There was a time when author Caryn Rivadeneira and her family had it all by the world’s standards; then the bottom dropped out and they found themselves penniless for the first time.
Her husband worked in the financial industry, and they had the tools and knowledge to handle their money well. They both worked and were putting money away into a retirement fund, but the tide of success turned, jobs transitioned, and they had three children. Suddenly Caryn and her husband found themselves more dependent on God than they ever had been before.
Caryn shares some of the things she learned:
- Doubt can be healthy if it drives you to God
- Be discerning regarding how much to share with your children about your financial situation
- Recognize that, if you’re married, your spouse will handle the stress and doubt differently from you, and that’s okay
- “Give us this day our daily bread” takes on new meaning when you’re living paycheck to paycheck
- Learn to ask for support from others
- Keep a running list of budget-friendly activities/hobbies for your family to do
Caryn says God has a purpose in all circumstances even when we don’t see it. When her family humbled themselves and asked others for help, they learned how much they were loved by others in the community. “Once you open up and share, you find out that there are lots of different people in situations who need it. And it makes you feel much less alone.” We should also pray and ask God to remove any negativity and judgmental thoughts from our hearts before meeting with someone in need – we don’t know the full story and we don’t know how God might use their story in our lives.
Her story is recounted in the book Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed about God's Abundance.