I’m pretty sure the little girl in the pew in front of me this morning was a little freaked out when she looked back and saw me crying during the prayer.
It was kind of a low point.
Being broke is a suffocating hardship that people don’t like to talk about, or help you out with. Or maybe I just don’t like talking about it, or asking for help, because I feel like it’s a personal failure for me to be this poor.
I made a $728-student-loan payment this month.
That’s nearly half my monthly take-home pay.
And, I had just spent $6.15 on food for the day’s youth group lunch, leaving me an empty tank of gas and $27 for the next two weeks.
So yes, I was crying during the prayer.
The only solution I could come up with by myself was pretty bleak.
I figured, I spend about 20 hours a week doing youth-group leader related activities. (It’s not a paid position). And then I spend the rest of my time at my day job. ( Barely a paid position). I’ve been looking for a second job, (which would really be a third job), but that’s hard to find without any availability. And really, if I’m being honest, I kind of like sleeping every night, so I don’t where I could fit anything else in to my schedule.
As I sat in the wooden pew and held to the Bible for dear life, I thought, ‘I just can’t do this. Not right now. I have to find another source of income. I have to. And youth group is just too much time.’
The idea of quitting hit me hard though. It hit me in my soul. For those unfamiliar with such a hit, it’s like getting whacked in the chest with a baseball bat, and then having someone tragically dump you, and then having your car break down – all at once.
I love my youth group work.
When I’m doing it, I feel at peace, and complete, and inspired. I pray everyday for God to use me as a tool, and every Sunday, he does.
I was feeling very desperate though.
I was crying, yes, but I was also begging God for help. Pleading, desperately, for something. Anything.
And I was trying to remember what a friend of mine said about how God gives us our daily bread. Not our weekly bread. Or our monthly bread. Our daily bread. He gets us through each day, and gives us what we need, and why would we ever have to ask for anything more?
But it’s hard to think that when you have no money.
And everyone was trying to talk to me about stuff at church. All, ‘Did you take care of this?’ And ‘What are your plans for that?’ And ‘How are the youth doing with this?’ and I was on the verge of running to bathroom in tears. I was about two inches away from crying on a toilet for 15 minutes.
I didn’t. But the possibility was right there.
After service, I was trying to handle things, and figure out a plan, and not cry during fellowship time when one of the former youth leaders started talking to me about mission trip planning.
I wouldn’t say we are “close,” but by this point, I was very frustrated and very exasperated and, finally, instead of crying hysterically I just blurted out , ‘I need help with buying the youth group lunches. I have somehow just ended up doing it myself nearly every week. And I can’t afford to. I just can’t. I cannot afford it.’
Maybe he saw the tears in my eyes, or he recognized my struggle because he knows what it’s like try to teach teens about God while playing pumpkin olympics and coordinating pie sales, but whatever it was, within about 2 minutes, he was handing me $40 cash.
I hugged him.
I have never hugged him before.
But he had just saved me.
He had gotten me through the day.
And I remembered, again, that God always gives us what we need.