Yeah, so that big truck sitting in my driveway was carrying our new furnace. We tried to turn on the heat Monday morning when I woke up chilly and it didn't kick on. We tried the typical quick fixes like flipping the circuit breaker and then Evan called in a tech from a local heating company to come check it out.
He broke it down for me like this, "I could trick your furnace into turning on for you, but your home would fill with carbon monoxide."
So, we could either fix the part that was busted or pay a couple hundred more dollars and replace the whole thing. Considering the furnace was installed in 1993, it was a pretty clear choice to make. The only problem was that we didn't have the money. Like, not in the "we don't want to spend this kind of money but I guess we will if we have to" kind of way, but in the "there is not enough money in our bank account to pay for this" kind of way.
We worked so hard to get our finances under control, eliminate our consumer debt, and save up the money to pay for things like a new roof and a minivan in cash. The last year has just be so tough. The relocation cost us a lot of money and then things just kept coming, one after the other. The plan this year was to start working on the remodel of our basement and we had to stop those plans dead in their tracks. We've been trying to hard to stay ahead of our budget and to be good stewards of the income we have been blessed with, but this one was so hard to swallow and I was left feeling stuck.
But here's the best part, friends.
I didn't freak out.
I remember when I was 15 weeks pregnant with Thomas, we found out that our previous house needed a new roof. Faced with spending nearly $10,000, I remember sobbing and shaking in our kitchen as I crumbled into an anxiety attack.
So there I stood this week, dealing with the necessity of buying a furnace and not having the funds to do so, I was actually able to breathe in and out, hold my hands steady, smile, and keep calm. Evan was actually flabbergasted that I wasn't losing my mind over this whole situation.
We went to our family night at church that night and I sat in the coffee shop with my Bible and my latte, I read these words in the book my small group is studying right now:
Those who are habitual worriers, whose lives are shrouded in the gray fogs of anxiety, need to recognize the clear command, "Do not be anxious about anything," which precedes Paul's great promise of peace, and act accordingly. This does not mean that, having spent all their lives worrying, they will suddenly stop, any more than it holds out hope that they will never get depressed and fearful again. It does mean that in the degree to which people can respond positively, when the anxieties loom large, they will turn the corner and increasingly discover peace permeating mind, emotion, body, and relationships. (Briscoe 56-58)
I swear to you, I could almost feel God's hand on me, resting on my shoulder and reassuring me that together we are no longer going to let the anxiety win. By his grace, I am continuing to seek the peace of mind that only He can bring. It's not going to happen overnight and of course I will never fully be rid of it, but I can already feel the improvements that have taken place over the past several months.
Through the provision of God and the generosity of a very dear family member, we were able to obtain a loan to pay for the furnace and it was installed the day before we celebrated our big boys' birthdays. Our home was warm, thanks mostly to the company we were keeping.
But the new furnace didn't hurt.