Sunday, November 18, 2007

KNOCK KNOCK! (who's there?)


In my last post it was the month of May and I was asking where April went. Well, here it is November, almost December!, and 6 months have passed since I last wrote here. Even as I write that it's been 6 months, I am surprised because it seems like so much longer than only 6 months since I have posted on my blog. But then 6 months is a long time, isn't it? It's been a long hard summer and our financial crisis, the entire mess really, was really getting to me. To us. I always have known there is an end to the proverbial "tunnel", and that there is light at the end of it, and that everyday we really are getting closer to the end of the tunnel even when it seems like it will never end. However, I'm sure many who go through their own personal "tunnels" reach a point when they feel they just can't take another step forward and they just stop trying to move forward because they don't see how it's making a difference. I was reaching that point. Major depression.

To keep this brief, however, many of you who were aware of our situation, my husband speaking up against corruption in the prison, and the subsequent hardship we have endured as a result, would be happy to hear that there has been some relief to our financial situation. His Social Security Disability insurance began last month and now we will be receiving a monthly income. This is a major relief to us as you might imagine. I have had a small part-time job since May or June, but it is small and it is part-time because I am needed at home as much as I can be, for my husband and for our children. Our children are still homeschooled and contrary to what others may have felt we "should have done", (others who have not walked in our shoes and experienced "our" life, nor had to make decisions based on our circumstances, nor understood how easily a seemingly "obvious" solution in one direction would adversely affect our life in another, and therefore did not understand why we did not handle our situation in the way they felt we should have), we traveled the road we had to travel and we made it work. And having traveled that road, though I am not eager to get back on it, I know that we are stronger for it, and we have learned more about ourselves and our own character than had we not traveled that road.

We did not travel this road alone, and though some people truly don't understand what I mean when I say the Lord walked with us, and the Lord took care of us, and the Lord provided for our every need, I know there are those of you who know what I mean. While I don't necessarily want to walk again the 2 year old road we just turned off, I know that I was closer to my Maker while on that path, than before that part of the road came up in our lives. Some of you will understand what I am saying. And I know there are some who will say that I am just using my faith as a "crutch". Call it whatever one wants to call it, but I know that I get through life better with God directing my steps than when I'm trying to do it by myself, even if that means I'm hobbling along on a crutch. Oh, I'm not saying that I take every step the good Lord knows I should take. I am always trying to do it my way at some point or another. But I do notice that when I let the Lord direct my steps, my path is much easier, my burden much lighter.

There are always going to be those on the side of the road telling me to go down this road or that road, or telling me I'm doing it wrong by traveling this particular road or that one. Sometimes these non-supporters can be my own family. None of us ever please everyone all of the time, however, and we all have ideas about how someone should handle this situation or that situation in their lives. But I would hope we can all remember that unless we're walking closely next to that someone, our perceptions of what they should do in any given situation is merely an opinion and a lot of times is not even worthy to be breathed because we cannot possibly know all the nuances of any crisis a person is going through. Again, unless we're walking really close next to the person in crisis, expressing our opinions about their situation will tend to be hurtful rather than helpful.

Please let me give you an example from my personal life. When my husband no longer had a job, he no longer had medical insurance or coverage. We currently have a Workman's Compensation claim that after 2 years is STILL being fought by the State of Georgia. Our family received insurance through our state's Medicaid program, and though myself and my children did/do not have any medical issues, my husband did and still does, and he NEEDED the Medicaid coverage.

I know that several onlookers into our situation felt like I should get a full-time job, but what my onlookers don't understand is that that would have put my family in a Catch-22 of sorts. First of all, if I made any substantial income, my family would NOT qualify for the Medicaid program any longer. I would have had to have a job that had an EXCELLENT insurance program that would pay for my husband's substantial medical needs. We were also accepting food assistance from our local county's office. My having a full-time job would end that program for my family. So I would have to secure a job that had an excellent insurance program, and which alone (because my husband could not work) provided enough income that would pay all our grocery needs for a family of 5 AND extra medical costs that insurance wouldn't cover AND pay our monthly bills. To secure a job with even a possibility (not a certainty) of that sort of money would take me at least an hour's drive one way (2 hrs driving per day). Oh, did I mention the soaring gas prices pursuing an adequate income would incur? And the costs to maintain and repair our car's extra time on the road? This does not include the serious consideration we would have to give to taking our children out of a homeschool situation and putting them in our public school. Some think that's an easy decision, and maybe up next to all the other financial considerations we had, it might have been one of the easier decisions. However, another consideration my family had to consider was the fact that my husband needed someone with him during the day for a long while after this fiasco started with his job. My husband's mental and physical health declined greatly after he made public the mess with the prison corruption.

Even writing all this down, trying to relay some of the considerations my husband and I had to think upon, I feel I cannot express very well the fact that the "answer" to our financial crisis was not as simple as putting the children in school and my getting a job. After weighing all the pros and cons to that "simple" solution, it wasn't a simple solution at all, and it would serve to complicate our situation on all fronts! With much prayer and crying out to God during the past two years, I eventually felt certain and at peace that our solution was to "Be still..." No, it wasn't easy to "be still"! It goes against everything I've been taught from society, family and friends. Everyone says "do this, do that, do something"! But "everyone" does not know me or my future the way my Creator does, so I knew Who I ultimately must turn my ear towards. And though we were unsure almost daily where the money for our next bills would come from, we knew that it would arrive. God used people (family, friends and strangers!) to help us through the past two years. "Be still and know that I am God." Yes, we understood and saw some amazing things when we were "still".

Thank you to all who offered prayers and support in any form during the past two years. You made a difference.

I hope to post again a little more frequently here on my blog. I have been working on a scarflet and it is finished except for two buttons I wanted to add. I will share a picture of it soon.

I have missed my readers and I have missed reading your blogs. I'm happy to be back and look forward to catching up on all that has been going on with you all!


Mafalda said...

Hello! I'm here... Glad to know that things are better now. :)

amy in ne said...

OH, Karla, I had no idea you were going through so much. May the Lord continue to strengthen you as you finish this journey He has given you. You and your family will be in my prayers.

We have a friend who says "don't just do something...stand there!" Waiting on the Lord and doing nothing can sometimes be the hardest thing.

Bless you, Dear!
amy in ne

mimie said...

hello, karla!
missed you!

Jennifer said...

Karla, I've been wondering where you've been but apparently been looking at an old blog with nothing on it, Yahoo 360, I think. I understand you've been through a lot and know perfectly well that Jesus holds our hands during these difficult times. Check out my 360 to catch up on what's happening up here in the mountains. Give the kids and Tommy a hug from me!

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.