“Dimesell in De-Stress.”
I joined a business idea group in … say… June. I had an idea for a blog in… the fall? Something about learning to trust God more with money and with choices I made regarding money. Something about feeling less fragile about taking bigger risks with money… bigger than, say, whether I should sell fifty articles of clothing for a quarter apiece (Maximum value $12.50, hours of labor, 20)
Almost ten years ago- when we were freshly married- I had just come out of the mission field. I entered the mission field at the end of May 2008, and returned to the states the following year. I was so proud of the debt I paid off while I was on the mission field the first couple months and thought I would be done paying off debt in a year or two, and I would never have to worry about money getting in the way of serving Jesus. Then the world encountered a tiny hiccup…called the “Great Recession.”
Suddenly, the availability of money, and the potential lack of availability, and the pressing need to be absolutely responsible for my money took center stage. Where would I find the money to fly home when people were losing their homes? Who needed the money in my pockets so they could keep their homes? What if I didn’t have a useful skill when I got home and couldn’t find a job and was in debt forever?
It was a time a lot like now. I trusted in the goodness of God. But I didn’t know if a good God meant eating every day of my life for the rest of my life, in His eyes. Good fasts… so why would I need to eat every day. The Son of Man had no place to lay his head (Luke 9:58) so what does that look like in daily life?
The only thing I knew was that being in one half of the world while half my stuff was on the other side of the world and the economy collapsed was a little distracting. I spent the year trying to describe my doubt with the German world “Verzweifelt.” My understanding of the etymology of the word was that VER made it a verb, a specific kind of hyperbolic description of a process that happened to a person, place or thing… that zwei was describing two possibilities… and that the -felt ending described this process being completed in someone. As I understood the word in the third month of living in Germany for the very first time, I thought, “Gee, that sounds about right for a word about the double-mindedness of the doubter I feel like.” I had a little pin from a conference I attended that said “Verzweifeln/Verstaunen” depending on how you held it. “In doubt/amazed.” I thought this was the perfect way to describe how I felt.
Until a year after I returned from Germany and found out that it actually means “despairing,” and this is how I described my faith to almost every German I met.
Girl can’t get no respect….
This past two weeks, the financial world has ebbed because of a widespread virus. What’s changed?
I plan to let you know. But it’s half past midnight and the man I’ll be celebrating a decade with wants to sleep in this room.