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Single Parenting: End-of-the-Month Worries

When you have more bills than money

Sudden panic jolted my heart. No matter how I divided my income for the month, I realized I didn't have enough to pay my bills. The queasiness in my stomach didn't help matters either. I slumped down and leaned my head against the desk chair and closed my eyes.

Nikolas's emergency surgery on his forearm I obviously had not anticipated. How could a "simple" broken arm from playing basketball turn into a seven-day hospital ordeal and surgery? Worry had woven its sticky web around my heart.

A loud knock on my kitchen door bolted me upright. Through the window, I saw a neighbor boy. I opened the door and asked impatiently, "What's wrong?"

"There's a dead bird in your flower garden," he exclaimed. "He hit your living room window!"

Amid the begonias lay a tiny brown sparrow. I picked it up. I marveled how warm this little sparrow felt, and I felt overwhelmed with emotion.

"Mrs. Schiller," the boy quietly asked, "are you okay?"

"Yes," I replied, "God even takes care of little sparrows."

The boy scratched his head and walked away.

I went to the back of the house, leaned against the wall, slid down, and sat on the grass. No longer able to contain what I felt, I burst into tears. As I cried, God in his unending faithfulness brought Matthew 10:29-31 to my mind:

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

How many times, Lord, do I need to be reminded of this reality? I shrugged my shoulders. Probably until I see You face to face. Will I ever learn?

Memories filled my soul as I recalled God's faithfulness to my family over the years. Thankfully his patience also never ceases.

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief" is the cry of my heart.

I remembered a time when I faced a money shortage at the end of the month. On a bleak, rainy evening I turned to Matthew 6:33: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." I wanted so much to take God at his word, but I chose instead to worry. As I lay on my bed, the Lord in his patience brought to mind the story of the father with the demon-possessed son. When he asked Jesus to heal his son, Jesus said all things are possible for those who believe. The father's response melted my heart: "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief" (Mark 9:24). That was and still is the cry of my heart.

We need to grasp God's grace as we struggle with unbelief. Are you wrestling today with out-of-control worry? Unsure how you will pay back-to-school bills? Take your worries to him. He cares beyond words and truly, profoundly understands.

You may need to ask someone for help. We are created to be in relationship with one another. We need each other. Shame is a paralyzing emotion. God may want to fulfill his promise through others.

Journal your worries and date them. In time, the Lord's faithfulness will shine forth.

When the neighbor boy returned the next day, I happened to be outside. "Mrs. Schiller, what happened to that bird?"

"I buried him in the garden."

He had a quizzical look on his face. "What did you mean God takes care of little sparrows?"

I smiled and shared with him what God had shared with me. I tousled his hair. "Even the hairs on your head are numbered," I said.

His eyes twinkled, and he became still. I heard him mumble, "Awesome."

That is what the Lord will be for you.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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