The Contradiction

I want to be a family man. The problem is, the desire seems to fight against itself. I want to provide for my family, but I need more income to do so. I already work 50 hours a week. How does working 60-70 hours a week make me a better father? I’m simply taking time from my kid(s) and using it to make money.

I need more money to provide, but I cannot sufficiently provide (love, spelled T-I-M-E), and provide (money) at the same time.

Heaven help me. It feels like no matter what I do, I must sin in some way.

And when I find a contradiction like this, I strongly suspect Satan is at work. With God, you may find contrarieties, things difficult to explain or fathom, but never a contradiction.

Be gone, devil.

My Unemployment Testimony

This blog post is a testimony I gave before my church on the 5th of October.

From November 2011 to May 2012, I was unemployed. Ashlea was a student at the time and earned $400 a month, but rent was $450, not to mention other expenses such as food, utilities, car expenses, etc. Nevertheless, during this seven month period, we experienced nearly $5,000 in income outside of Ashlea’s job, and this was no accident; it was the provision of God.

I think it could almost go without saying I was kind of depressed during this time, and both of us felt frustrated. I can infer this, mostly because my memories of the time are few and fuzzy. One thing I do recall feeling, though, is an amazement at how God was providing. Even if God chose some.. odd ways.

One day, I was driving around, applying for jobs. I was travelling south on 19, in a rather rural area, when a lady pulled out right in front of me. Instead of rear-ending her, I chose to slide into the ditch, and my car got banged up. Her insurance company paid $1,400 for the damage to the car, and we sold the car to my brother for $600, which was a blessing for him too (but that’s another story). We took the $2,000 and purchased the car I still have today, and it has proved to be a blessing in cost, and as a learning experience… like how to drive stick and turn a wrench.

Another time, I found a computer at a garage sale for $5. I bought it, kept it, still use it today, and sold the computer I was using for $300.

During this time, I sensed God was providing in some extraordinary ways, and so I kept a spreadsheet detailing the extra income. We never knew where the funds would come from next, but we were never disappointed. I think at one point, the bank account reached single digits, but I don’t recall paying a bill late.

The church community came around us at this point, both this church here and our small group. The encouragement helped to keep us moving and searching. I keenly felt the words of Hebrews 10, “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

I kept track of where each piece of income came from, but if I thought about it and tried to find a deeper how or why behind the income or timing, the only clear answer was the provenance of God.

From this experience, I took away this lesson: Kaleb, hang your hat on God. Not because He took care of me this one time, but because of how this one time tells me about God’s character and person. Even when I don’t understand the action, I can believe in the great actor.