It is Tuesday afternoon, I’ve had a bad headache all day, and it seems a good time to begin an article that came into my thoughts yesterday. It was then that I read an interesting blog post called The Stench by a very popular blogger who calls her blog: Beauty Beyond Bones. I do not know the author, but she writes:
This blog chronicles my journey from severe anorexia to recovery, and every twist and turn along the way.
In her blog post entitled The Stench, she is writing about a dead body. A particular dead body, one that has been several days rotting in the tomb. She then weaves into that tale a very interesting piece about the stench in her own life. I would encourage you to read her post here: https://beautybeyondbones.com/2017/04/03/the-stench/
She makes her living as a writer, and if you like what you read, you could make a financial donation to her. You can do that here: https://beautybeyondbones.com/support-bbb-on-patreon/
Upon reflection of her blog post, I decided to ponder the stench in my own life. Since January 5, 2009, my husband and I have had quite a few adventures. That was the day I lost my grant writing job which I had held for many years. Since then I have worked with my husband in our own business, moved across the country, spent a couple of semesters as an adjunct instructor of English Composition and then endured a two-year stint in an ill-fitting technical support call center here in Tucson, Arizona. It was that job which I quit voluntarily to pursue writing.
I have a variety of freelance prospects and have been contacted to work on a few projects. But poverty encircles our home. My husband’s former boss last had need of him in January of 2015. Thankfully I have had some paying musician jobs for our church. But now in the nth year of under-or-unemployment our debt is growing, our reserves are shrinking, and my fear is daunting. I have written about debt many times. I am sure that some of my readers will wonder at the idiocy of quitting a paying job. One of my dear cousins counseled me not to quit my day job before securing a writing job. For some reason, I came to believe that my mental health was taking a beating and that my ill-fitting job required radical surgery to fix. There was no time nor energy left to try to start a new writing job around the edges of my day job. In my defense, I didn’t quit my job unilaterally. I left my job after many conversations with my husband who was willing to sink or swim with me.
On the 20th of last month, I called our financial wizard and asked him to close out a small brokerage account we had, which has kept us afloat at various times in the past. I needed some of the money to pay our attorney to form an LLC for my new writing business. We planned to use some of the money to build up our savings again, and, this week, frankly, to buy groceries. That, my friends, is the stench. The check was supposed to come by the 30th. It is now the fourth day of April, and it has still not come. We have received an apology, but as yet, the check has not arrived.
Stepping out of the boat, in faith, on rough and tumultuous water is scary. When we look down, we sink. I asked my husband for reassurance today that we would stay afloat through these particular stormy seas and stench-filled patch. He answered with assurance as he always does. We are in good hands. We need to keep on keeping on. We need to have faith that our prayers will be answered this time as well. It was Lazarus that was rotting in the tomb. But raising him from the dead was not too big of a job for his Lord. The debt that is rotting in our house seems to grow in exponential ways, but it is not beyond the powers of our Lord and our God.
I don’t know when our check will come. I don’t know when potential clients will decide to sign on the dotted line allowing me to do their work, complete their websites and promotional material in exchange for payment. I don’t know how soon I can get the LLC signed, get my business website designed, secure more work and begin to turn things around for the two of us. The stench has me worried.
But stench – from debt, anorexia, even death – whatever the stench in any of our lives – it is not insurmountable. It is, after all, only a smell. A bad smell – but something that can be made right. Somehow, I know not how, but somehow this particular debt-burdened stink will be put right. Somehow we will float again. Our God is not going to stop. It is only worrying that hinders us. Fear causes us to look down into the swirling waves. Scripture calls that fear sin. We need to stop, turn around, and look at Our Lord. Even now. Even with the stench of debt. We are in good hands. Now and always.