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Monday, September 5, 2011

Navigating A New System, God Bless America

This has been one of those weeks I would like to forget. And I guess if I had to sit with a therapist and tell them what made it so bad one particular incident in and of itself was not so bad but, you when you add 100 of those things together  it becomes monumental. MONEY, what a dirty ugly word, yes, it does make the world go around, but it also makes good people bad, pretty people ugly, ugly people pretty, and let me tell you it would make alot of good peoples' lives alot easier. Just a little bit would make such a hugh difference in a families life that is living week to week, and one slip up could mean their very demise. What a mind boggling thing to think, what abject fear, fear that is, if you don't live your life with the assurance that God oversees the lives of His people. And even with that knowledge, knowledge I have had my entire life, I still battle fear and doubt. We are just weak by nature. I knew the "list" was coming, which is a list the kids get from their school for all the supplies they need for the year. When you times that times three it can cost well over 100.00. My kids backpack had been in great shape at the start of last school year. They were expensive name brands and  were going on 4 school yrs old, but just this past year I knew we would have to get new ones. Wyatt, also, had grown so much his looked like a baby backpack on a grown man. So as I laid in bed at night crying out to God that ole' feeling of anger and blame and bad attitudes begin to build. I found myself almost unable to pray. Have you ever been in a place were you just could'nt pray? The only time I have difficulty is when I allow anger or that attitude of "why me" to creep in. Well, this week has been full of those attitudes and questions. And not only for myself but also for the people I love. My Emma, who has  ripped out my heart at times, who also has my heart, has had a very troubling week and 2 of my very dear friends have had difficult weeks also. I came to Florida with the misconception that getting the children's insurances and our benefits from the state would'nt  be as emotionally draining as it has been, because anytime you have to accept gifts or hand outs form anyone or any institution it is an emotionally taxing thing. If you are a person of character and a person who likes to do your part be a contributor not a taker. I dont view our government as a pie in sky unlimitless entity, we the people are our government, and it hurts me when I have to accept monies from her. I view our nation as more than big government I view it as something I love, as ownership, I feel vested in my country, and it pains me to tax it with the burden of my family. Well what I failed to realize was the shear volume of Florida compared to North Carolina. When I went in to see someone about getting our benefits changed over, I had quite the shock. In North Carolina you go into an office you sit with someone, their office is personal and they have their own phone line, a coffee pot, pictures of their family, and they remain your contact until you or something changes.. Even a month later I got calls from my contact in North Carolina making sure we were settled. I get to the Department of Children and Families in Florida and it is a big room lined with computers. I sit and imput our information and the receptionist says  someone will call me for my phone interview to expedite my benefits.. So I wait and I wait and I wait. Well I have done this enough to know there are deadlines, and the only number I have is a number that the mailbox that is full, so I write 2 letters and continue calling 10 times a day hoping she will clean out her mail box or luck up and she answer her phone. No such luck, we missed the deadline! When I got the letter, obviously,we had missed the deadline, my knees felt weak and I felt completely helpless and so small in such a large system. I needed someone to see face to face. I felt like I was going to throw up. I was physically sick. You dont just call and say oops we missed this can you put me back in the system. I knew outside of a miracle we were in for a long, hard road. The children started school in less than a week, we had no medical insurance, the kids had several medications that would expire soon  and we had very little funds left for food. So as I sat down at my table in what many would say is a dilapidated trailer, my own son out of hurt and loss for leaving family and friends in North Carolina had referred to it as dilapidated and beyond repair, I found myself once again at the mercy of God. God you will have to move the hearts of men, and if you don't you will have to make another way. I got up, not completely convinced, but at least mobile and went about making dinner. I got my phone to send Emma a text and saw that I had a voicemail. It was Rite-aid in North Carolina, and for some reason, one which I am sure was the hand of God, every one of our prescriptions had been filled and paid for the very last of the month. We weren't  even in North Carolina that last day of the month! So I stood there in shock and yes, once again, shame! I called Emma and she picked them up and mailed them to me and at least bought me another month to try and navigate this monster I found myself in. It also renewed my spirit and I drove to where I had filled out all the paperwork and I asked to speak to the receptionist in private. She said there is no need for that I am just a receptionist, we dont need to speak in private, I don't know anything about anything. I said well do you know enough to tell someone behind that door that I am not leaving this premises until someone comes out and gives me an interview. You will have to call the police to get me to leave, I AM NOT leaving, I don't know what else to do, I am desperate and my children will be hungry. So if you can't tell them I will wait til the close of the day and when they pass me to leave I will tell them myself. Well, she could not get out of her seat fast enough, and I got my interview that day on the spot in the waiting room. And I thanked them and told them how much I appreciated them and how grateful my family was to the state of Florida and this great country for once again affording my family insurance and food. How often we criticize and point out the bad  over all the great things as citizens we are given. I had my benefits within 7 days. But the benefits are really not the jest of this post, I think  what I am learning, as I live day by day this life I certainly didn't envision myself  living, not at 45 anyway, is not letting everything around me get such a grip on my me that it literally cripples me. Truth be said as I look back, God has always been faithful and things have always somehow worked out. And we will always face things that will knock you down, can make you foul, make you a hater, make you wanna blame someone,  or it can make you realize that you really never had control over these things anyway, and God untimely guides our lives!  The American spirit has said, "We can do anything we set our minds to and anything we set out to do!"  While I applaud the recognition of the creative spirit in mankind, the idea that we can control our lives and our destinies is a little fraudulent.  The successful people you meet like to tell you about their determination, their mental powers, their drive, but they never are willing to recall the hundreds of uncontrolled parts of their lives which are responsible for them being where they are.  It just all goes back to our weaknesses of wanting to be seen as much more than we really are, our self-centeredness, our egos!  Gratitude and respect, or compassion, for all of humankind is the most essential of human qualities and we can all have that no matter how good or bad our lives.  Sometimes God allows us a measure of pain to remember that, and that, certainly, is a Good Thing!