You know…we’ve been broke before. As a matter of fact, there was a time in our early marriage that we were so broke that we had one car between us that we could barely pay for; we couldn’t afford cable so we watched TV on a handheld black and white and some months we had to borrow grocery money.
Bry worked his butt off for years to get us out of that situation. At one point he had two jobs (I was working full time too). We would leave the house at around 6 am, work till 5 pm, drive home & eat a quick dinner and then he would be out the door so that he could make it to bartend from 6 pm till sometimes 2 or 3 in the morning. He is so talented but for years he was the “worker bee”, he did the work but his boss got to put his stamp on the job. When he was finally offered the position as VP of Development we thought “Finally, after all these years, he’s made it. We can breathe.
And we did breathe. Now I’m not saying that we spent all of those years struggling. We did okay after a while but there was still always that feeling of “Oh gosh, are we going to make it?” But when he got that job we felt like maybe we had arrived at that point in our lives where you just settle in and enjoy the ride. Well…that was our first mistake. :)
As I was saying…we’ve been broke before. This is different. It’s funny because I think that people have this idea that because he has a job now everything is back to normal. Here’s the thing, he gets a paycheck but that paycheck, according to studies, is poverty level wages. It is not even ¼ of what he used to make. People see us struggling and think well; maybe if you just cut back here and there you’ll pull through. Okay. If that makes you feel better I will nod and go along with you. It’s not the truth though.
Let’s forget about the money for a minute. We’ll pretend that he makes enough to stretch from payday to payday. My kids will never be the same. Luke and Presley still cry every time they talk about their dog, Max. Bailey doesn’t even talk about him at all. When you don’t have a home or money for your kids you definitely don’t have enough to keep your dog. Also, if they see you even think about taking one of their toys out of their room, even ones they forgot they had, they freak out. Not normal freak out like most kids do when this happens. I’m talking total melt down that eventually turns into sobs of “I miss Max”. Which we’ve learned is code for “I miss my old life.”
It’s affected them in ways that we haven’t even figured out yet. For instance, last year I found out Bay’s school was having a winter formal. I asked her why she wasn’t going and she said “I don’t know. I just don’t want to.” I could tell that wasn’t the case at all so I kept pushing her to talk. Finally she said “It’s okay Mommy. Yeah, I’d like to go but I know we can’t afford the dress and everything.” I was pretty sure I could actually hear my heart break at that moment. Yeah, I ended up figuring out ways for her to go (with the help of my sister) and yeah, we’ve found ways to help them get whatever they need but I know that they feel this more than they let on.
I won’t even go into the ways that it has affected me and Bry emotionally. Honestly, I’ve been too busy staying positive for everyone else to even evaluate my own feelings. I’m kind of afraid to feel them to be honest with you. I have this fear that if I let myself really “go there” that I will just lay in a heap and cry. That’s not my personality though. I’m a “keep it moving” kind of girl. And I also know that God has a plan for us. I REALLY believe that although it might not sound like it sometimes. No matter how discouraged I feel I am always brought back to that truth. No, that doesn’t mean that I have to like it or that it will be easy, but it does help pick me up off my feet when the burden gets too heavy.
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Psalm 91: 3-6
Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip he who watches over you will not slumber; Psalm 121