If you’re just now joining in on my #31Days series, you can click here to read all the posts. I suggest reading them in order because they build on one another :)
The Lord was showing us that in our lives, He would provide for my husband and I. I look back and see how this has been a theme in our lives since we married. Joseph has countless stories he could share with you about provision in his life since he was very young, but for our lives together, it seems that God has intentionally woven the message of provision into the fabric of our family. For something that I might feel guilty for asking for, God still choses to provide.
In moments where people have joked that I deserve an upgraded ring on our ten-year anniversary, I am immediately hesitant because my ring acts as a visual reminder that the Lord provides for the “big” and “small” things in our lives. I don’t think in my lifetime that I will ever trade it in. It stands as a symbol to me that God is in the details.
After Joseph proposed [which is a very funny and creative story I will tell you someday], the preparations began. With only 5.5 short months to our planned wedding date, I got on the ball. We were blessed to have parents that paid for our wedding and honeymoon, and even had an additional provision moment when my grandparents gave us an early wedding gift that turned out to be the exact amount of money we needed to complete my wedding ring set [what what? :) ], but what about life after?
I will admit to you that I was not great with money then. Even now, I have anxieties about money and finances that evoke a physical nervous reaction in me [yes, girls got issues], but back then, the small paychecks I made working part-time at Starbucks while going to school full-time were spent as quickly as they were earned. The concepts of a savings account or a checking account that didn’t always plummet to zero every two weeks were completely lost on me. Money was meant to be spent, right?
A couple weeks before our wedding, all the details were in order. The dress, tuxes, venue, centerpieces, music, ceremony, invitations, food…it was all lined up to go as planned. But plans for our life together after the I Dos were said and cake was eaten were not so in order. During our engagement as we looked for where we would live, I panicked. I mean, we were kids and our thought processes were a lot different back then than they would be if we were doing all that nowadays. I wasn’t done with school. My husband worked full-time making a meager wage in retail. And with my horrid spending habits, I contributed a grand total of $38 to our checking account when I closed mine and merged with his. The idea of paying a deposit on an apartment was beyond me and before I knew it, our wedding was fast approaching with no where to live.
Now I say this with a mixture of the true anxiety I felt at the time combined with the knowledge that we wouldn’t have been homeless. Our families would have given us a place to stay until we found a place to live. But at the time, living as a newlywed in an extra room of one of our parents’ homes was not something I wanted. And looking back, I scream at the young-minded Erin, “What were you thinking?! Find you a place to live, girl!” But when fear would overtake me while looking for apartments, it was my natural reaction to just push it down the to-do list.
As our wedding date came closer, I began to unravel. Daily crying fits would overtake me. I was on a spiral for a breakdown. I mean, I would cry literally every day, often more than once a day. Finally, Joseph decided we needed to do something. Me being in charge of this was definitely not working out. So we decided we would fast and pray for what the Lord wanted us to do. And when our Where are we going to live? situation smacked me in the face and finally set in…I realized to my own shame and guilt, the wedding was only two weeks away…