The current situation in our country has lead me to do some seriously deep thinking, and I’m just going to try and put some of my thoughts down. Many will not like what I’m about to share; trust me, I don’t like it either. I am not one to share personal experiences that have caused me this amount of pain and heartache usually, but I have to get this out of me. It’s eating me on the inside. It’s causing me emotional turmoil and heartache, because I feel for every single person in these situations that ended up there by no cause of their own. My heart weeps for this world gone mad. My heart hurts for the world we are building for our children, not just in this country, but every single country in the world. It’s caused my emotions to go crazy, when I personally have things going on in my own life that need me to be more focused on. Maybe it will help to write this, and just get it out of my system. I hope so.
Until about 2 weeks ago, my family and I were homeless. Homeless is defined as having no home or permanent place of residence. We were not living on the streets, much like the image you see of people sitting or lying in the nooks of buildings, or the man you’ve encountered standing outside of a business, begging for your money, food, or just a smile to make their lives just a small bit better that day. We had a place to sleep at night and could buy our own food, thanks to very good friends, family and my husband actually having a semi-decent job.
How, I’m sure you are asking, did we end up in a situation such as this, which so many American’s have dealt with recently? A long chain of events, but here’s the rundown.
First of all, I lost my job last December. This was the biggest smack in the face I’ve ever dealt with, in my career life. The company hired me out of my job that I had been at for three years, and was promoted twice in, to keep me for a little more than a month and then let me go. They told me that it was because I wasn’t learning this new job fast enough; come to find out, they had over-hired and I was the last one in, so obviously, I’m the first one out. I can’t even begin to give you a glimpse into my mind at that time. After searching for the love of my life for so long, and finally, FINALLY finding him, I should have been the happiest women in the world. I was happy about that, but I also have been the one providing for my little family for so long now, it threw me to not be the one providing for every need. This caused a downward spiral of depression for me, which is something I’ve struggled with almost my entire life.
Secondly, I will fully admit, though it is embarrassing to say these things, that we are incredibly terrible at money management. I always have had this problem…my husband as well. Together, we have been a disaster of spending money. There are certain things, such as budgeting, that truly should be taught in high school, and obviously, we missed out on teaching ourselves these things. I’ve survived up until now, mostly on stressful scrimping when bills needed to be paid, and the help of my parents when I couldn’t make everything come together. It’s just the truth, however ugly it is.
We fell behind on our rent, into the second month, and our apartment complex had tightened down on how far they would let people fall behind. Evicted. Of course, we tried everything to get them to not evict us, but by this point, they had already filed, and it was all done.
A good friend offered to let us move in with them while we tried to find a place for ourselves, and we were so grateful for that. So began what I like to call a small little bit of hell though. See, once you have an eviction on your record, no landlord that is worth their salt, will rent to you. I understand their position! I mean, you’ve proven yourself already to be a risk, and why would they want to knowingly enter into a contract with someone who is a risk? No matter how much you beg, plead or bargain, your past choices have consequences, and this was ours.
After 4 months of struggle, we came into a program that has us in a home. It isn’t permanent, but it’s just us here and I can go to sleep at night now, without fear that we are going to have to get out when we can’t afford to pay or we make one error in judgment on money. It comes with quite a few strings attached, but it is a home for my family, especially over the holidays.
I am eternally grateful for this place, for our good friends that took care of us when we needed it the most, to my mom for exactly the same reason, my family for being there for me, to all of the people who prayed for us or just listened to us. We can’t even come close to repaying the debts we owe to so many. I’m hoping that us proving that we are better and can grow and learn from this will help though. We still have a long road back to just the middle, but we can do this and we will persevere.
Back to the situation that currently is happening in our world, and how I can personally relate. You see, I’ve been scared many times before for my children, and their safety and just to have a place to sleep and eat. I’ve known struggle, fear and regret. Maybe not fear of death by starvation or exposure. Surely not fear of decapitation or being shot in the street. I still know fear for my child, and that fear is crippling. To look into your child’s eyes, seeing them scared and questioning you and everything in their world is heartbreaking. All you want to do is protect them…make everything better and to be a better human being for them.
I’ve always called myself pro-life, and deep in my bones, I truly am anti-abortion. My sister happened across an article recently and shared it, and it struck me deeply. It was an article about are you truly pro-life, or are you more anti-abortion. The question is truly a deep one, because being pro-life means that you also believe on top of believing that abortion is wrong, that you support life in all forms, and humanity and compassion for life, not just for the unborn baby. Being pro-life would mean that you are against the death penalty, against the terminally ill being able to choose to end their lives with dignity, and that you truly support and love every single human life on this Earth. These are the things that truly make a pro-lifer, and I guarantee most are not on board with every single one of those things.
What side do you personally fall on?
I know I am anti-abortion, except in the case of the child not being able to survive outside the womb. I know I am steadfast in this belief. Trust me, it has been tested. I believe the death penalty should be used, but only when the evidence is irrefutable to the guilt of the person in question. I believe that people should be allowed to end their lives when terminally ill, because I’ve seen slow deaths, and it is their right to die with dignity. I believe that every single human being deserves basic civil rights, that do not infringe on their right to live and believe as they choose to. I believe that people have lost their compassion, in the midst of their own trials and pain. As I have been shown more recently, we all struggle. Sometimes it is easy to believe someone’s life is better than yours. They don’t find themselves in similar situations that you do. They don’t have to struggle for money, or physical or mental illnesses, or people in their lives that hurt them in a physical/emotion or with addictive behaviors. But, I guarantee they know suffering in some way, shape or form. They have known loss. They have known defeat. They have struggled to make the best life they possibly can for themselves and their loved ones.
I believe that if we all started to just see this one thing, that every single person in this world has their crosses to bear, and that instead of placing the blame and condemning, we just loved them the way that God loves us, we might start to see a real change in this world we live in. God didn’t place any conditions on us when he said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” in John 13:34. God didn’t say turn your eyes away from the children of the world. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 There is a Sunday school song that pops into mind and I’m sure most of you have heard it before. Jesus loves the little children….all the children of the world…..Red and yellow, black and white….they are precious in his sight….Jesus loves the little children of the world.
How simplistic! It doesn’t matter what gender, color, age, ethnicity, religion or social situation these children are. Jesus loves them! When you look at that from a Biblical standpoint, we are God’s children and He loves us, no matter what, even if we aren’t calling to Him in our prayers. Does that make anyone else feel good? It does me, for sure.
I understand the fear, especially in the world we live in currently. There is a real threat to us and our way of life out there. I am not discrediting those things. A wise woman recently stated that it only took 19 terrorists to bring this country down to its knees. Once again, how simplistic. No matter how we’ve fought, no matter all the laws and regulations that have been put into place, we still will see evil and look it straight in its face. This is nothing new, and it will continue to manifest itself until the Lord calls us home. Did anyone believe that a small group (which obviously grew larger) would be able to incite so much fear and hate, that ultimately 6 MILLION Jews were slaughtered in Nazi Germany and surrounding counties? Nobody truly can know what is going to happen and I sure don’t have all of the answers, but I know what I can do to make the world just a little bit more livable than it currently is, and I know which way the Lord is leading me. Do I believe that comes with risk? Of course I do! I just know that there are plenty of good people; men, women and children, who have nothing in their hearts but fear and desperation for their lives and livelihoods. I don’t know what the compromise is, but I do know that God has always been constant in His love for us, and God has always led us to loving one another. I’m still filled with questions, but I at least know that.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6