Facing Financial Fear
Facing financial fear is more relevant today than ever. With COVID-19 raging through our country, businesses are scrambling to stay afloat. Layoffs and closures are happening every day at a shocking pace. My heart breaks for those who are now facing significant financial uncertainty. I understand personally what it means to not know where your next paycheck will come from.
Several years ago my husband and I found ourselves facing significant financial instability. We had started a business with friends that initially was very successful. In fact, the business performed so well the first few years that my husband left his lucrative job at Google to join the ranks. Unfortunately, shortly after this leap of faith, our business plummeted. We found ourselves living “invoice to invoice”. We had employees to feed as well as our own families. To say that I was constantly facing financial fear was an understatement.
I had grown up in a conservative midwestern town. My parents were fiscally responsible, frugal at best and cheap at worst. I was raised to save for rainy days and it was an embarrassment if you couldn’t pay your bills. So during this financial storm, I found myself battling financial lack, shame, and doubt. I wasn’t supposed to call credit card companies and ask for payment extensions. I wasn’t supposed to have employees if I couldn’t pay myself. I wasn’t supposed to have nice things if I hadn’t saved enough to own it. I wasn’t supposed to be in this situation.
The problem with all those voices inside my head was that they didn’t really help me. Shaming myself for being in the situation didn’t solve the problem. My husband and our entire team were working their fingers to the bone. We were making sacrifices every moment to stretch what little resource we had coming in. Yet we were consistently in a financial deficit. The financial fear we faced was real and it was relentless.
Financial fears have a way of multiplying themselves. Fear, in general, grows like moldy bread. I found myself considering the worst-case scenario all the time. Reality left the building. My mindset became like chicken little. As soon as I opened another bill I immediately thought about eviction notices. This lead to some serious prayer tantrums before God. I began to beg God to rescue us daily.
I wasn’t praying with faith, I was praying out of fear.
I was forced to come to terms with my beliefs. Well, truthfully it was my unbelief. I had to face my financial fears head-on.
Facing Financial Fear
I had a close personal friend challenge me. She asked if I truly believed what God said in the bible? Did I believe in his promises? At the moment, I was offended that she even asked that question. I was a God-fearing Christian. Of course, I believed in his promises. At least I thought I did.
She went on to dare me to believe before I received it. This principle wasn’t new as I had heard it from many pastors. However, I never had to walk it out before. She told me to pray over my budget as though it was profitable, even though numerically it was impossible.
Believe before your receive
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)
This verse challenged me to believe in the future I couldn’t see. I realized my faith was weak. I struggled to believe for myself that God would provide. Faithful stewardship of finances was the thing that provided. Right? That is what I grew up learning and knowing deep down that hard work and effort led to security. What God showed me that I wasn’t fully trusting in him. I had positioned financial security over God.
Seek to serve God first.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
I had known this verse for most of my Christian life. In fact, the previous verses deal specifically with worrying about what you will eat, wear, drink, etc. I parked in this segment of scripture and felt convicted deeply that I was worrying constantly about these things. God promised that if I would SEEK him first that he would take care of all of those worldly needs. What did it mean for me to earnestly seek God?
Study the word of God.
I began to look into other scriptures that talked about financial promises and coping with hardships. Here are some of the ones I began praying over myself and our company.
If you are currently facing financial fears I want to challenge you to pray some of these scriptures over your own life. Look at your circumstances honestly. Ask for help if you need it. Lay down your pride and be willing to close your business or take a new job that is “below your paygrade”. I am confident that you will discover God’s plans for you are good.
5 Tips To Survive Social Distancing.
It’s approximately day 14 of our family observing social distancing. I am pleasantly surprised at how well all of us are doing. Out of the four of us, two are definitive extroverts and the other two are ambiverts. (Yes, an ambivert is a thing...that’s what I am). My husband thrives in large groups and is prone to cabin fever more than the rest of us. He is doing better than expected in our new rhythm of social distancing. Here are a few things we have started in order to help him and the rest of us survive social distancing over the next few weeks or months.
Set a flexible routine.
Even though we are confined to our homes and find ourselves with extra time on our hands it is important to adopt a routine. I don’t know about you but I’m not very productive without some sort of structure. Keep the structure flexible so that you can take advantage of beautiful outside weather for a picnic or cozy up to watch a thunderstorm. We created a weekly chart of the activities that we want to accomplish each day. You can see it below.
Get outside as much as possible.
It is really unbelievable how much a day outside can brighten your spirits and help you to feel less confined. Whether you just sit in your backyard or go for a walk with the dog, take some time to be outside each day if the weather permits. Even if you live in a rainy or cold place put on some waterproof warm clothes and get out in it.
Host virtual social gatherings.
If you are like our family you are used to having a full social calendar. This social distancing thing is taking a toll. So we are hosting virtual dinners with friends. We plan a time to meet via zoom or Google hangouts. We all cook something delicious and sit at the table together and have a conversation. Even though it isn’t the same it helps to temporarily fill the need for interaction with people. Here are a few other types of social gatherings you can try virtually:
I realize that “virtual” is not the same as the “real” thing but hosting these types of connected experiences can help you survive the next few weeks or months.
I have seen this posted on every coping blog I have read since the COVID-19 pandemic began. You might be saying, yes but I didn’t exercise much before this whole thing began. That might be true but there is no better time to start an exercise program than now. You don’t need much to get started other than a little bit of floor space and a phone or screen that connects to the internet. Try out some of the free online options that companies like Nike Training Club, Planet Fitness and Core Power Yoga are offering during this crisis. Exercise is a gift to yourself. It is one of the best stress reducers and immune system boosters available.
Have a "go-to" list of boredom busters.
I have a bucket list a mile long. Because of my ambivert personality, I have a pretty good mix of introvert and extroverted ideas. Here is a small portion of my personal boredom busting list.
None of us know when COVID-19 will be fully eradicated or even contained. This means that we all need to adopt healthy ways to cope with the new reality of social distancing. If your family is like mine and a mix of extroverts and ambiverts I hope these tips will help you. However, if you have a family of introverts please leave your tips in the comments below...I’m gonna need more ideas! Stay well, and I hope we can connect face to face with our loved ones soon.