Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From Surviving to Trusting

As a young child, I had an Old Maid card game.  On one of the cards was a banker with a big smile on his face and stacks of money in the background. There was no question what I wanted to be when I grew up - a banker.  A little later on, when I found out that the tooth fairy gives you money in exchange for your teeth, I would sit and wiggle and pry at my teeth until I loosened them just so I could cash in.  When I was given $5.00 for a birthday gift from the grandparents, I wouldn't spend it.  I would put it in the bank (I had my own bank account at a pretty young age). Halloween time, I wouldn't eat all my candy.  I would save it.

I realize....I had issues.

It didn't stop in childhood.   When I got to high school, I thought it was more important to work as much as possible than join school related activities because I was hoping I could save enough to pay for college.  Too bad I didn't know that 10 years later I would still be paying student loans.

As an adult, I didn't become a banker but looking back I don't know why I didn't go into finance.  I like to crunch numbers, I like making a budget, I like saving up to buy things and I always pay my bills on time.  I like to feel in control of my money. 

When Parker came along and we started seeing medical bills that totaled more than everything we own combined (including our house), I freaked out.  I won't go into specifics on how much Parker's bills have totaled but let's just say it's A LOT.

We do have health insurance through Paul's job but we go over our YEARLY cap for medical equipment in less than one month so needless to say I was worried.  I fretted and stressed out and wondered what in the world we were going to do.  I remember thinking, "How are we going to survive this?"

I was reminded of this yesterday at my MOPS group when we had a speaker talk to us about the 4 modes we can live in:

1) Pleasing mode (always trying to please everyone around you)
2) Striving mode (always trying to strive for and accomplish things)
3) Survival mode (just trying to make it through the next moment or day or week or whatever)
4) Trusting mode (living your life fully trusting God and letting him take control)

Well, it took me no time at all to admit that I am in full survival mode.  I don't plan ahead if I can help it, I just focus on getting through each day and each week.  Thinking about several months down the road is hard for me right now.  I'm trying to maintain control and I am NOT doing a good job of putting my trust over to God and remembering that he really is enough.  He has a plan and through him I will get through this. 

Knowing this and acting upon this are two different things.  I don't know why it's so hard just to let go and say, "God I can't do this on my own anymore.  I need your help."  But it is.

Looking back, I wish I would've been able to switch modes regarding the financial concerns I had with Parker's medical bills.  I was in survival mode but needed to be in trusting mode.  God has always provided for us and this instance would be no different.

Due to all of Parker's health issues, he needs what they call "skilled care".  Kids with high medical needs like Parker used to have to be cared for in nursing facilities or hospital settings because home based care wasn't as widely available.  Fortunately, now there are programs available that allow children like Parker to remain in their homes with appropriate services in place because it's better for the child and family and much cheaper for everyone.  The program that was the answer for us was Katie Beckett.  This program is what makes it possible for Parker to remain at home and us not to drown in medical bills.  It covers the nursing services we receive and picks up the leftover costs after our primary insurance.  Luckily, when Parker was found eligible for the Katie Beckett program, they went back to November 1st to make it active.  You know what that means?  All of the big bills that Parker had were covered. 


I'm so glad that people who live more under the "trusting mode" were praying for us and praying for our financial worries to be taken care of.  Thank you!

We do, of course, still have expenses related to Parker's medical care but they are so small in comparison to what they could have been.  I do know there will come a time when he will no longer qualify for Katie Beckett.  I know the healthcare system is in trouble and I know programs like Medicaid/Medicare etc. are in jeopardy.

So, I will continue to save for those times.  That's just how I'm hard-wired.  But, I won't go as crazy as I have in the past. I will try to better trust in God and know that he is enough. He will get us through.  And even if we fall on hard times, some good will come of it - it always does.  I will strive to live in a more trusting mode.

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