Trust . . .
Such a simple word packed with a lot of power.
One definition of trust on Merriam-Webster.com is “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”
I’ve been meditating on that word a lot lately. Recent situations have caused me to reflect on whether my actions indicate that I trust God as much as I say I do.
I sometimes have a lot of anxiety when it comes to finances. It’s not because there’s a lack. We’re not rich by any means, but we are certainly not in want of anything. We have healthy accounts, great credit, and more than we need to meet our needs. Yet, there’s a little knot in my stomach that I must continuously confront called fear. See, things haven’t always been so comfortable. In fact, 2006 and several years thereafter would bring some of the worst financial crises in our lives that we have ever faced. Although God brought us through that season, the memory of our troubles is still seared into my brain. What makes it really crazy is that the financial aftermath occurred after trusting God.
In 2004, I left a full-time state government job with the support of my hubby to focus on writing because that’s what the Lord said to do. I don’t have time to detail how I knew it was God, but it was, and the fact that my husband was on board was the ultimate confirmation. I made more than him at that time, so my not working meant that we were losing the higher income and all the benefits that came with it. Little did we know that life would punch us in the mouth, and as we were healing, he would lose his job.
While all this was taking place, I was still writing and signing publishing and other freelance contracts. However, being a writer can literally be a feast or famine world. The one consistent aspect of what I do is that the pay fluctuates from day-to-day. Nearly 15 years after my first book was published, that hasn’t changed. When aspiring authors seek my advice, one of the first things I tell them is that they have to love writing enough to do it for free because sometimes they will have to. For example, no one is paying me to write this post. 😊
Fast forward, I haven’t had a full-time job since 2004, but we have way more now than we had when I was working at my cushy state job. God brought us through that period and has blessed us beyond what I could even imagine, and our financial portfolio is better than it has ever been. Yet, there’s been a consistent knot in my stomach that has grown within the last few months.
This COVID pandemic has stirred up bad memories of economic downturns and anxiety, and I’ve found my financial decisions peppered with fear. Life didn’t stop because of COVID. College tuition still needed to be paid, cars still needed repairs, and home improvements still had their place on our priority list. We have two businesses, and while they have taken a hit during the pandemic, they haven’t gone under. Additionally, we’ve haven’t skipped a beat on contributing to our retirement and savings accounts, and we’ve made more than our fair share of discretionary purchases during the pandemic. (My husband said that I’m helping to keep Amazon in business. #retail therapy) Given the stability of things, I have to ask myself, what is the basis of my fear? Is it because there is that part of me that remembers the financial fire and how I wondered where God was during that time? Is it that I am scared to fully trust Him with that area of my life because subconsciously, I feel like He let us down previously?
I don’t know what’s behind my anxiety, but I know that I don’t like it. Even when we went through our financial crises, we never went hungry or homeless. Our children never lacked anything. James 5:16 says to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” So, here you have it, my big confession that financial anxiety is a sin of mine. I have not yet once worried about catching the virus, but I have had the “what ifs” swirling about other ramifications of it. I unashamedly ask for prayer. While you pray for me, know that I will be praying for you as well. I might not know you, but I am praying, in general, for all of us who know God to wholeheartedly trust Him throughout this pandemic. May the world see a difference in how we respond and know undoubtedly, that we are His.
In what areas of your life have you been holding back trust? Let’s take this faith walk together, believing that our God will supply everything that we need!