November’s “Share Your Story” is by,
My husband and I aren’t savvy investors…
When my parents died, I inherited some money. It gave us an opportunity to do volunteer Christian work overseas after my husband retired from the military. My husband’s military pension paid our living expenses if we were careful, and my parent’s retirement paid for the extra expenses.
But we’d never invested my inheritance and decided we weren’t being good stewards.
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We prayed about what to do and felt like we should put the money into some safe investments. Our only condition was that the investments be morally and financially conservative. So we made the investment and flew back to Budapest.
That was a month before the stock market crash in fall 2008.
Our hearts sank as we sat in our Budapest flat and realized we’d lost a huge hunk of our future. We didn’t know what to do, but everyone told us to hold on … things would get better.
But they didn’t.
Our retirement savings just kept dropping … and dropping … and dropping.
When we came back to the States the following year, we felt it was time to do something. If we kept losing money, we could jeopardize our retirement years. We were in our late fifties and we’d been out of the job market for quite a while doing mission work. So we prayed again and felt we should remove what we had left in the stock market. This meant our loss was permanent, but we felt we couldn’t gamble anymore.
A few months later the stock market started to recover. Eventually it recovered to the point where we would have had much smaller losses had we left our money in the stocks.
I’ve had my share of difficulties and trials, and I wish I could say that they never faze me, that my immediate response is to trust the Lord. But sometimes I get stuck for a while in unbelief and self-pity, focusing on circumstances instead of on God.
Sometimes I still get a little sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about the chain of financial events during that time, but I’ve let it go for the most part, trusting that the Lord knows what is best for us, and He can use any circumstance for our good.
Maybe we hadn’t heard the Lord when we’d prayed about investing and/or removing the money, or maybe God wanted us to experience this loss. We don’t know.
But I know God is good.
I memorized the final half of Habakkuk 3 when I was a new Christian, and I’ve always had it “hidden in my heart” (Psalm 119:11). Eventually the principle in the verses impacts my thoughts and my heart, and I realize how incredibly blessed I am to be loved by the Lord.
I pray that I will always remember—no matter what happens in my life—that I can rejoice in my Savior for He is my strength and my joy.
“Though the fig tree does not blossom
and there be no fruit on the vine,
the produce of the olive fail,
And the fields yield no food,
Thought the flock be cut off from the fold
And there be no herds in the stall,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation,
God the Lord is my strength!”
(Hab. 3:17-19 paraphrased in a 1970 praise song)