So we finally moved to the Charleston, SC area about a week and a half ago, and to be perfectly honest, it is really nice here. I can really see why everyone said it was such a pretty place, and I am really enjoying our new home. But, I have to admit that I didn’t start out with these pleasant feelings. Let me try to explain.
Before we left Louisiana, I was holding my breath. I knew my husband and I had planned appropriately for this trip. I knew that we saved more than enough money to move, plus live on in case a check was delayed (that’s what happened when we came to Louisiana). We even managed to save enough for me to actually decorate our home a bit more and get a load of household essentials that we were getting rid of before we moved. We planned a lot, and I was still holding my breath….just waiting for something to happen.
So the day our bed was supposed to be shipped (we had to get the mattress and box spring into very large boxes), we ran into our first problem. We fit the mattress in a box, but the box spring was just too large and tore the box. I just stood there for a moment thinking (I knew it), but I was able to readjust our order with the shipping company. We chose to toss the box spring, and I was able to find a platform bed frame online for less than $100. So, problem solved.
The morning we left, I was running around finishing a load of laundry, putting things into the car, trying to get breakfast, etc. I saw my daughter playing with my car keys (pressing buttons), and I managed to get her to stop while I finished packing up. With my husband watching her, I went out to put a basket in my car. Second problem: My car was locked, and I knew I had left it unlocked. Third problem: My car was running, but all the windows were up and the doors were locked. Fourth problem: The car was running, but I didn’t see any keys in the car. Let me tell you (well first, I’m sure most people wouldn’t interpret that as three separate problems, but in the mind of an overwhelmed and stressed woman, it was three problems that morning…lol)…so, I had an immediate sense of horror and dismay. I didn’t want to tell my husband that I locked my keys in the car (along with the spare key), but at the same time, I knew that I didn’t lock the keys in the car. So I dropped everything, ran in the house, found my keys, came back outside, and got into my car. Sure enough, the car was running, and my keys were in my hand. I tried putting it in the ignition, but it didn’t do anything. I freaked out, came back inside with the basket, walked up to my husband, and fell out crying on his shoulder with my daughter just looking surprised.
He’s so sweet and patient…smh…he finally got me to explain what happened, and he went outside with my keys. After a few minutes, he came back and said that the car worked, but he didn’t know what happened. Well obviously, I am more than paranoid at this moment, and I definitely don’t want to get on the road with a 1 year old and a car that can run by itself. So I call my car dealer and tried to explain the situation to them. They had no clue, but then they asked me if I had a remote starter on the car. I told them that I didn’t, and they kept saying that a remote starter was the only explanation for what happened and that I needed to look for an antenna and some wires. Well, eventually, I found this “remote starter”, and realized that my daughter had apparently pushed a button I had never touched, thus starting my car. Folks, it was the worse way to start our road trip, plus we were almost an hour behind schedule.
Fast forwarding, the rest of the trip went smoothly. We got to our hotel in South Carolina, signed our lease, moved in, and I started the process of buying the essentials. It was a long couple of days during that first week, and I was exhausted nearly every day. My exhaustion wasn’t coming necessarily because of the actual work, but because I was emotionally and mentally strained. I knew I wasn’t in a good place because I had hives during the entire move and through the first week (I get hives when I’m really stressed out). But by that Thursday, I finally broke down.
In a conversation with my husband, I admitted that I was having a hard time buying anything (which explained why I had to go back to the store each day) because I was just scared that something would happen. I didn’t know. I knew we planned and budgeted. I knew that I was safely within the budget…..real safe. Yet, I was scared and fearful to keep spending the money I knew we need to spend to get settled. In our conversation, I stated that I knew I didn’t have a love for money, but I felt like my anxiety and worry were falling near the same plane. Although I knew that God has and is keeping us, I kept looking for something to bad and unexpected to happen that would destroy our carefully worked out plan. My trust and faith in God was being diminished by an overwhelming fear of unknown circumstances and being in a situation where we really wouldn’t have enough money to make ends meet again. And I really didn’t want to go through that again.
Well, my husband has a great way of explaining things, especially when you’re already feeling convicted and wrong about a situation…lol. He explained that the love of money isn’t always the idea of being greedy for money all the time and trying to rob people blind for more money. But the love of money also includes just trying to hold on to money for security, for assurance, for peace of mind. You love money when having it (or even having a certain amount of it) gives you solace and peace of mind, as you trust that you’re going to be okay because it’s there. What makes it sinful is that God is supposed to be the one that you hold onto for security. Your assurance, solace, and peace should come from the One who reigns over heaven and earth, perfectly sovereign, who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11).
Well, let’s just say that I was shocked by this understanding, shocked that I could be guilty of such a sin. Me????? Yes, me. And it was only my own pride that kept me from seeing how long this sin had been at work in my life. I mean, I’ve been this way sense I was a teenager. Never trying to be a millionaire or anything like that, but always freaking out at any sign or sense of financial instability. I figured that this largely came from growing up in a home where money issues were almost always serious and dire. My husband can tell you that even in college, I couldn’t watch any of the CNN money shows or any report about finances and the stock market because I immediately got overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. I was just nervous when it came to money, spending more than I had, and borrowing any on credit. It has literally characterized much of my adult life when I think about it now.
But now I’m confronted with it all over again under the label of “sin”. And you know, I just broke down all over again. I hate sin. I hate knowing that I’ve sinned against God. And I really hate knowing that I was unknowingly sinning for so many years. It hurt. It really hurt. And then, it hurt my pride knowing that I was guilty of something that I would mentally point out in others whenever I saw it. It was a really hard and draining Thursday. I’m happy to say that I did confess my sin, repented, and found grace and peace from God. But it wasn’t easy, and I know that I am a long work in progress of not sliding into this sin again. Actually, it’s going to take a lot of humility before God and accountability with my husband to make sure I’m not sliding into this again.
So, I just wanted to share my experience here (blogging is almost like writing a personal journal entry sometimes). But if you happen to find out that you have been sharing this same love that I found myself in, that God’s grace is more than sufficient. Really, we serve a God who is not scared or intimidated by circumstances or sin. And He is more than intentional in perfecting and maturing all of His children, growing them up into the image of Christ, for His own glory.