Faith in the Economy?
Have you ever jumped into a pool or a lake and gone a little farther down than you intended? You didn’t take quite a deep enough breath before you jumped? Or have you been playing in the ocean and have the tide keep you under? Then you get that tight feeling in your chest as you franticly move your arms to get you to the surface. Searching for a deep fresh breath of air. It takes longer than you think. Your brain freaks out slightly, and you try to keep yourself calm so that you will get to the surface?
Or is that just me?
The economy has felt like that for a while now. People were predicting a drop in the stock market even before the first of the year, though our economy had been doing great. Everyone kept taking quick breaths waiting and watching.
Then COVID-19 hit. We all took a quick jump off the dock underwater. Ready or not, we were all walloped. Jobs were lost, companies lost millions; some small companies were not able to be resuscitated. The sadness and fear surrounded us all in the water.
Some of us hunkered down. Some people went into a tailspin, trying to take down anyone they thought were a threat. Marriages have been pushed to the brink. Love lost, and survival has kicked in during these uncertain times.
I read that money is one of the top two reasons people get divorced. After reading that, I have heard about quite a few people getting divorced currently. Marriage is one of my favorite things, so this especially breaks my heart. To think that the economy is the cause breaks my heart.
I understand that finances can cause loads of fights among people, especially husbands and wives, as we try to compromise as to what to do with our money. But to call it quits on a marriage because of finances takes my breath away.
Marc and I found Dave Ramsey’s book “The Total Money Makeover” years ago. It changed our lives. Though even as we changed our thoughts of finances, we had some LOUD discussions. For a short period, Dave Ramsey’s name was a four-letter word. For us, though, we were committed to each other and finding a way to navigate this world of finances.
We also had our faith in a higher power and not in the economy. God forgave us, so we knew we could forgive how each other had handled finances in the past. We had to have some real “come to Jesus” discussions about where we wanted our finances to be. What our realities were.
Marc and I still thirteen years later talk regularly about our finances. Like what bills are coming up. What we need to save for and where our dreams are. Money is a regular conversation. We still don’t agree on everything and have a lot of give and take. That’s part of marriage. That’s part of dealing with finances.
Because of that book, when it came to this recession and pandemic, we were able to shift gently and without a freak-out. We were able to breathe through Marc’s job cutting back hours. Some weeks he had no work; some he only had a couple of days of work.
We don’t have our faith or our marriage based on the economy. So, when we had to tighten our belts and overhaul our budget, we were prepared. We could take on the world together, as allies. Instead of attacking each other or take out our fear on those close to us. We pivoted.
Keeping our heads above water without the worry of drowning is essential to us. So, we made an emergency fund that can act as a life raft when the seas get rough. Saving for that emergency fund didn’t happen by accident. It didn’t magically appear. We worked for it, and we worked together.
Please hear my heart if you are stressed and worried during these times. I get it, I understand. Your feelings are valid. Make sure, though, that you are not putting your faith in the economy, or any thing, or person on this planet. Don’t take out your fear and frustration on any other person on this planet, either.
The only thing that can get you through the stress and fear of this tidal wave is God. God alone can handle the fear, hand it over to Him and Him alone. Talk to your spouse. Love your spouse. Please do not take your worries out on them. Working as a team will be much more rewarding than working against each other.
Here are six scripture verses to write in your heart when you need to be reminded to trust in the Lord.
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD.”
“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
“Trust in him at all times, oh people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”
Catherine & Jenny with Pursuing true North