I worked hard to be a good teacher and a good boss, fighting to make sure my center stayed open even though we had a lot less kids then normal. All the while I was seeing people staying at home and collecting financial aid from the Canadian government. Wow that was tempting... It would have been so easy to close up, the government was even giving an amount to centers that did close and the aid offered was more then I would normally make in a month. Even more tempting, I could have gone to the bank and deferred my mortgage, paying next to nothing for up to six months!
Instead of doing any of this however, my staff and I pushed through and managed to limp to September, thankful schools were back in session giving us a break from the 8am to 6pm days of childcare. I am not trying to brag or pat myself on the back for not going for the assistance, only give some context for what was to follow.
I got sick in October.
It started with a mild discomfort behind my left shoulder blade, but progressed quickly. Just after Thanksgiving, (In October, which is the proper time for Thanksgiving. ^^) my wife convinced me to go to the hospital as it was starting to hurt to breathe. Thank you Lord it was not COVID! They could not see anything on the x-ray and told me it was most likely something called viral pleurisy, which I guess is something common enough that spell check knows what it is but I sure did not. A couple weeks they said... I would be fine in a couple of weeks. There are no medications for this but I was I should take lots of pain meds and a couple weeks off, instead I went back to work. We were already short staffed as no one seemed to want to come back to work as long as the government was paying them to stay home, and the work with the kids was worth the pain.
A few weeks turned into a month and soon the pain became too intense to work effectively, now the doctors were saying four to six weeks and I would definitely be all better, just be patient. I could not work, I could barely talk as every breath was like being stabbed in the back and I finally submitted taking the last of November and all of December off. I would be fine by January... right? Thinking this and still needing money to pay the bills I went on the new government assistance, significantly less but it covered enough we could squeak by.
January came but I was not really better. I could speak, but even light activity still hurt. Working more then three hours was like a marathon and spoilers; still is. I had to go back to work though, we were falling further and further behind financially and I could not expect the after-school care to hold my job indefinitely. My hours were half of what they had been, but between that and what the government was giving me it was just enough to give some breathing room, (no pun intended).
All of this led up to what happened a few weeks ago. The financial aid stalled, they wanted proof I had worked enough last year to qualify to receive the rest of the government assistance keeping us just in the black. Funny thing is, if I had shut down the after-school care back in March and gone on assistance then there would have been no hiccup and I would still be getting the funds we need. Instead I needed to submit paperwork and wait. At the time of this article I will have been waiting three weeks to hear if I even sent them enough information.
Yesterday the bank called.
It was a massive relief! They were calling to see if we were doing OK and if there was anything they could do. I had never heard of anything like this and was deeply touched that they were concerned. The lady told us that we could have four months of our mortgage deferred and that breathing room was exactly what we needed. She transferred us to a specialist. The specialist told us about the lengthy time it took to try to qualify, letting us know about the massive hoops we would need to get the assistance, warning us that it was a one time thing for the life of our mortgage even if we did somehow qualify. Our hopes were quickly dashed and I could not help but ask her: "If we had asked for the help when the lock down started, would we have gotten the help?" She assured me we would have gotten the aid without question. Six months mortgage free.
The level of frustration in that moment was insane. If I had looked after my wants first I would have had six months mortgage free sitting on my bum playing Minecraft and made substantially more then I had working hard and pushing myself. My credit cards nearing their limits and in a place where I am struggling to see where I will be in the next few months, still waiting to see a specialist and find out why I am still sick. If I had hair I would be pulling it out.
If I had played the world's game my life would be easier, instead I "Fight the good fight of the faith". I do not do what I do because it is easy or lucrative; I do want I do because it is right. My actions are not to get your praise, I am not telling you this to get your acclaim. My actions are because I love my God and He tells me that doing what is right gains HIS favor, HIS praise, HIS acclaim. I will see my rewards when I go to heaven.
That is the take away here. It is hard sometimes to do what God calls us to do, especially when we see others getting rewarded for being self-serving. We have to remember though that the things of this world are fleeting and temporary whereas the things of God are eternal. I will continue to do what is right above what is easy, for God's way are better then man's ways. Have a wonderful week, and God bless.