggling due to the economy and have no one to turn to (they also still have guests living under their roof). I truly hope you take the time you deserve to get your family in order and wish you the best of luck w/a great turn around.

Nora said...

Thank you for sharing! Our family was hit with similar situations over the last 7 years... It was three + years ago that I finally admitted I needed help and turned to God. This was the best decision I have every made! To quote Joel Osteen " I am thriving not just surviving!" May God bless you and your family!!!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you today!!

God Bless you and your family.


Rebecca said...

Praying for you and your family. May you find PEACE from HIM alone!

Blessings~ Rebecca

lois55 said...

6 Years ago my husband and lost every thing due to illness. At the time I thought I would never see the other side. We had a daughter in her senior year of high school at the time. She graduated collage in May she is a social worker now.
We will never be the same. In many ways we are better for it. I think God for every thing. Not only do we have a roof over our heads but we have food on the table.
Thanks to bloggers such as yourself. I am able to feed us and help many other feeds them selves.
What I want you to know is you have blessed my life with you help from your blog. May god bless you always and forever. Your Friend Lois

J'Laine said...

I'm so sorry for what you are going through, and I am saying prayers that you will be able to work through it all with God's help! Take all the time you need, and I look forward to when you can resume your blog - it's a real help to many of us!


vrtish55 said...

Keeping you and your family in my prayers. God bless.

Sandra said...

I can definitely relate to the things you are sharing. I have been a Christian for over six years, and Knowing Jesus makes a tremendous difference when going through hardship and questioning the struggles of life. My husband sustained a work injury almost two years ago, and life has been rough, but Christ has been with us through it all. He has always provided Enough.

Jennifer said...

I wondered if there was something going on or not. I'm glad to hear that you're letting God take control and help you sort it all out. That's the only way we've been able to survive all we've been through. He's far bigger than anything we face, and He can hold your hand and walk you through it. I'll pray for you.

tracy said...

God bless you! We will be praying for you and your family. There are so many pressures on the family in these days. We MUST get our families strong...things are not going to get any easier.
You are on the right track...keep your eyes focused on HIM and HE will see you thru.
Many Blessings,

Susan said...

Thank you so much for your honesty. I know so many of us are struggling right now and many don't say a word and just try to buckle down and get through it alone. You have helped so many with simply being honest and telling your story. I know that things will get better for you and your family. You are looking in the right place and will find the answers you need...thanks for helping the rest of us know that we are not alone and remember to just do the next thing...keep it simple and try not to feel overwhelmed and simply just do the next thing to get you were you want to be. Water seeks it's own level and things will balance out. Just stay focused and calm and thngs will get better. You will get back on track, regain your credit, footing, and be a stronger person having experienced this. Also, it's your turn to receive help...you have helped so many, now let us help you. I hope your family members who have experienced hope through you are "re-paying" their gratitude with acts of kindness to you and your family. Church can really help....in so many ways...comfort, conseling, friendship, food, etc. Let the blessings come..Susan

mary1day said...

We are having financial and health problem's.Hubby got sick and the hospital bills are unreal.My thought's and prayer's are with you and your family.My fav saying is,If GOD bring's you to it,GOD will bring you through it.

Col said...

God Bless you and yours. Thank you for this honest and humbling insight to your life, and the fact that you know we are all not alone. I love The Counting Crows line in one of their songs, "These lines of lightning mean we're never alone, never alone, no no." I believe God will bless you so much this year!

Emilyc said...

I'm pretty new to your blog and just wanted to send you a note of encouragement. I have been where you are, lost everything and then some. It really brought me alot closer to God. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Remember - The best is yet to come! It will get better!

Ashley said...

Everytime I'm in the furnace, I go to God. Once I make it out of the furnace, I go my own way again. Let's hope both of us will not turn our backs on God once we make it out of our personal hell. He loves us always and we should love and honor Him in good and bad times.

AzureBlue said...

I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. Thank you for having the courage to share. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone.

I swallowed my pride and applied for Food Stamps and Medicaid, and I'm thankful to say I was approved. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. We will all emerge from this crisis stronger, but we have to be patient; it's not over yet.

Anonymous said...

My heart is hurting for you and your family right now. But you can always turn to our saviour for divine guidance and love. May God continue to bless you.

Suz said...

I'm sure God has blessed you through the years of helping others... & as a fellow Christian I say "Thank You" for being God's hands and feet when you felt led.

I'm sure God has his plans for your difficult financial times as hard as they seem. You can now relate to those who have been there and will be there and that is a blessing in disguise I'm sure you will find at the end of all of this. Sounds like you already have... by accepting God into your life and allowing him to help you through it.

I'm glad that you've found some you time.. and hope you continue to make time for you and your Hubby! I'm sure you feel like you've missed so much with all the efforts you've put towards others... make up for it now :) I would !!

I think I can relate to you on many levels... I'm frugal at heart and am careful about our credit. We've built up an emergency fund, but I don't know how long it would last if we had to tap into it. I love the Lord and am always hosting get together's and such. Hubby and I are the place many people call and ask to drop by ... and we often forgo "our time". I can only imagine what you've been through these last few months.. & I'm glad to hear you're turning towards God for help, not against him!

Thanks for sharing what you were able to... I'm sure it will be an inspiration to many! :)

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