You know you must be doing something right when things start going wrong.
This new year we have been making a conscious effort to work as a team in our marriage in a God honoring way.
We’ve been attacking our student loans with gazelle intensity for a total of 4 weeks now and we’ve already had what feels like 2 major setbacks within a day of each other. It’s so discouraging.
1. We got slammed with a not-so-little hospital bill from the birth. Giving birth is expensive. And even more expensive sans insurance. But what about our awesome insurance that pays for almost everything? Well they would if they were given the chance. It’s such a mess. Long story short(ish): the hospital billed insurance practically as soon as we left the hospital. Babies don’t get added to insurance that quickly.. the hospital is claiming insurance rejected it because the baby wasn’t on insurance and insurance says they’ve never received the bill in the first place. Insurance says we have 1 year to add the baby to our policy and we added him within a month. Fast forward through MONTHS of back and forth and many conference calls with the insurance and the hospital. Each one ends with the assurance that the hospital with resend the bill to insurance.
And then the collector is calling us.
There’s miscommunication somewhere because the hospital swears they are sending it and insurance swears they aren’t receiving it. Come to find out the hospital is refusing to resubmit it due to “timely filing”. What?! When we got a bill we would take it to insurance and they said they’d take care of it and that we weren’t supposed to be doing that- it was the hospital’s job. The hospital said they attempted to reach us via letter and we didn’t respond so now they won’t refile. Between giving birth, recovering, hormones, learning to breastfeed, baby blues, house purchase falling through, uninhabitable living conditions, mold sickness, having a 3 day moving notice, finding an apartment, moving, and oh yeah, taking care of this new baby.. things.. that letter.. most likely slipped through the cracks. Having to relive that over the 2 hour phone call with a screaming child was mentally and emotionally draining.
This will for sure be an expensive lesson to learn that even when people say it’s taken care of, don’t trust it. Call them and bother them until they are so sick of you that they finally and truly take care of it. Now I periodically call the hospitals and clinics we’ve been to and ask if there is an outstanding balance.
But wait, that’s not all.
2. Our only car won’t start. Oh and the Tahoe broke down.. again.. but that’s old news. This time we’ve decided we aren’t going to fix it. Each $500 fix only lasts a few months until something else breaks. It’s not worth it anymore. We’ve decided to go back down to one car. It’s a great way to save on gas, insurance, and maintenance, especially during our debt free journey. We’ve done it before for a whole year without too much trouble. We now live close enough that my husband can walk to work. So far it’s been working out pretty well. It just requires a bit of extra planning as my husband’s work schedule coincides with the baby’s sleep schedule. If my husband takes the car before the baby wakes up, I’ll just plop Little Man in the stroller and go get the car if I need it. When I’m done using it I drop it back off and stroll on home. It’s only a mile and it’s good exercise! We’ve been at it for a month. Knowing that this is now our only vehicle, we even took it to the mechanic for some preventative maintenance. #adulting
But now… the car won’t start. My forever reliable 2003 Toyota Corolla won’t start. Because it’s too cold. We’ve had some pretty cold winters in the Midwest but old faithful has ALWAYS started up in the morning. But it’s getting up there in years and now it’s in the -20°s and this coming week the windchill is supposed to be -50° to -65°. We were banking on this car lasting the rest of the year at least. Now what? There are options: changing the car battery or starter, changing the oil, etc., even renting a car just to get through this cold spell will be cheaper than buying a car. I have no doubt that once the weather warms (even to 0°) the Corolla will be old faithful once again.
But through it all, God is still good. God is still sovereign. God is still on the throne. He still provides. We did the baby steps a little out of order and funded our 3-6 month emergency fund before attacking our debt. Previous job loss + a new baby + being a saver + my need for more than a $1000 starter emergency fund to feel secure = me wanting a funded emergency fund. That’s what the fund is there for. So instead of these being full on emergencies they are more like setbacks. Wildly discouraging setbacks.
Dear God, please give us the strength to withstand the evil one.
The temptation is to turn on our spouse and blame “why didn’t you.. you should have..” but that’s just what Satan wants. We’re in this together, as a team, in the highs and through the trenches. He wants to discourage and distract us from living out a marriage that is pleasing to God. We won’t let him. We’re going to keep loving each other. We’re going to keep plugging away at our debt. We will get through this.