I really think Chris Clark is right. Those heading to Haiti are under a spiritual attack. I’m finding that the closer we get to our team’s departure, the more things that go wrong. And what’s worse is I know my dad is going to read this and it’s going to turn more of his hair gray. But, I started this blog to allow people to see the joy and struggles in this budding charity and allow them that glimpse of this side of charity work. We help the children, but how often to people consider who is helping us? We know how much these children struggle, so we step into that role to struggle for them.
I am going through a core group class called “The Heart of Generosity”. So much emphasis is put on being generous with our finances and I feel so broken because I have nothing to give. Instead I’ve been giving of myself (my time and my talents) as much as I can. I’m becoming stretched very thin. There are so many things that people are screaming “priority” at me and yet so few of these responsibilities are able to keep the roof over my head or put any food on my table.
I know we are all struggling and that’s what makes me so selfish to be worried about these things. In one of the videos I watched for the core group the speaker breaks down what percentage of the typical American paycheck goes to our different expenses. I decided to do this myself just to see how much money I could actually give:
% of monthly income to living expenses
60% - Rent
2% - Utilities
2% - Internet
15% - Student Loan
9% - Gas (if I can get by with putting in only $20 a week)
12% - Food/Additional Expenses/Savings or Credit Card
I found that if I tithe 10% I am left with $21 for food or other monthly expenses.
Since I will be in the Dominican and Haiti the last two weeks of this month, I will be cutting off the end of my usual income because I won’t be here to train my clients or to clean the house. As of right now if I don’t have any clients cancel than I will just make enough to cover my rent. All of my tax return went to pay off my mounting credit card bill that has been taking the edge off my expenses by holding the weight of gas and groceries.
Then tonight when I went to run with my friend she noticed a ticket stuck under my passenger side wiper. Apparently I got a ticket for parking outside my own apartment complex and not cramping my tire to the curb. MY TIRE! A $59.50 fine!
I had to sit in my car and just cry for a while. What more can I do? I know I’m being stuck with the title of “negative”, but it’s hard to be positive when I’m trying so hard to live for Christ and I just keep getting taken out at the knees. I was there to run with my friend, so I got out and ran. I ran the long way. I wanted to out-run the thoughts and tears and stress and fear and uncertainty. I wanted to run until my feet wore away and I couldn’t run anymore. My lungs burned, my neck and shoulder cramped, and as soon as I ended the run the sobbing caught up with me. I couldn’t stay to go out for tacos with the rest of the group. I came home and sat in my parked car (with the wheels cramped against the curb) until I could pull myself together enough to go inside. Took a long LONG bath and now here I sit wondering what will happen.
I believe with all my heart that God provides, but I am not so certain that I am doing what He wants me to be doing. Am I struggling because I’m under attack or because God is swatting at me trying to get me to stop it? How do I put on the happy face? How do I act like nothing is wrong? I know eyes are on me, pressuring me to prove that I am able to stay positive through this, but when does positivity turn into denial of reality and just pure insanity? I don’t want to express concern and be a Debbie Downer.
Pray for Chris Clark and his family.
Pray for our team already in Haiti.
Pray for the people and children in Haiti.
Pray for the efforts of COTN.
And then… if you have anything left… please consider praying for me.
You have led me, to the sadness, I have carried this pain
On a back bruised, nearly broken, I'm crying out to You...
I will sing of Your Mercy, that leads me through valleys of sorrow, to rivers of joy.
-- The Valley Song (Jars of Clay)