Ask, and It Shall Be Given You; Seek, and Ye Shall Find
When last we spoke, my church’s congregation had been tasked with writing a list of our fears so that we could nail them to the cross on Good Friday. Of course this was optional, as all recovery suggestions are. But also like all recovery suggestions, it burrowed into my brain and said, “This is a good thing for you and if you don’t do it you’ll pay!” So, I treated it just like all recovery suggestions, I said, “Oh, yes, I’ll definitely do that!” and then proceeded to procrastinate and think of all the reasons why I didn’t actually need to do it. I mean, I have to work Friday, so I probably won’t be able to make the noon service anyway. And I’m really doing alright lately, finally making some big decisions I’ve been putting off for a long time. I’m not exactly feeling the need to do another fear inventory right now.
And then, I snapped to something I had overlooked in my planning process. See, this whole decision to leave my job & go back to school full time has been a bit daunting. I’ve been quite concerned about the financial aspect of it, but I have talked it over with my sponsor and my husband and my God and we’re all in agreement that this is the right choice. God has always provided for me before and He will again. Yes, it’s going to require some serious belt-tightening and most likely some very drastic lifestyle changes, but it’ll work out. I don’t have any clue how it’ll work out, but at least I’m heading in the right direction now. I am completely at peace with this decision and excited about my new opportunities.
Until I remembered that I have to pay for health insurance. Now, I already figured that I would have to get some sort of part time job to cover one monthly obligation and to help make ends meet. After factoring in my insurance payment, though, I am going to have to bring home roughly $750/month just to cover my monthly obligations before I can even contribute anything to the household or cover school costs. Ouch! Immediately, I began to panic. I have NOT prepared for this move AT ALL! I started rethinking my decision, “Well, maybe I can hold off leaving work for a little while.” And then I started panicking just thinking about having to stay in this soul-sucking job any longer.
Then, I had to call the bank because they’ve been doing this stupid thing with our accounts lately which is causing no end of hassle. If they keep this up, it’s going to be near impossible to successfully manage our limited funds. I got very overwhelmed when I was on the phone with them. I was so frustrated and angry that I started crying. Truth be told, I spent most of the day on the verge of tears. It was like all of a sudden I realized just how NOT okay I was.
So, I met up with my husband and talked to him about the bank ordeal and made a little suggestion which may fix the problem – namely, we reduce our “his, hers & ours” accounts to simply an “ours” account. And before he said anything, the look in his eyes brought up a whole host of fears. I met my husband at my home group when I first got sober. He had about 3 months at that time. I absolutely adore being married to a sober person and I don’t know how anyone in sobriety can fall in love with a normie. We have so much in common! We talk recovery all the time; we support each other and understand the pitfalls that alcoholics sometimes face. But, he’s a f&#king alcoholic, so he’s got his issues he’s still dealing with. This plan is going to require a whole heckuva lotta coordination between the two of us and even more trust and understanding. The sorts of things we’re going to have to do to make this successful are big time hot button issues with him. Consciously, he’s completely on board, but he does have these residual fears which are making his subconscious a wee bit squeamish with the arrangement. (And by “wee bit squeamish,” of course, I mean “Oh, God, NO! What are you thinking, man!?”)
By the end of the day, I was all wrapped up in fear on top of fear on top of fear. “Can we really afford to do this?” “What if we can’t resolve this bank situation before I leave work?” “What if the mister flips out on me halfway through this thing and resents me for making him pull all the financial weight?” (Which, given our history, is not an unlikely occurrence.) “Am I really making the right decision here or am I foolishly giving up financial security for nothing?”
After working with a sponsee and helping her through some of her issues, I was feeling much calmer again. I had identified some really valid fears, but I would write them down and deal with them instead of letting them overwhelm me and keep me from doing what I know in my heart I need to do. “Thank you, God, for the reminder. You’re right, I do still have a lot of work to do on my fears.”
I came home to relax for the evening and opened up “ye olde blogg” to moderate some new comments. One just happened to be someone encouraging me to write and publish my story. Pretty awesome. Except, I’ve always feared writing. It’s this sort of fear where I really want to do it and I think I’m fairly decent at it, but what if I put all this work into it and no one wants to read it? Or what if everyone DOES want to read it and then they want me to write more, but I can’t? Or what it, just like so many things in my life, I start and then can’t finish it?
Alright, God, now you’re just showing off.
Yes, I did open the door by saying I was going to do this whole listing my fears thing. How else was I going to find them if they didn’t come up and smack me in the face?
So, here I am, writing them down and nailing them to the cross. You can have them, God. I’ll take the peace that passes understanding instead.