Preparing for the Unexpected

As I write this, my kitchen is torn apart, there’s hot water leaking from the second floor through to my main floor kitchen (unrelated to the kitchen being torn apart), and my husband is in the hospital. In previous years, just the financial stress of this would have me overwhelmed. But this year is different.

First, we planned for the medical emergency and put the money away in a FSA account. So our deductible and co-insurance for the hospital stay is covered. And the good news is that I think this will meet our out of pocket maximum too.  Though it will probably deter some dental work I was hoping to have done. Oh well.

Second, God, in his infinite wisdom, provided us with some extra work a couple months ago. And we, finally, have learned (the hard way) to save a little for the unexpected.

It’s been a hard lesson in coming. Fifteen years of marriage, and we’ve maybe, finally learned that we need to be prepared for the unexpected – just as Noah prepared for the flood and Joseph prepared for the drought.  We know, now, without a shadow of a doubt, that something unexpected will happen.

Just in the last three years, we’ve had

- My brother-in-law die of cancer
- My husband have surgery (when we didn’t have insurance, another story)
- Reduced income for 3 months from the surgery recovery.
- Two households for 3 months (due to a work move)
- A move half-way across the US (due to work)
- Nine months of two house payments (due to a tenant illness and then turn-over)
- A hurricane (Ike)
- And last week, $1000 worth of repairs needed on one of our mini-vans.

The list could go on…

But this isn’t a complaint, for God has seen us through each of these, and provided for our needs. Often in ways we did not anticipate. But they have lessons in preparing for the unexpected. 

Whether it be a natural disaster, a fire (which we’ve also had in our past), a job loss (again have had two of those too), a medical emergency, car repairs, whatever, I’ve finally learned that they are going to happen. But we can control how devastating these emergencies are, by 1) trusting in the Lord and his perfect timing and provision and 2) in being prepared mentally and financially to the best of our ability.

Today as I look around my house, with the kitchen spread out across three rooms, water dripping from the ceiling, and my husband away in the hospital, part of me feels a little overwhelmed. But, I can also see all the blessings. My kitchen will be put back together. The plumber will fix the water leak. And my husband will heal.  The children are healthy and life is good otherwise.  It will all work out, it always does.

An additional note:

Whereever you are, and whatever you may be going through, or about to go through, know that a little preparation (mental and financial) and a lot of prayer will see you through. This I’ve learned to be fact.  It’s not always fun; but God’s timing and plan is perfect. He always provides for our needs, not always in our preferred timing or the way we expect, but in his perfect plan. Hang in there, keep in prayer, and know it will work out.


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2 Responses to Preparing for the Unexpected

  1. A bit of mental preparation definitely goes a long way in a crisis. But I’ve found also small things like making sure the dishes are done at night. I realise it’s trivial, but since I had three babies in just three years, I never knew what kind of night I’d have. Recently my husband was taken to the ER while on a business trip and I had to rent a car (long story) to drive to be with him. Because we had prepared financially for emergencies, I wasn’t freaked out about how much it was costing us.

  2. Pingback: Living Life at Home » Personal Insights into Debt, Bankruptcy, and Marriage

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