Saturday, January 30, 2010

Helping Myself

So, I recently talked about the old saying “the Lord helps those who help themselves." Like I said, that topic has been on my heart for quite a while now. I guess the reasons for that should be fairly obvious for anyone who has been following my blog, but I’m going to talk about it anyway.

I lost my eyesight very gradually, over a period of several years. In September of 2008 I lost my job. That seemed like a devastating blow at the time, but honestly, I couldn’t have kept it up much longer anyway; I was really struggling with it by then. I immediately started applying to various government agencies, including social security, for assistance.

My social security claim was approved reasonably quickly, and our application for food stamps went through with no problem. In addition to that, the Lord moved several members of my family to help us as well. All of our most basic needs were taken care of.

What I really had trouble with, was getting some type of medical coverage. Like I said, my social security claim was approved pretty fast, but there was still a six month waiting period before benefits would begin. In the meantime, I was receiving SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. While I was on SSI, I automatically qualified for Medicaid. I couldn’t get any surgery done on my eyes at this time, though, because I was still having trouble with infections. When my social security disability payments finally began in March 2009, they cancelled my medicaid with very little notice. I hadn't been aware that was going to happen.

So I started making phone calls. For several weeks, I tried to find out if I could still qualify for Medicaid, all to no avail. I just couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone. I talked to lots of different agencies and all they could tell me was “we don’t handle that.” I did find out that there are lots of different kinds of Medicaid, and that they are all handled by different agencies, but I was never able to find the correct agency for my situation. The only thing I found out for sure, was that I could not get medicare until I had been disabled for two years.

That was all back in Texas, when I lived just north of Dallas. Not a good place to be if you’re down on your luck. There are so many people looking for help, their system has become completely bogged down. I suppose it’s the same in any large city. Anyway, in April, God decided He wanted us in Nebraska. So we packed up our things and, on April 26th, moved North. It was sad to leave my home of the last eight years, and it was scary leaving my eye doctor, who had been caring for my eyes almost that entire time, and who I trusted completely, but I had high hopes of being able to get more help in a less populated area.

We took a couple of weeks to settle into our new home, and then I began making phone calls again. I noticed a difference right away, I could actually reach people on the phone here and get straight answers from them. Unfortunately, the answer was still no. My social security payments, not quite enough to pay our bills, were too high for me to qualify for Medicaid. We did get food stamps though, again with no trouble at all.

Naturally, that was discouraging, but I didn’t get as discouraged as you might think. It was clear to me, that God was telling me to wait. There was really no other conclusion I could draw from this. Take a look at what happened, God provided us with everything we needed. All of our basic necessities, namely food and shelter, came to us very easily. When God decided to bring us to Nebraska, he sent my brother and his family to help us move. He helped Mom find us a great house to live in at a very reasonable cost. A house that has carried us through some very harsh storms, I might add. When we first arrived here, there were boxes of food and an envelope full of money waiting for us, all donated by Mom’s church, the church I had attended as a child. Everything we needed came to us.

I really wanted some medical coverage, though, so I could get surgery, and I would be able to see again. I tried and tried, but it just never worked out. That’s because God wasn’t ready for it to happen yet. He will always provide the things we need, but not necessarily the things we THINK we need. Our needs and God’s needs can be very different sometimes.

I still get impatient sometimes, and try to take matters into my own hands. Sevral months ago, I applied for a private insurance plan from State Farm, only to be denied once again. Too many pre-existing conditions. Even now, as I write this, I have an application in with BCBS and am waiting to hear back from them. If God is ready for this to happen, then they will approve my application. If not, then I will wait. I try to be strong and have patience, but I’m only human and I have my moments of weakness.

“The Lord helps those who help themselves?” Absolutely. I am helping myself by putting my faith in Him and trusting Him to fulfill his promises to me. He never promised to restore my eyesight, but He did promise to take care of me, as long as I have faith, and that’s good enough for me.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Mark 9:23-24 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.


  1. Boy, you're becoming a real blogger! You wear it well. *big smile*
    I guess I do have an effect on people. And you know what, God has an affect on our lives and we're living testaments for all of His work. We'll just ride this boat out to sea, and see where it leads us.
    Great post! I learn more and more everyday through this blog! WooHoo!

  2. Hello there, Storm! I admire your giant-sized optimism in spite circumstances. I am glad you are pressing forward while being surrounded by loving people. It's understandable that there are times you will be discouraged, more so; hope to receive what is due to you. Getting awarded the Supplemental Security Income can require many appeals. I bet there are experienced people who will help you get the largest benefit possible. Keep safe! Take care

    -Cristy Witherspoon