Persevere Despite Fear: A Message for Preppers

As I’ve done so many times before on this blog, I’m going to try and use lessons drawn from my own life experiences to help others.  For tonight’s post, there won’t be any pictures or videos; there won’t be any news stories or humorous anecdotes.  It’ll just be me, my keyboard, and a little story.

Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while may have wondered what happened to me.  The truth is, the past two months have been a real struggle.  I’m blessed in more ways than I can count, but with those blessings come many trials too.  I’ve been completely off track with my eating, I haven’t managed stress well, and I haven’t always maintained the hope and optimism for which I’m known and loved.  Bluntly put, I’ve been a mess!

After Christmas, some dear friends stayed with us to ride out a rare Indiana blizzard.  The friend who’s my age, like me, has a myriad of health issues, and she struggles with her weight.  With the proper thyroid meds and a positive attitude though, she’s managed to keep her eating on track for a while now, and she was trying to hold my hand on the walk back “home” to a healthy, low-carb lifestyle.  I wasn’t quite ready though.  Fear held me back.  I was “planning” though.  I knew I’d eventually have to get my head in the game and change the direction of my momentum.

Then came January 2, 2013.  I’d been working on my house, and Fred and I were preparing our bedroom for some REAL bedroom furniture that we’d been graciously gifted.  It was so exciting! When we started unboxing the bed though, we found damage.  At first, I was happy to ignore the small bit of damage that we found on the headboard, but when we unboxed the bed rails, we found a disaster! It looked like the bed rails had been dropped off a truck and then run over!

Fortunately, we were able to order replacements, so that should have been the end of the drama for the evening.  If we could only be that lucky though.  As we were putting our room back together, some of our lights started blinking.  Fred thought it was a problem with the power produced by the co-op, but it turned out that the trouble was on our side of the meter.  We went to bed with lights and little else.  Praise God we’re prepared! We didn’t have to go without heat, but the lack of hot water was annoying.

The next day, an amazing electrician came to rescue us.  At first, he (and we) thought we just needed a new 200-amp service disconnect breaker.  When all was said and done though, we needed the new breaker AND a new main trenched through the frozen ground from our meter to the house.

Mr. Zollman completed the work expertly.  His price — around $985 — was exceedingly fair, but I had PLANS for that money.  (Actually, without “tax time”, we wouldn’t be able to afford that bill at all, but we can’t live without electricity long term either.)

Despite that stress though, I kept telling my husband, “We’re OK.  God won’t give us more than we can handle.” The fact of the matter is though, I’m afraid.  The stress that we face coupled with emergency expenses like the electrician’s visit leave me feeling particularly vulnerable.

The internal dialog goes something like this.  “I want to get a handle on my eating, but what if we can’t afford food? If I get my eating back on track and then we can’t afford the kinds of foods that I need to eat to stay healthy, I’ll be keeping the yo-yo bouncing.  But I’m so unhealthy right now, and I’m headed back up again.  I have to stop this before I gain everything I’ve lost.  Getting back on plan means that I have to let go of sugar though, and I don’t know that I’m strong enough.” And on and on it goes.

By Tuesday, I had decided to persevere despite my fear, but I was still feeling insecure, vulnerable, and a bit disoriented.  As is always the case when I need it most though, I received an amazing blessing from a friend who loves me.  After some negotiating, I have enough money so that I don’t have to worry about groceries that are healthy for me.  That transfer of money may have contributed to saving my life!

I know it seems like I’m being dramatic here.  After all, there are a lot of folks who worry about a lot more than groceries.  But KNOWING about the importance of good health, KNOWING about the importance of self-reliance and self-sufficiency almost makes things harder.  If I were able to just bury my head in the sand, I wouldn’t have to face the fact that my family and I are vulnerable.

Now let me be clear.  I still have fear.  I still have the same stress today (minus groceries) that I had when the week started, but I’m moving forward rather than stumbling backward.  Times are tough, but without question, I know three things that I’ll never question.  First, God is good — all the time.  Second, what I do matters.  And third, I have friends that love me as much as I love them.  IF I can keep my head in the game, if I can keep from getting sidetracked, these three facts will get me through anything, and for that, I’m unbelievably grateful!

Ready or not, I’m BACK!

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