Shadow Of Victory

Monday, 16 November 2009

Monday 16th F is for Finances

F is for Finances and F is for Faith....and we are on a journey that seems to be never-ending and at times resembles a roller coaster of immense proportions. To recap...we are in the 4th year of our IVA and for the last year or so Chris has his safe secure employment of 30 years turned upside down by Anacomp going into administration.We had months of not knowing what would happen and the threat of redundancy hanging over us to then find that Formscan had bought it over. We breathed deep and thanked God for continuing to care for us and sighed relief into our praises and reminded ourselves that God

"would never leave us or forsake us" and that "the plans He has for us are not to harm us but to prosper us ".

And so....6 months on we have just heard that Formscan has lost its major client and that cutbacks are on the cards and as the TUPE regulations under which Chris transferred all his conditions of employment etc has now run out we are once more faced with the possibility of redundancy. This in itself isn't the huge threat..but for our IVA it could the death knell and could bring us to the point of failing it and/or having to go bankrupt and/or losing our house. We are once again on the roller coaster and hurtling into the unknown..( just for the record...I don't do roller coasters of any description!)Add to this my own employment I am self employed I have to trust that the income I earn will always be there..but I have no guarantee that this will be the between the two of us we are once more hanging on tightly to a white knuckle ride.

I have long since stopped worrying about bankruptcy...God is God and whatever happens here in our lives .....He will never change and we can always trust that whatever happens to us will ultimately be in His hands.This is something we have learned this last 3 years... the F word for our Finances

One of the things I am struggling with isn't Faith for our Finances its the whole issue of being unable to be free to "give ". It has been highlighted more than usual this last few days as we have been to a CAP fundraiser..( CAP...Christians against Poverty ) and they were looking to raise 140,000 in one evening..there were approx 400 people there and I guess most of them were the big givers that are a huge part of CAPs fundraising . The guy who was speaking talked a bit about how much they wanted to raise etc and then he said..."some of you may only be able to give as little as 250.00 but some of you may be able to give 1000.00 and more "..Chris and I looked at each other and just thought "oh dear..the little bit of cash we had brought with us was so pitiful".....Then on Sunday at church we had a gift day for the work we are involved with in Serenje and the little we had to give seemed so small .

Ben Davies used to quote from

Proverbs 22 verse 7.." and the borrower is servant to the lender"

and it is at times like this that we realise just how true that verse is !!..We are unable to tithe and we have lost the freedom to use the little money we do have spare each month without a great deal of thought. Gone are the days when we could spontaneously go away for a weekend or buy an outfit and certainly as seen this last weekend we are severely hampered in our ability to respond to giving to the causes we are involved with. We have 680.00 going out each month to our IVA paying off debts and have done so for over three years with the prospect of a further two years still to go and this would more than cover our tithe as well as
"free" money with which we could engage more in the areas we would like to give to.

Ben Davies preached on Sunday and asked people who wanted to be "risky givers" to come forward for prayer..we went forward and Simon prayed for us .He prayed about the guilt we still sometimes feel about our situation and asked God to release us again from the feelings of shame and that we would know Gods peace.He also prayed that we would have money come in prayer at times has always been that God would provide us with enough money to offer what is called a "full and final" offer to the IVA to finish it off early. I am once again prompted to pray for this lump sum to come in but if not....then our prayer is that we remain in secure employment at least until we are able to be debt free in September 2011 ........
I am longing for that day when we have paid off all our debts and we are free !!

Two things to finish of this blog entry....

1)we did give to CAP and Serenje and actually felt really peaceful about it...we have learned over the years that God look at our hearts and our spirit and one major thing Ben Davies has taught us over the last 25 years is that we shouldn't feel under compulsion to give and that God wants us to be "cheerful " our small amount went into both the offering baskets with a smile !!
2)When Chris heard about what was happening at his work he talked to his boss and explained about the debt and IVA and his boss was incredibly sympathetic and said he would keep that in consideration over next few months as they seek to work through the cutbacks. He said he would do all he could even if it meant cutting him to a 3 or 4 day week etc... I am just so proud of my gorgeous hubby that he had the guts to admit to his boss our isn't easy to be so open and vulnerable outside in the big world of business. I go again...not knowing what the future holds ..I wish I was so mature to have that "what will be.....will be " attitude but to be honest I know I will have to hang on the F word tightly as we wait to hear what is going to happen in next few months. Please keep loving us encouraging us and praying for us...we are so grateful.


sandra said...

I too don't do rollercoasters...I love to be in control and know exactly what is expected of me and exactly what is ahead of me....God however doesn't work like that!!! This is a lesson I too am learning along with the having faith and guts bit!!
Thankyou Irene for your openness and willingness to listen, prayers, hugs, love and encouragement all coming your way. God will honour you for your serving, faith and the love you show others xx

Sarah L said...

Praying for you both in this - God has got you in his hands and has good things for you! I remember once Ben D preaching about money (!) and telling a story about kissing the £10 note before putting it in the offering and saying "see you later" as he believed God would be giving it back to him! When giving any amount of money God sees your heart and will bless you abunduntly!! You are both an inspiration to everyone around you and your honesty with what you are going thru helps everyone who reads it! Keep going Irene, God will provide all that you need - remember he never gives you more than you can handle :o) xx

Caroline said...

When it comes to giving, I taught our kids when they were small to think of it this way...

If your little rich friend (LRF) takes a present to the birthday party, it perhaps cost her nothing, as her mum bought it for her. Or maybe it cost her like a quarter of her pocket money. It's a lovely present, who wouldn't want it?

But YOU, you've used ALL of your pocket-money, which even to start with is about a tenth of what your LRF gets to spend.

So who gave more? Your LRF who barely knows how much she's given, although it looks good... or YOU who gave more than you could really afford just to give SOMETHING?

NEVER feel you're not giving enough Irene. Not when you know you're at least trying. You can't get blood out of a stone (is that not somewhere in the bible?).