Saturday, March 28, 2009

How we are hurting, and true heros

Alas, the economic recession has started to hit us, hard. B. has about three weeks of work left, and nothing else lined up yet for his business, which is unheard of for us this time of year. Actually, he did have a big job lined up (KOA) but we found out a few weeks ago that the verbal agreement he had would no longer honored; G.M. had got a less expensive bid. This has caused B. all sorts of grief because he had, in the mean time, turned down some other opportunities because he was assured continually by G.M. that this job was his because he's done a lot of work for him in the past. Losing this job could very well mean that B. will lose his business. It's really not looking very hopeful right now.

Now I know all over the country people are losing jobs and businesses, so I can at least take comfort that we're not alone.

In fact, part of me is glad that this economic crisis is occurring. Prosperity is not always a blessing. When things come too easily to us, we can forget how much we need God. Certainly this trial we are going through right now with the business has resulted in us praying more, both on our own and together. We don't know what else to do about the things we don't have any control over. As more people around us are affected by the economy, it may open new opportunities to witness to them. I certainly hope that with my parents: they've lost over half of their investments. My mom, a professor who teaches international economics, is horrified not only by what is happening here in the US but also globally. She is anxious about everything; she says she only gets 4-5 hours of sleep a night.

I've haven't been losing sleep, but I do feel the temptation to fret, to snap at my husband, or at the kids; I feel guilty over not having spent money wisely for the past few months when we were so sure all of financial problems would be solved by this big job we were supposed to get; I feel guilty when I'm reading or watching movies and I think about how I could get out my laptop and log a few hours of work, so I can pay a few more bills. I feel the temptation to jump all over B. when he comes home early from work ("couldn't you find something to do for another few hours, to get us a little more money?")

When I feel this way, this near-panic, I have only two choices: continue to fret until I end up snapping at someone, or take a deep breath and pray. I thank God for our blessings. We have so much to be thankful for. All we stand to lose, if it comes to that, is material things. Things that rust and rot and wear out, anyway. I think about how happy I was moving out here to Wyoming 15 years ago with all my worldly possessions (including my cat) packed into my car. Life was very good with very little. It can be, again.

I just finished My Heart in His Hands: Ann Judson of Burma by Sharon James (lend to me by S.H.). I have not read any biographies in almost a ten years (the last one I read was one about Jim Elliot). I have been missing out! God has certainly used the story of Ann's life to change my perspective about our current material difficulties. At the age of 20, Ann dedicated her life to overseas missions, feeling that sharing the Gospel with people who had never heard it before was far more important than anything else the world had to offer. She gave up not only material comfort, but her friends, her family, her familiar way of life. And she did this at the very beginning of the missionary movement in the early 1800's: truly going into the great unknown, back in the day when a voyage to Asia could take from six months to a year, and the likelihood of ever returning was very slim. Hers was a life of great faith in God and it has definitely inspired me.

I never had any heros when I was growing up; at least none that I can remember. If someone had asked me who my hero was, it would have most likely been a fiction character like Gandalf, the wizard from Lord of the Rings, or maybe Lucy, one of the four children in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As an adult looking back on my youth now, I consider my parents to be my heros, because they loved me so much, raised me so well, and gave me so many opportunities. As a Christian, I look on Elisabeth Elliot as the closest thing I can think of to a heroine, a woman I deeply admire because of her faith, her life experiences (many of them very difficult and sad), her wisdom, and her ability to share her faith and her wisdom through her writing.

As a mother, I am starting to think about who I want my daughters to admire and desire to emulate. Right now if I asked Blaze or Dreamer, I'd bet they'd name one of the princesses from the many princess movies I've let them watch so much (because I do love princess stories, myself, and there are some good qualities of these movie heroines... unfortunately faith in the True God is not one of them). Faith in a Disney Princess will not get them very far when they face the complications and hardships of life. I would really like them to discover the Elisabeth Elliots and Ann Judsons of the world earlier than I did.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Margo - yet another great post - I love reading yours. There is always so much to them that I don't even know how to comment!
    God will provide.