I remember when I was in Jr. High
(don't be so smart-aleck-y ... it wasn't THAT long ago!)
and I'd forgotten to do some homework. I got this really sick feeling like my insides were dropping right down to my toes. I spent the entire day at school really sick - anticipating that class.
Fast-forward to a couple of years into our marriage when I got a registered letter hand-delivered from the postman. I had to sign for it. I opened it to see that the IRS was not happy with me. I hadn't reported income from a freelance job I'd done the previous year and I was in trouble. What would have been about $40 in taxes ended up being over $1000 with penalties and late charges. We were students and a thousand dollars was incomprehensible.
Since that time I've had to figure out how to live without quaking and trembling whenever bad news comes my way.
Here's how I do it:
*Take a deep breath - or several deep breaths (literally) and go someplace quiet
*Pray and express my concern - just talking as I would to a best friend who doesn't need to interject opinion but wants to really listen
*I then work out the worst possible scenario - that is, what's the worst thing that can happen if everything goes badly with this. This sounds scary, but really it's liberating. So, we lose our jobs - I start by thinking the worst thing that can happen is we have to use our savings. Then I realize that it really could get much worse - we run out of food, no gas for the car, and on and on which leads me to the really worse-case: We move out and have to live with our parents. (for me that actually sounds kind of fun!)
*Next: Can I accept this if it really goes this bad? Of course I can. I can live with it. I can even thrive in this situation because my mind then starts to drift to how I recover from this.
*Once I've accepted the worst possible situation (which, by the way, has never happened. Never. The worst has never happened!), I figure out a step-by-step plan to recover from the blow. Again, that plan is never exactly what happens, but it's a start. For example, when we were told (after Bryan being a part of our family for the first 8 months of his life) that we were going to lose Bryan, after all the negative thoughts, I started working on my step by step plan. We considered everything - every way to keep him (yes - many of them were illegal, but certainly not unethical!). We didn't actually follow through with most of those plans (though we started on them) but we did follow through with the one that eventually brought about finalizing his adoption. And it couldn't have happened without a Higher Power being in control.
So, it was a little over 3 years ago when my husband was laid off from his job and we started the loan modification process. We've been working "with" the bank for OVER 3 YEARS to come up with something that would work. (our house is worth less than half of what we bought it for 4 years ago!) I'm so grateful that I learned through previous experiences how to handle blows because through this whole process my husband and I have been at peace. We have been prepared to lose our house - so that when the notices started being taped to the door (you can only know how that feels if it happens to you - it's way worse than the registered letter being hand delivered!) we took deep breaths and plunged forward with plans B, C and D.
Did I already say that the worse never happens?
Well I came home from a week-long business trip to find that FedEx had delivered a thick envelope. It really could have gone either way - either way ... and because we had peace, it would be ok. The envelope contained permanent loan modification papers for us to sign. As soon as they receive these signed papers back from us, the house will be taken out of the foreclosure pool.
Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with gratitude I can hardly take it in!
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