Yesterday I posted on the fantastic prognosis from my bout with myocarditis. Good news indeed. Now for some bad news. It isn’t easy for me to post this, being the self-reliant (sometimes tagged “stubborn”) guy that I am. But here goes.
Financially, we’re really struggling. Coupled with the detailed surgery from Micah’s table saw incident, medical bills have built to over $70,000. We’ve never dealt with this magnitude of short-term debt. For the time being, Wendy and I have about two months of overlap between receiving reimbursement for these bills and paying for them. Most of this will be covered, but even so, a month of opportunity loss of a self-employed ministry leader is daunting.
Leading up to these unexpected emergencies, I wish I could say that things were financially hunky-dory. They weren’t, for quite some time now. Monument Publishing (our family business) has suffered its third year of dropped sales, due largely to the poor economy. The ministry I run along with the publishing company, Training Minds Ministry, barely squeezed through the year with only one camp — down from the glory years of 4-5 camps across the country. It’s depressing (literally, it’s getting smaller), and I don’t see it getting much better till the economy grows.
Before these medical bills, I was gearing up for a tough frugal run for the next couple years. Families won’t be investing in their children’s home education or sending them to debate camp. These are my customers, and they are the life blood of what I do. These are families who invest in the business and ministry I run, they fuel my income, but that just hasn’t happened much in the past few years. Today, it’s not pretty.
The books Wendy and I write for you, our “family” friends, have never sold much. They are $10-$15 books that we ship alongside the $70-$120 investments in debate supplies. Pocket change, but something we love. A fraction of what’s needed to live on.
It’s fun to post on our blog about fun and good things. There are so many blessings, such an abundant life. I don’t really enjoy writing to you about these troubles, but in a way it’s relieving. A transparent life — true to self, each other, and God — is the good life.
Want to know something kind of cool? This bout with myocarditis — though it piled on a mound of bills — was a clever blessing to us. Myocarditis could have been an extremely frustrating trial for a go-getter like me. Sitting still, resting, allowing my heart to catch up — the thought of it would have driven me crazy before.
The blessing has been awesome. I’ve reflected, I’ve caught up on neglected desk-duties, I’ve repositioned many things that I would have just plowed through if in great health. I’m actually feeling optimistic about my family’s future — optimistic because of this trial.
Isn’t that just how God works? It seems as if no obstacle can get in the way of God working in the Jeub family. Not a thing. I don’t know about you, but I love how God keeps Wendy and I on the financial edge. I love it because we are constantly able to point and say, “Yes, we’re broke, but my how good life is.”
It’s more than an attitude. It’s a house bubbling with life, good work, and a relationship with the Son of Man who walks alongside his family. Life with love in the house is so, so good.
Question: Do you have trials that are overwhelming? I bet there are blessings weaved into them. I’ll share some more tomorrow. For now, please, share some of your story below.