Monday, June 4, 2007

How much?

Warning: I feel like purging.

How much more, God? How strong do you think I am? I'd love to say I'm flattered that you've given me so much to handle because I know you won't give me more than I can stand. But the truth is, today I wish I could escape all of this!

In addition to all that is happening in my marriage and in George's life outside of our marriage, our financial burden is very heavy. George and I came to Virginia in search of a new beginning. George said to me before we moved that he hoped this would be a fresh start for us. I had spent 5 years building a successful real estate business that, until last year, I was unwilling to sacrifice. George spent 7 years with Castle Rock FD building up his resume and positioning himself for advancement. He also built a successful fire training business on the side. I had no reason to leave Colorado except that George was not satisfied with his job there. He wanted to be back East in a busier department.

So when a conversation started between George and the deputy chief of the Rockingham County FD about a captain position, we started seriously considering a move to Virginia. It was a major plus that George's mom lives on the coast of Virginia...a 4 hour drive vs. a 4 hour plane ride. The training captain position was to be implemented in July of 2007 but the catch was that an outside hiree would have to come into the department as an entry-level firefighter for 6 months and could then be promoted. We worked the numbers and decided that we could use the proceeds from the sale of our home to pay off our cars and have funds left over to get us through those 6 months. We knew it would be tight and that we'd need to live like paupers for awhile, but it was a sacrifice we were willing to make. So George accepted the position of firefighter, starting December 4th.

First, our house was not selling. I told George I felt we might need to help someone get into our house. Along came a family who fell in love with our house but would not be in a position to purchase until the end of May. They could, however, give a very large security deposit and pay a hefty amount of rent. We prayed about it and went for it. The couple signed a lease and a contract to purchase the property.

Second, I needed a steady source of income. I spoke with a Realtor about anyone she might know in the area who could possibly use a Buyer's Agent. She said she might actually need that kind of help and so we started a conversation about my working with her. She was very positive and did some background research on me and then seemed to be convinced I was just what she was looking for. I couldn't believe it was so easy!

Third, we needed a cheap place to live. We were about to rent a town home half the size of our house in Colorado when I decided to check the paper one more time. There in black and white was an ad for a farmhouse on 3 acres with 5 bedrooms and 2 baths (3000 sf!) for LESS than the town home. We snatched it up.

We were so excited about our future!!

Unfortunately nothing has turned out as we hoped. The captain position was not approved for this year's budget...probably not for next year's either. My job with this Realtor turned out to be very little as she had described it with a lot of tension. The people who are living in our house cannot purchase it and have cancelled their contract. Additionally, they have caused a lot of cosmetic damage to the house, making it impossible for us to try to find another buyer while they are living there. I took a job waiting tables at night at a fine dining restaurant in town. George's schedule does not allow him to work very much overtime, another source of income we were counting on. We cannot make ends meet. I am gathering whatever I can to auction on eBay or sell on craigslist. I go from feeling hopeful and strong to feeling like I am drowning. Knowing that separation is around the corner is scary. If we cannot afford our expenses now, what will happen when there are 2 rents to pay? Not to mention attorney fees. Oh, and I went in today to sign my exit paperwork with this Realtor and the brokerage is charging me $4300 in office fees. Wonderful.

I KNOW I will get through this. Not knowing HOW is so hard, though! I am a fighter and a worker and will work my tail off for as long as I have to. The constant question that goes through my mind, though, is "God, should we move back to Colorado?". Have we been in the wilderness long enough or should we stay in exile? A great friend of mine called me a few weeks ago to let me know that as she had been praying for me over the previous week, she kept hearing God speak to her that we were in exile. I had made the decision to physically separate myself from George and was considering moving back to Colorado with Jackson. My friend was calling to warn me about leaving Virginia. I told her I wasn't making any plans, rather I was just taking life one day at a time and constantly listening for God's direction. George will go wherever we go.

On a happier note, ha-ha!, George's aunt, who is the only Christ follower in his family, has been encouraging us with stories of marriages that hit close to home. She is warning him of the harmful effects of both the adults and the children. And pleading with him to stay in the fight FOR our marriage. Today she offered to pay for us to attend Retrouvaille, a weekend for marriages on the brink of divorce. George called me after he read her email and asked me where "this thing" is. I told him there is one being done in Northern VA at the end of July. He asked for the website and seemed positive about it. After reading about it and seeing that it is especially helpful for couples who have experienced things as damaging as we have, I am once again filled with hope.

I thank God in advance for leading you to pray in the just the right way for us. One thing George and I have never done is work together toward godly stewardship. We need to do that now...but even if George isn't on board, I'd love prayer for perseverance and wisdom and favor!! I want to hear God say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!".


Kim said...

God is going to bless you in a mighty way for your faithfulness. You know, financial difficulties is hard enough to face on its own. Martial problems are enough on their own. But to face them both at the same time...I can understand how overwhelming it can be because I have been there. Sometimes we try to convince ourselves that "running" away from our problems will lead to a better life. That is nothing but a lie straight from satan and it is so scary how close he comes at making us belive that lie. Hold onto the truth in James 1: 2-3..."Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." Over the past couple of years, those verses have become almost like a life verse for me. You and your family are continually in my prayers. I am praying specifically for your husband to allow Christ to work in his life because wether he likes it or not, he is a child of God and I pray that he accepts the grace, love, peace and fulfillment only our precious Savior can bring. Prayers and love from Kentucky!!!

sherry said...

You will make it through this with God's help. Up until recently we were having huge financial difficulties and its a wonder we actually survived this past year, but we made it and it had to be all God, because there is no way we should have been able to live. All I can is that I'm continually praying.

Melody in MN said...

You are brave, Erin. I am praying for God to give you and George clarity, wisdom and strength, and I will pray in regard to the stewardship issues as well. That is definitely encouraging about the possibility of attending that marriage conference...I will pray about that. blessings to you, Melody

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to encourage you and let you know that I am praying for you. I have been in a similiar place and know how hard and long it seems, it really is not for forever even though it may seem like that as you go through it. My husband and I did not seperate but I had just given birth to our fifth baby, he had an affair and we were so poor and that when it was winter the kids stayed in bed and did school etc, cause we didn't have any money to heat the house. I could only feed the children twice a day and I thought I would die from discouragement and dispair. But God is faithful and even when the circumstances and people around you make you then He has forsaken you it is not true. It took this and a lot more before my husband was broken and feel on his knees before God, for that I am thankful. I would never like to tread that path again (its been 14 years). But I know we couldn't be where we are spiritually if we hadn't been purged. Does that make it easier on you while you go through it, probably not, but I encourage you to hang on to each thread of hope and watch and see what God will do. I am praying for you for strength and a quick passing through this valley. Because He lives I can face tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I'm a friend of Ade's and my heart just aches for you. I admire you for your strength and perseverence and know that God will reward you for doing right by His Word.

I will pray for George to see the truth and see you for who you are - it just seems like he's 'stuck' on some stuff Satan is feeding him?

Many blessings and comfort to you, George and Jackson.

A sister of Christ in CT

Anonymous said...

Erin and George and Jackson-
Me and Chris are praying like crazy for you guys right now! Wishing I could reach out and give you a hug- Today I prayed for you while I worked on vbs crafts. Day 3 point is that God is strong and the key verse is Psalm 118:14 "The Lord is my strength"
much love, Rachel Haugen

loving my life said...

Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua

Cristine said...


I have something I'd like to send you. Would you mind e-mailing me your mailing address? I'm praying for you, girl. I know this is hard...give God your burdens every morning and take comfort in the fact that He is there to lift your head when you feel weak. Much love, Cristine (

Jenna Ruebke said...

Erin, this is Michelle Ruebke - your mom's former partner in Kansas. I just want you to know that I am in prayer for you & George & this whole situation. If I can be of any help/advise, please feel free to call me or e-mail.

Remember, our Lord can see this whole story - He knows the ending & He is sovereign. Everything you are saying is right on track - hang in there & fight hard. You are looking to the Lord, depending on Him, drawing ever closer to Him. If not for the hard times, we would never know how precious our Savior really is - or how powerful - I know. Run to your Savior - He is more than sufficient & we know that ALL things work together for GOOD for those who are the called according to HIS purpose. Rest in that. He not only knows the situation, He is in control of it. And He IS working it all for YOUR GOOD. That is His Word. That is the Truth. You can curl up on that & rest.

Love you, girlie.