Saturday, March 23, 2013

Money Queen

To get the money I need to pay rent, buy food, gas, etc., I write a check from my US bank account and go to a money exchange place.  I do this a couple of times a month, going to the same place downtown. 

Yesterday I received a call from one of the tellers.  There was a problem with my check, so could I come back and bring another one.  She was very nice about it, and told me they’d be open until 5. 
I hung up the phone and stood there.  That morning I had tried to get onto my bank’s website to check my balance, something I do nearly every day.  For the past two days I had been unable to get onto their site.  Why? 
My heart began to race, my chest clenched, and I had to consciously slow down my breathing.  My brain started spinning, and within 60 seconds, I had convinced myself that either (a) my bank had failed, or, (b) at the very least my identity had been stolen and someone had drained my account.  

Money is a problem for me.  Oh, I don’t want lots and lots of it, but I need to know I have enough.  When I’m not sure if I have enough, I get panicky.  I can trace it back to things that happened during my first marriage.  As I’ve written about before, my husband was an alcoholic which meant the majority of our money went to his addiction.
Even though it’s been nearly 12 years since he walked out, I continue to carry scars from that time.  Of the humiliation and helplessness of standing in line at advance paycheck places week after week.  Of scrounging through my husband’s pockets for change so I could roll coins to buy food.  Of phone call after phone call demanding payment.  Of late fees and over-limit charges on joint credit cards he used at bars, which stayed long after he left. 
It took five years, but I paid all of it off – nearly $30,000.  I’ve been debt-free for more than seven years and actually have some money in savings.  But, as yesterday showed me, I am not yet healed. 
As I mentioned, I check my bank balance nearly every day.  I also check my SI account, fretting if it looks like someone is no longer supporting me.  Sometimes the office gets busy, and they don’t post things right away.  In my head, I know this.  But, those feelings start to creep in.
It turns out the only problem at the money exchange place was with my writing.  For any of you who have ever seen it, you won’t be surprised!  All I needed to do was re-write the check, taking my time to make sure it was legible.  Five minutes later, out I walked, the world a happy place once more.
Hours later, I still felt elated… and then shocked when I realized it was still impacting me. 

A wise person (Carlos) suggested that God is inviting me to face this fear.  The person I once loved and trusted betrayed me, and so I closed off that area, vowing to never again feel helpless about money.  In the years since, I’ve allowed God to be the Lord of much of my life, but, as yesterday painfully showed, there are places where I am still the queen.
And so, I’m going to accept our loving Father’s invitation to allow Him to take over this part of my life.  First thing, I’m going to stop checking my balances so often. 

Next, I’m going to take time to ‘go back’ to those dark years.  I’ve ignored them for a long time, but they are still there, festering.  Until I face them, allowing the Holy Spirit to redeem them, I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy true freedom. 

I’m writing about this because if it’s ‘out there’ it will help hold me accountable.  I have to confess, even as I write this, I’m starting to feel panicky. 
But, I know that God has been doing powerful things in my life.  He has healed me in so many ways, and His desire is that I live free in Him.  I’m sure I’ll stumble some, but I have to have faith that the One who is inviting me to abandon my fear is the One who will see it through to completion. 
I pray that whatever ‘unfinished business’ you may have, you, too, will allow our all-loving, all-powerful God to enter in.  In Him alone is redemption, restoration and freedom.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! Really blessed me, and I know it wasn't easy to write.