That’s how I feel about myself right now and that’s exactly what I’m being because I’m about to:
A. Post about things I make it a point never to share (okay, I did once and decided afterward that I never would again,) and
B. Disregard everything God has done for us over the past 11 months in a classic Israelite-in-the-desert “what if He doesn’t this time?” response.
Why? Because this is my journal (and sometimes I question the rightness of having a public journal) and because I want to be real with myself and anyone who happens to read this. In spite of the miraculous things God has done in my life, especially over the last few months, I still find myself doubting Him. And also because I’ve made some major mistakes and they need to be shared. This journey isn’t all about successes and satisfaction, sometimes it’s about heartbreaking failures and bitter remorse.
Last night, our baby goat, Claret, died. We got the necropsy report back on her today and it turns out she died of starvation. God help me, that’s a hard thing to say. Although she was eating (the vet found food in her belly), she wasn’t getting enough nutrients from the grass hay we’ve been feeding her and her mother apparently wasn’t nursing her anymore (although we weaned her late and gave her back to momma after she got sick, I don’t know if momma was actually nursing her or not. That’s something I should have been paying attention to, and wasn’t.)
I feel numb.
And I don’t know what to do. This is sort of a back-breaking straw, because we’ve been facing a crossroads for a while now and there are some decisions that have to be made. Although God has been providing for these animals in really INCREDIBLE ways, it seems lately that there are all these little things the animals have to do without because we don’t have the money for them, or things that we end up putting on our credit card in order to provide for them (most likely because we don’t take enough time to pray – really pray – for those things, and also because we’re financially irresponsible and we spend money on things we don’t need. Once upon a time we refused to keep credit cards as a matter of faith, and lately it seems that we’re not just using them, but abusing them to buy things we could easily do without. And I’m incredibly disappointed and angry at myself over that.)
I keep asking God if we should sell or give away some of the animals, and I don’t ever feel like I get a clear answer. I mean, it’s one thing to feel passionately that we’re doing the right thing, and a whole other thing to hold a lifeless animal in your arms and discover that you’re responsible for her death. It’s one thing to watch God perform the seemingly miraculous, and another to swipe the card once again because there’s one more thing we need, or one more way we should have been more financially responsible. Last night, I actually told God that if we have a need for the animals and we don’t have the money, I’m going to put one of them up for sale rather than putting it on the credit card and keep doing that every time we’re faced with a need until we either have few enough animals that we can support, or He provides for them in some other way. And yet… I don’t think I can do that in faith. But I can’t use the credit card in faith, either. And I certainly can’t let the animals go without. I just don’t know what to do.
Please know that I’m not asking for help. That’s one of the biggest fears I have in posting this because I know there are people in our lives who love us and would do anything they could to help us – people who already ARE helping us, and have been helping us all along the way. But financial help won’t fix this. This isn’t about finances or goats or cows… it’s about my lack of faith, my lack of direction, my lack of financial responsibility and the fact that I feel like I’m at a crossroads and don’t know which way to turn.
I know that there are so many worse things to be worried about and concerned with – I have friends who aren’t able to pay their bills right now, who are in desperate need of things that are so much more important than minerals for goats or containers to grow barley in. Sometimes I look around at our abundance and ask myself “how can you continue to have so much, while others are in such need?” and I make myself sick with my petty concerns and my frivolous expenditures and my overall lack of empathy (not to be confused with sympathy.) Sometimes I want to sell all of the animals just so that I can be of more help to the people around me, but I don’t feel that’s the answer, either.
So what is the answer? I don’t know. I guess that’s why I’m writing this. Because I have no idea where to go, or what to do.
And that’s part of the journey, too.