I was given the book "WHEN How to Alleviate Poverty HELPING Without Hurting the Poor HURTS ...and Yourself" by Steve Corbet & Brian Fikkert by the Womens Pastor at my church. I found myself reading the section on "Who are the Poor?" & "When Helping Hurts" I found myself reading about my life.
You say "Her life?" You see I found myself almost 18yrs ago one day go from a Wife & Mother to a Single Mom of a 4 month old & a 19 month. I felt like such a failure & it was awhile before I could face my family as a failure in marriage & almost everything else in my life. I found myself on welfare living in low cost housing. I wasn't only living in poverty as most people think of being money, I was experiencing poverty in being as the book states.
I found myself struggling for basic needs as in the beginning child support wasn't reliable. You say but you were on welfare that should have supplied your needs. What some people realize is sporadic child support was worse than none as your next welfare check was based on the income of last month and this would mean if you received support the one month your welfare check would be less the next month & if the child support didn't show when your check was less you would have to survive on less until the following month.
I use to hope that someone would invite us out to dinner so that was one less meal I had to figure out how to afford. I use to live at Pizza Hut one day a week, it was all you could eat & the kids ate free until they were three so they could eat their fill so they were full & felt like they were being treated, if they only knew. I had to be careful when I went grocery shopping. I always felt guilty as Pasta became a staple because it was cheap & filled the tummy. I spent many meals telling the kids mom isn't eating because I wasn't really hungry right now, I couldn't tell them that we didn't have enough food.
Thanks giving & Christmas would come around & we would be blessed with food hampers & presents. I was so happy the kids would have presents & food, I was thankful for the help. I found myself though feeling more & more like a failure as it was my responsibility to provide for my children & I couldn't. I can still remember the feelings that would go through my head every time I stood in the welfare line & the food bank line, I felt more & more like a failure. I had lost my dignity & my sense of ever being able to change my circumstances.
I wasn't looking for a handout I was looking for someone to say there is hope, life can & will get better. You aren't a loser & a failure. I love you unconditionally! I needed a Saviour!
I felt like this until I found myself exhausted with two children that slept at opposite times, the kids were about 3 & 4, when someone invited me to a coffee connections at a local church. I was hesitant until they mentioned free daycare. Time to re coop & be me for even a couple of hours a week.
I had no clue where this would lead.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute. Proverbs 31:8
To be continued.
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