I realized something startling about myself tonight.
For years it has been a running joke that I don’t get the mail in the mailbox until the poor thing is so crammed full that it is literally vomiting pieces of mail. Or the mail person has lost patience with me and stopped my mail service all together requiring me to make a trip to the post office to get the massive piles of accumulated mail with our names on it.
I have come up with various reasons, ahem, excuses, for this over the years that have always been readily accepted:
- It isn’t a priority for me because all of our bills come electronically so the only thing in there is junk mail
- I am so busy I forget
- I get home so late that it is already dark so I don’t stop at the box
- I get home and have to immediately start supper if we want to eat before midnight
Our address has changed but the excuses have not. I have been just as “forgetful” getting the mail out of our mailbox at our new address as I was at our previous address of eight years. I have been very grateful to this new post person that anytime I order packages they have been very considerate and placed them on my porch.
However, today I was expecting my latest package from Amazon with the required books for my January Fellow’s reading. Faithfully all day long I have kept a watchful eye on the porch. Books are my precious friends, and as it has been a delightful winter mix of precipitation today, I wanted to retrieve them from the porch as soon as possible.
The package never showed up on the porch.
So I hemmed and hawed and finally realized the package must have been small enough to fit in the box.
I was going to have to get the mail.
The very thought of this filled me with dread.
I realized as I walked through the cold winter mist towards the mail box in the fading daylight that I was terrified to get the mail. In fact, I have been afraid to get the mail for several years now. To the point of feeling sick.
Why on earth would a person be afraid to get the mail?
Because this particular person and her husband went through years of financial struggles. The mailbox became a place of bad news. Bills that were past due on an income that couldn’t get caught up.
It is no secret that we have always lived very pay check to pay check. We would just barely get by. We would occasionally rob Peter to pay Paul. But we got by.
Until the day thirteen years ago when my husband, through no fault of his own, lost his job.
We had no savings.
I still had my job, but it was nowhere near enough to cover our monthly expenses. We got behind on car payments and mortgage payments. By the time another job was found six months had passed. There was no catching up.
So we filed bankruptcy. The kind where you still get to keep everything while catching up.
Then we had a baby.
Our already stretched thin income became even thinner with the new expenses of daycare. We never truly recovered from the months my husband was unemployed. We had no choice left but to file for bankruptcy again. This time is was the big one.
We lost our house.
Even then, we still had a very rough road. We had bad credit for several years. Our income didn’t quickly increase and our expenses didn’t go down. We didn’t have a mortgage anymore, but we still had to pay rent.
Fortunately, ten years later, our financial picture is much brighter. Through hard work and divine leading our income has gradually increased. God has been very faithful to us and has continued to bless us abundantly.
This past August we FINALLY were able to purchase a home! Through out the entire process that began back in April of 2015 we could see the hand of Providence moving. He ironed out all the details and has provided for us the perfect house to make our home in.
For the first time ever we can comfortably pay our monthly expenses and actually have a little something left over at the end of the month.
But I am still afraid of getting the mail.
It struck me as I was taking that cold brisk walk down our driveway.
No matter how much we know and believe that God will provide for us, Satan still has the ability to zero in on that insecurity in me. He continues to exploit on my fears and by doing so is distracting me from all the wonderful ways God has provided for us over the years.
And God will continue to provide for us.
I would like to say that this realization has cured me and that I will once more get the mail everyday like a normal person. That is my intention. But the seeds of doubt and fear that the devil sows in us can be very powerful things.
It is going to take me being very intentional about not letting those words of fear be whispered into my ears. It sounds like such a little trivial thing to get the mail. And that my friends is the whole point here.
Satan steals our confidence and robs us of our joy in being the chosen children of our most holy God with the small everyday things.
I refuse to allow him to win this battle anymore. The war has already been fought and won.
Jesus Christ conquered this world and took authority away from Satan on the cross.
He has redeemed me.
No more shame.
No more anxiety.
No more worries.
I am a beloved child of God.
I am enough.
And I will joyfully get my mail every day.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8 (NRSV)