When being a responsible adult looks irresponsible

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This was written on April 4th, 2013 in a coffee shop in Ottawa shortly before we left for Oregon.

Today I wrote a check that will clear out all our savings and leave us with just enough money to get through until the next paycheck, which will be in June. Maybe.

I’m all about saving money for a rainy day or an emergency and living as far below your means as possible. You know, responsible adult stuff. I  budget, get regular check-ups, serve at my church and teach my kids manners. This makes me a responsible adult, right?

For Ryan and I being responsible adults also means living life with meaning and a purpose. This has lead us to low paying jobs and several international moves. Next it means Ryan attending graduate school. Thus establishing a nest egg has been difficult (re: impossible) for us. Now what we have is headed off as the first tuition payment. I’ve come to be (mostly) okay with living on a modest income and am forced to find security in places other than my bank account.

But I’ve enjoyed watching our savings account grow, even though I knew it wasn’t meant to stay. So after I wrote the check reality started to set in. The money is still there, but it’s that much closer to being gone. My heart rate quickened, I felt flustered. What are we doing?!?! Don’t responsible adults accrue money, not send it all off in one fell swoop when they don’t even know if the end goal will be accomplished?

Yes, Erin, that’s what responsible adults do.

Responsible adults live the life God calls them to. It will look drastically different for every person but whatever it is, God calls us to faith in him. He expects us to move forward in him even when we can’t see an inch in front of our noses, much less where we’ll end up. He rewards each step of faith by revealing his greater faithfulness and bringing us that much closer to where he intends us to be.

I would not have been able to write that check if I had not already been in enough other situations where God proved himself faithful beyond what I would have expected.

This is being put to the test right now as Ryan prepares to get this master’s at a very expensive school. We’ve worked very hard for the past year to save enough to make the first payment. After that, we have no guarantee the rest of the money will be there. But after much prayer we truly feel this is what God is calling us to so onward we go.

God is always calling us to himself. He wants us to know him and to trust his direction for our lives. Even though the path God has lead our family on thus far is anything but straight forward and we rarely see what’s next until we’re there, he proves himself faithful time and time again. Though often times our knee-jerk reaction to what God lays before us is to recoil in fear, slowly we are stepping out in faith. Over time God calls us to greater and greater acts of faith as he builds in us a humble, trusting knowledge of his greatness and by his grace we are able to journey on with him as our guide.

Update: Ryan has completed half of his academic requirements for his MA and every penny we’ve needed has been there. In a couple of weeks I’m going to write another check that’s going to nearly clear us out again (this will be the third time) and every time I am amazed at how God provides. He has taken care of every need and more. Though at times my faith hangs by a thread and I doubt God will come through, I am learning to trust God as the Author of Life and surrender my desires to his will. Every time I do I am better for it and I become more aware of God’s love for me.

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One thought on “When being a responsible adult looks irresponsible

  1. First of all, I LOVE that posts from your early blog-writing days are beginning to surface. It’s like a little trip back in time to that lovely season of us being Ottawa neighbours.

    Second, I LOVE that I have a friend to experience the chaos of God’s mysterious love with. Because never ever would I, in my own plans, have said “yes, of course long distance marriage and an unpaid, high-fee internship in Africa”. Not logical, not practical, not my idea. And, of course (and thank the Lord), it wasn’t my idea; it was God’s. I really (really) need to remind myself more that, without God’s awesomeness, I would be somewhere totally boring and likely feeling malcontent.

    Faith is hard, isn’t it?

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