Today has been rough. Rough, rough, rough. A sweet friend just called me on the phone and asked if I was sick because my nose was stuffy and my voice sounded yuck. Nope. Just been crying a lot.
Just now got a sweet text from someone else and here come the tears again. Man.
Asking God for wisdom as I type, because I tend to over-share, and Gabe and I have come to blows on more than one occasion when I talk about stuff publicly that he thinks should stay within these walls. I have good news though. I’ve got his blessing to write this post.
So, no, I won’t share all that’s going on. I just want to lay something out to kind of give you a picture of what we’re up against. You all know Gabe had a heart attack last October. Then we went to Cambodia for 5 weeks in December and January. At the end of January, the anxiety and panic attacks started. The emergency room bills started piling up.
Gabe had to quit his job in March. The anxiety was just too much. His health insurance was good through April 30, and then we were on our own. We scoped out cheaper health insurance options but no one would take a heart attack survivor. We had no option but the $753/month COBRA (continuing health coverage from his job). His heart/anxiety meds are over $800/month alone and are free once we meet our deductible (which is no problem at all).
So, yeah. For the first few months of self-employment, Gabe was dealing with severe anxiety/depression, making it almost impossible for him to work some days. Praise Jesus for friends and family (and strangers) who have felt compelled to help us out, little (and BIG) bits at a time. We never had to ask (we had decided we wouldn’t–just ask God to prompt people if he saw fit), and we NEVER could’ve made it this far on our own. No no no no way.
In the past few months–PRAISE JESUS!!–Gabe has gotten healthier, stronger, and has been churning out websites/logos like nobody’s business. And he’s also been helping people for free, loving the homeless, and all kinds of other stuff he wouldn’t want me to share.
I’m so, so proud of him.
Each month had still been a struggle, because we weren’t just paying that month’s bills, we were trying to catch up from being months behind. But we were seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
And then November.
Here’s the deal when you’re a self-employed web designer. From Thanksgiving to the New Year, this is what you’ll hear over and over and OVER from potential clients–“I really, really want a web site. Really I do. But I just can’t swing it until the holidays are over. I’ll be in touch in the New Year.”
It makes perfect sense. I would say the same exact thing in their position.
But for Gabe (and anybody else in a similar position), the holidays mean: 1.) no Christmas bonus. 2.) no paid time off. 3.) no work.
I know soooooo many of you can relate. So many people are struggling. And I know from visiting two homeless camps this past weekend that WOW are we blessed. Just because we can’t make a house payment doesn’t mean we won’t get to live here with the lights and heat on until we can pay. And there will ALWAYS be friends and family who would willingly help us out if we just said the word.
So, here’s the deal. My fear with writing stuff like this is that we’ll open our front door two hours from now and there will be 500 bags of groceries and envelopes of cash. And I don’t want that.
Here’s what we would humbly ask of you today:
1. Your prayers for God’s provision for our family.
2. Work (of any kind–for Gabe, me, our girls–we’re in this together).
At this time of year, Gabe is willing to work twice as hard as usual, meaning he can charge you half as much for websites, family photos, logo design, blog make-overs, video stuff.
And I can tutor, babysit, purge/organize your house for the holidays, write stuff, speak (about anything from sex to missions) to your group, whatever.
Thanks so much, friends, for letting me pour out my heart. I love you. All of you. For real.