I have been really overwhelmed lately and I just haven't found out how to stay calm and wait for everything to work itself out. As soon as we found out we were expecting, I became more and more anxious about our financial situation. While my husband tells me repeatedly that we will be perfectly fine, I still worry that we will bring home this new little baby and we won't be able to afford him/her. What if I can't breastfeed and we have to pay for formula? What if diapers cost us way more than we planned for? What if something has to be repaired at home and we can't afford to pay for it because the baby comes first?
About a month ago, I had started to see some light at the end of the tunnel. We were budgeting and watching our finances... we even planned ahead for medical expenses and my income for maternity leave. I was feeling good. Then we encountered a plumbing disaster and piled up about $3,000 on our credit card (the one we had just paid off). Since then, it's been very stressful. I dread balancing the checkbook and looking at that credit card bill. I put it off, because I hate seeing that I can't pay it off right away and that we are that much farther behind on being debt free.
When I talk to my mom about this, she always says the most reassuring things. She tells me that her and dad are praying for us and that I just have to have faith that God will watch over us and take care of everything. To be honest, at first that didn't make me feel much better. I haven't been much of a religious person for years. When I was in grade school and junior high, I was very active in my church and youth group. At the time, I remember having faith. I don't know what happened along the way, but I apparently lost some of that faith. I can sometimes be easily discouraged and it's hard to turn to God when I don't understand why he would keep letting bad things happen to us.
Then I realized that I have to look at the situation with a little bit of perspective. I recently watched the movie "Soul Surfer" and it opened up my eyes. This true story is about a young surfer who loses her arm to a shark bite. She couldn't understand why God let this happen to her, but others kept telling her that God had a plan for her. Here I am stressing out about money, getting upset that God isn't helping me with my leaking basement, when people are sick and dying, or homeless and starving, or getting bit by sharks. I have more than most, and I am very thankful for that.
So the other day I was driving home from school and I couldn't find anything on the radio. The first channel that I tuned into was a christian based radio station that had a speaker talking about prayer. I listened for awhile and it got me thinking. I have always had this narrow concept that praying occurred with your eyes closed, hands together, and you asked God for something. But as I listened, this speaker elaborated on that by saying that people need to just take the time to "talk" to God. Like he's a friend on the phone...
So that's what I did. I "prayed" for about the last 30 minutes of my drive home. As I talked about everything that was bothering me and everything that I felt was going wrong, I started crying. It wasn't really any different from talking to my mom or dad on the phone, but the result felt different. Maybe this new prayer venture will help me build up my faith again.
I wasn't sure what my husband would think and I have no idea if he ever sits down and prays. But yesterday, I had a bad morning. I got some bad news on the phone and I just started crying. My first thought was "Don't get discouraged and think that your prayer was all for nothing." I didn't want to mentally scorn God because I had made this "leap of faith" and prayed, only to wake up the very next morning and have something else go wrong. So I called my husband. He calmed me down and, again, told me that we will be perfectly fine. Then, at the very end, he said "God will look out for us."