Every two weeks, for the whole of our married existence, something rather important would arrive.
In the beginning, the checks were small, but as his role at the company grew, they grew as well. Like everyone else, we worked hard at our finances - mapping out strategies for reducing debt, increasing savings and planning for retirement. It wasn't always easy (we tackled a lot of debt in the early years), but at the very least I felt quite a bit of stability and security from the regularity of those checks.
You all know the punchline, right? Let's just stop here for a moment and shake our heads in collective agreement: stability, in all its earthly permutations, is really just a big fat illusion.
It's been nine months since he was laid-off from his job. At that time we made the choice for him to forgo looking for another job in the corporate world, and instead decided to take a (gigantic) leap of faith and expand his evenings + weekends only freelance photography into a full-time gig - effectively making it our only source of income. (I had quit my job earlier in the year to be home with our son).
Since then I haven't talked about it at all, because I worried that writing about my myriad fears would only magnify them and because I knew that if I didn't talk about it, I also wouldn't have to talk about any failures we encountered along the way. It's embarrassing to admit, but it illustrates that I didn't have much faith in what God could do in our lives.
George Muller said that "God delights to increase the faith of His children." I see that now.
The photography business is our employer, and since our budget has always been based on the anticipation of a two-week paycheck, we kept it that way. We established ahead of time how much money we would need every two weeks to survive.
And then we survived.
Every time he has a photography job, we deposit the money into our business account. And without fail, for the past nine months, we have survived. Sure, I'm not getting weekly spa appointments (I bought a nail file last week and felt sort of guilty), but it's better than that. We are together. Pursing a dream. Increasing our faith.
Every two weeks, the money has been there, even during the times I never thought it would be. I remember one time being SO COMPLETELY SURE that we would have to resort to plundering our savings in order to buy groceries. And then, voila - our tax refund came and it was literally the exact amount we needed to survive for the next two weeks.
There is no stability. Not that kind of stability, at least. There is only this two-week life. And I am learning to love it.
Like swinging from vine to vine only to discover that the forward-motion is terrifying and exhilarating.
Like peering through the dirty glass to see the shape and form of something just beyond, where things are a little obscured but everything is beautiful.
[All photos by me, taken July 2010]