Yesterday was my tenth time to withdraw a sum of money from my bank account since the start of the pandemic outbreak. I often glance at the digits imprinted in my passbook, calculating the amount deducted and contemplating the total amount left. At first it was nothing but slowly as my savings decrease significantly, I am almost on the verge of panic. My mind can’t take the fact that we spent such a huge amount of money for the past 7 months. And yesterday, once again, a large amount was taken miserably from my savings which I earned for years of working hard.
I shouldn’t write these things, my mind tells me. Just keep it to myself because it’s too personal. But I want to share these matters because I know that I’m just one of the thousands of people around the world who lost their jobs and are struggling to earn a living. I’m one of those people who are immensely affected by the outbreak of virus. This isn’t something to be ashamed of. This is reality which is most of the Filipinos are facing.
Yesterday, we needed 21,600 pesos for the payment of the house we reserved for our return to abroad. For 7 consecutive months, approximately 170,000 pesos was consumed. That’s small money for the rich but for a middle class such as myself, it breaks my heart into pieces. Just to give an idea how it happened, this is the breakdown of my monthly expenses.
- Prenatal check-up — ranging from 6,000 to 7,500
- Health insurance — 5,370
- Water bill — ranging from 1,200 to 2,500
- Electric bill — ranging from 3,500 to 7,000
- Internet bill — 1,800
- Food, toiletries and others — ranging from 10,000 to 15,000
I thought of many things to earn money while I’m at home. I tried to apply as a transcriber and freelance online writer but got rejected. I tried drop shipping but it was harder than I expected. I sold my old collection of books and helped my sibling sell plants online. I enjoyed it but I approximately got only 2,500 pesos in exchange for those efforts.
Because I left my prayer notebook abroad, for the past months I haven’t written my prayers like I used to do. I grabbed my old 2016 journal and started writing. My prayers were just simple and concise. I wanted God to know my needs in brief and precise words. I wanted Him to know that I have needs in case He forgot. I know that He never forgets but certain circumstances urged me to think that maybe, somehow, the Lord has forgotten me. Trying not to entertain that thought I scribbled a letter to God which I usually do in my journals.
I share this to you because as soon as I finished writing I was reminded of the verse from Isaiah 43:2,
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
God doesn’t say that He won’t let us experience any hardship. He says that whenever we pass through different kinds of sufferings He will be with us to help us. In this difficult time, we are vulnerable to evil’s lies. We have lost our dreams, hopes and jobs and think that we can’t make it. We’re currently passing through deep waters and think we’re drowning. We may be walking through the scorching fire and think we’re burning. The enemy’s persuading us to believe that we are defeated, abandoned and forgotten but the truth is there’s a reason why until now we’re still getting by.
My husband told me, “We had nothing before but God blessed us with something. Why are you so worried if we may lost everything? Surely God will restore what has been lost.” Marlon was right. I temporarily lost my job right now but we still have good food on our table. Our house has still stable roofs which protect us from sun and rain. Most of all, we’re surrounded by family who is more precious than golds.