Life seems to kick us in the butt sometimes. It likes to throw a lot of bad stuff at us all at once. It’s easy to get discouraged, stressed out, and depressed. When you’re in recovery, the bad times seem like God is throwing roadblocks in your way to test your strength and your ability to stay in the light. That old saying, “God never gives you more than you can handle,” is true. He also provides for you.
Since I have been off work, life has been stressful. If anything could go wrong, it has. Life seems like it’s pushing me towards the hole of depression. I’ve asked God over and over, “How much more do you think I can take?” First, I was denied for unemployment, and we had to figure out bills on one paycheck. Then we could only get sixteen dollars in food stamps, so we had to see what we could buy with such a little amount. Next, we were told we needed rear brakes in our SUV, and finding the money for brakes was hopeless. Finally, my doctors weren’t sending my records so I could get disability from work.
I thought I was dealt every bad thing in the book when one day I went to the bathroom in our basement and noticed the carpet was sopping wet. I called my dad, and he came over after my parents went to Bible study and looked around our basement. Whoever owned our home before us carpeted the whole basement except for the bathroom. They also boxed in the furnace and hot water tank into a tight room with a door on one side and another door next to the toilet. In that room are also water pipes and gas lines. My dad looked around the pipes and found nothing dripping from them.
He looked beneath the water tank and looked at me. “I think your hot water tank is leaking. You may need a new tank.”
I felt my heart drop and my stomach twist. “How can we afford a water tank on one check? What are we going to do?”
My dad told us to mop up the water around the tank and keep an eye on it. So, we did. The leak got worse. The water reached further up into the carpeting and when we walked it squished. That was it.
I dropped to my knees and said to God, “I can’t do it anymore. I can’t take anymore.”
I felt like everything was hopeless. There was no way we could afford a water tank. Maybe if I got unemployment, we could manage it, but not on just my husband’s check. Where would we get the money from? Water tanks are not cheap. I couldn’t even get my doctors to send my records so I could get disability. Disability through work doesn’t even amount to much after taxes are taken out, but at least it would be something.
My muscles tightened and my throat felt like someone was jamming a fist down it. One night I woke up at three in the morning and rushed to the bathroom to get sick. My anxiety was on high. I felt like all was hopeless and my surgery was getting closer. I journaled out my feelings and I vented to Denise when we walked. I texted with my friend Cheryl and cried in my husband’s arms. This helped me cope but didn’t solve all our problems.
My friend Amy said, “I’ll pray about it. God will provide.”
I wished I had faith as strong as hers. All I could see was hopelessness. My mind went crazy with worries. I tried to keep myself busy during the day to help fight the worries, yet all looked impossible.
God did just what Amy said he would. He provided. I applied for an employee fund at work. One day a lady called saying the employee fund would pay two months of our mortgage making it so we could use my husband’s check to pay our bills. Next, a friend Anna, started a GoFundMe page and raised a hundred dollars for us. Then a woman from the cancer support group I attend offered to bring us meals after my surgery which took care of some of our food worries. Then one Sunday my mom called to tell me their church was giving us a thousand dollars. Part of that thousand dollars paid for the water tank, and my dad and his friend installed the water tank. The rest of the money will pay for my husband’s hotel room while I’m in the hospital.
God breathed hope into my soul when I was at my wits’ end. He brought good out of the bad. My dad even offered to buy our brakes and put them on for us. God gave us the help we needed. He provided my husband and me with the things we needed to get through this rough time.
He has always been providing for me. When I was bullied, he gave me the family garage and family to keep me from falling to the bottom of my mental illness. He provided a friend, Patsy, in high school when I felt all alone, and he provided me with my friend Cheryl to be able to handle my illness when I was at my worst. He provided my friend Denise to help me lose weight and he provided Amy to be my mentor in writing my memoir and as a part of my support system. He has also provided me many other friends who have taken a big role in my life and other help to get me through many of the rough times I have faced in my life.
God will provide for you, too. He is already providing for you. You may be too caught up in your illness to notice the things he’s doing for you. Open your eyes. Look at the people in your life and look for good things that happen when you least expect it. Do the people in your life help you with things like take you to your appointments? Is there one person who listens to you and encourages you? Did you find money when you had no money for a gallon of milk? When you were short in the grocery line, did the person behind you pay for the things you couldn’t afford? These things and people come into your life because God is providing for you. When things get tough, remember God provides.
Because God provided for me, I stand in his light, forever humble and grateful.