Well shoot…..how do I write about this one? The previous posts along this nature haven’t been too hard, but this one….I’m struggling on a bit. I guess I just want to hide in my house, just a titch……and not say anything.
BUT……that’s not who I am anymore, so here goes.
Yesterday I took the next step in our lives and walked into a DSHS office asking for help with food and medical. I never thought, in a million years, that I would be in the “government help” system. They don’t call it “welfare” anymore, but that’s basically what it is. Again, I NEVER thought I would be asking for that kind of help. I’ve gotten used to the food bank, and that helping us out a bit, but to go there….to that office? Way out of my comfort zone…….
I’ve spent an average of $40 on groceries, per week, the last 3 weeks. For a family of four. That was my food budget for just Mark and I way back in the early days of our marriage. We’ve been making it work, but the future was not looking pretty. Finally, my husband said to go for it. So, I did.
I guess I wasn’t really that scared or embarrassed to go in there and ask for help. I mean….look at how the economy has touched people these days. There are SO many who are in our same boat. If I was too scared or proud to ask for help, my family would not get the good food they need. It was really a pretty easy process, and in the end, they approved us for emergency food help.
Let me just say that, when she told me how much I can get for help, my jaw dropped. Not that it was out of whack….it is actually just what I would guess most people with kids spend each week on food. It’s just that the amount was so much more than what I’ve been spending, I couldn’t process it. I literally sat there, almost crying, confused as to how to use that much money to feed my family. I haven’t been able to shop with a “real” amount of money in a while now, and literally didn’t know how to do it! Even now, a day later, I am stunned. I’m going to have to plan my meals out for this next week, so that when I go to the store I don’t waste the money I’ve been given. I want to use it to feed my family like I KNOW I want to feed them….not just getting by. I have wanted to incorporate more fresh foods into their meals, but haven’t been able to. The food bank usually barely covers fruit and veggies for two or three meals, let alone a full week’s worth. But with this…..I can feel good about how I’m feeding my family. One of my love gifts to my family is the food I prepare. It makes me feel good, and them feel loved, when I can put a good meal on the table. I am SO excited to put some meals together and start serving them!
We don’t know how long we will be in this boat. I’m working now. My husband is still doing his best to bring in money. For years though we’ve paid our dues, helping those who needed help. The system is there to help people like us, who just need some temporary assistance until things get better. This season will pass. I have a deep assurance of that in my heart.
I hope that, in reading this, people realize that there is no benefit in hiding what’s going on in life. Yes, be careful and don’t just blurt your life and it’s details to everyone. But, as I’ve said before, we need to stand together during this time. Don’t be ashamed of what’s going on, because life happens to everyone. Stand strong on your foundation, and THAT will get you through. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s like the man in the storm, who asks God to save him. Over the course of a few hours, a truck, a boat, and a helicopter come by saying “hop on!” He refuses, and ends up dying. In Heaven he asks God why he didn’t help. And God replied….”I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter, but you didn’t take advantage of the help I sent!” God wants to bless you and help you and pour out his grace in your life. Don’t turn away his help, simply because it’s not what YOU want it to look like.
Blessings to you and your family today.