I have to tell you up front that this is not a post I wanted to write. But God wouldn’t let me alone. This post has to do with a large failure on my part. It’s not fun or easy to admit to others your failings and to expose your frailty and faults. It’s not easy to admit the stupidity you are capable of. And yet, it’s not fair to only show strengths and successes. I make mistakes just like everyone else. I have lapses in judgement, regrets, words spoken I wish I could take back. So here goes…
The call came at work. I can’t say it was a huge shocker, but it confirmed a lurking fear at the back of my mind that I wasn’t ready to admit. One google search later crushed any hope I had of making this right. How could I be so stupid?! Why did I not research this before I cashed the check? Questions I would ask myself a million times in the days ahead. Unfortunately I had no answers, just a big dent in my savings that was not supposed to be there.
I was a victim of fraud, an email scam. I never thought it would happen to me. I’m smarter than that, or so I thought. As it sunk in, I cried and went over the scenario a million times in my head. “How could I do this? We could have done so much with that money. It’s not coming back. How do I tell John? If only I had done this, or that. How could I be so dumb?”
Thankfully I had a half day of work. As soon as I got home I cried more. Unfortunately this was also the day we had another doctor appt. for our little one and I didn’t think it would be good for me to be hooked up on the monitor and hysterical in front of my husband. Not quite the time or place. So I stuffed it in, but it was not far from my mind. Part of me was tempted to not tell him. I take care of most of the everyday finances and he would really never know it was missing. It was a brief temptation because I knew I would never be able to pull that off. Plus, I needed him. I needed him to tell me it was going to be ok.
As soon as we were home I broke again. I blurted out the scenario between a hundred I’m sorry’s and tears. I let him have some space to process and I cried more. During my alone time I really sensed God’s presence and saw things for what they were. First of all, it was only money. I needed to trust in God’s provision, not my own financial savvy. Obviously that doesn’t mean I should be dumb with decisions, but ultimately He is the provider. Not me. Secondly, I need Him. In everyday decisions, little, big, everything in between. I need His guidance more than I often admit to myself.
After John and I had our time to think and came back together, more tears were shed. It was a hard conversation but a good one. We both realized that although we are on the same page financially, John needs to be more involved. We also realized that God was using this situation differently for each of us to bring certain things to the surface that we needed to deal with. One thing that did not happen was accusations, insults or yelling. He didn’t tell me how dumb I was. He didn’t yell at me for being so stupid. He didn’t make me feel worse than I already did. In those moments he loved me well. In those moments we each felt God’s love and grace. And those moments drew my heart even closer to my God and my husband.
In the days that followed I would still dwell on my mistake and play it over and over again. I filed a police report, which was an interesting process, and for me, the final closure. I’ve done what I can do. I will not see the money again. It’s time to move on. And for once, the forgiving myself came a little easier. I either trust God or not. He knows we are like lambs, dumb creatures that need constant supervision and guidance. He knows my heart and how hard I try to be a good steward of what He gives us. If John can forgive me and extend so much grace how much more God has already done just that. And I am so thankful!