Friday, May 16, 2008

Feast and Famine

I guess it's kind of obvious that I've had money issues on my brain lately. This post isn't going to be a very fun one to write, it's not easy to be this vulnerable.

So, I've let fear get a foothold in my life the past few days. I was driving up to the airport late on Wednesday night to pick up David from his business trip when some really scary questions entered my mind. These questions have always been in the back of my mind, but they fought their way to the front that night. What if we pay all this money for IVF and it doesn't work? Do we spend more money to try again or do we save up for an adoption? Why does it take us thousands and thousands of dollars for a chance at something that others get on accident?

But what if it does work? Then how will we make it financially? Our plan is for Erin to stay home. If both eggs implant and we have twins, as is very likely, then there won't really be a choice as to whether Erin can stay home, it will be necessary. How can we make it with what I get paid? Erin is diabetic and we need to be on a group insurance plan but the plan through the denomination is SUPER expensive! I'm not proud to admit this, but after getting home late at night from the airport, I went on the UPS jobs site to see what shifts they offered. I then laid in bed forever because the worry kept me from falling asleep. I know this goes exactly against what Jesus told us in Matthew 6:25-34. Which makes me think what was going through my head was actually a temptation to doubt slyly wrapped in a concern for my family.

I told all these thoughts to Erin last night and she (lovingly) got on me for my lack of faith. After talking for awhile, we opened up that night's scripture reading and I asked, "Do you think this will have any connection with what we're talking about?" Of course, it did. The passage was from Genesis 41:37-57. It's the story of Joseph ascending to second in command in Egypt and preparing Egypt for the 7 years of famine that would follow the 7 years of prosperity, which God revealed to Joseph through a dream. Joseph stored up the excess crops during the 7 years of prosperity so Egypt could survive during the 7 years of famine. But not only did Joseph store enough for his own country, he stored enough to help others as well.

So that's exactly where Erin and I are at, we're entering (if IVF works) into our last year of abundance. During the past 3 years we've had two full-time salaries and no kids. A year from now we hope to have one or two kids and one full-time salary. We've been pretty close to living on just one of our salaries, using the other income to pay off house debt, build our savings fund and save for IVF. We MUST keep up that intentionality during this next year. If we work at it, we can have our school loans paid off by the time our baby(ies) are born. This doesn't mean we don't spend any money, just that we're very intentional about what we spend. We're going on vacation this summer but our monthly budget helps us eliminate all the nickel and dime things that will drain the savings we need to have before the big paycut and cost-increase. Every summer I have to resist the incredible urge to get cable or the dish for all the sports packages. We can save that $700 for the future and I can just go to friend's houses to watch the Hawks. A bunch of little, self-denial decisions like that will help us prepare for the future. Could we live off one income if we were debt-free except for the house? We're hoping for that.

But I also have to deal with the faith and doubt issues. When we've done things that seemed crazy but we knew God was asking us to do (seminary, student-teaching, PLANTING A CHURCH) God has always taken care of us. I'm going to do what's in my power (save for the future) and trust Him to provide in the way only he can.

Thanks for letting me question God, plan for the future and affirm my faith in God out in the open.

1 comment:

Ben said...

When you wrote "I'm going to do what's in my power (save for the future) and trust Him to provide in the way only he can."--I think that sums it up. I think it comes down to responsibility and trust. Have we taken care of our responsibility? IF we have-then the only thing left to do is trust.