Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Family coping with tough times turns to prayer

By COURTNEY SERVAES, Herald Staff Writer | 11/11/2009

God teaches important lessons during difficult times, Angela Glenn says.

Lessons about frugality. About budgeting. Lessons about faith.

God teaches important lessons during difficult times, Angela Glenn says.

Lessons about frugality. About budgeting. Lessons about faith.

That’s why Glenn, who was laid off from her job earlier this year, says she is hopeful in a time of hardship — because she has God on her side.

“I absolutely believe that sometimes God takes things away from us that appear to be good for us, such as jobs,” she said. “Everything in life has a lesson and wisdom is what can be gained.”

Back to reality

Before Glenn, of Ottawa, lost her job, she held it on a pedestal and her family suffered as a result, she said.

Now that she doesn’t have that job, she said she realizes it was a blessing from God.

“An income is definitely important, but we inflate necessity and it is almost always detrimental to ourselves and our families,” she said. “Sometimes God needs to knock us down a level or two to bring us back to reality.”

Glenn’s family lost $25,000 a year when she lost her job. But she said God has helped her through that difficulty.

She and her husband participated in a financial advice program by a well-known writer and adviser who often features a Christian perspective on his advice. The program was designed to counsel families hurting from financial stress.

Since taking the course, Glenn said her family has been able to secure $1,000 in an emergency fund just to be safe.

“God has taught us to live more frugally and since doing so, we have more financial peace than we did when we had more money,” she said. “God has truly blessed us through budgeting.”

Prayer and support

People turn to God in difficult times, Glenn said.

That’s what he designed people to do, she says.

And when people turn to God for help, the Rev. Joel Fredrikson said he tells them to be strong, to have faith.

“I tell them that we should try and care for one another,” Fredrikson, with the First Baptist Church of Ottawa, 410 S. Hickory St., said.

Fredrikson said it’s difficult to determine who of his congregation members are struggling — often they don’t want to ask for help.

“Sometimes it’s difficult,” he said. “My experience, at least in the Midwest, is that people are not always willing to share their struggles with each other.”

In that case, Fredrikson said it’s up to members of the congregation to pitch in, to provide support — because most churches don’t have the luxury of helping families financially.

“We do have a minimal amount of resources to help folks,” he said. “We try and help one another through prayer and support.”

A guide book

Believe it or not, it’s not a one-sided conversation.

Glenn said she’s still worried about bills and about her unemployment benefits running out in March.

But she has faith, and she knows God is there to listen. She knows he’ll answer her prayers, she said.

“God offers me a tremendous peace of mind but more importantly has a guide book to life all laid out in the Bible,” she said. “If you think you have it tough, just open those pages and you will find someone who can relate to and some words of wisdom from getting through the tough spots.”

To make it through the next year, Glenn said her family will rely on their faith to give them strength.

“We have to strip self away to truly see God in all his glory,” she said. “There isn’t a better time to see God.”

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