We’re In This Together

I remember the first White Bucket Sunday. I was living paycheck to paycheck at the time so the thought of emptying out my wallet was a bit daunting. Yet even as I wrestled with the thought that I can’t give my last $5, I realized—I have $5, and others here have nothing. So I walked up and dropped it in. I never dreamed that one day I’d be on the other side of that interaction.

In 2014, I had a great job that I loved. When my employer took on a demanding new client, however, my work started to take over my life. Month after month of working of 15 hour days left me empty and exhausted. I pressed on until the day my 4-year-old daughter tearfully exclaimed that she wanted to run away so that I would pay attention to her… Those words broke my heart.   I knew something had to change. So a short time later, when a voluntary lay off became available, I leaped at it. It was a leap of faith, but with a Masters degree and 15 years of management experience I didn’t think finding another job would be a problem. 5 months and an unexpected pregnancy later, however, I wondered what had I done. I’d always been so independent and able to take care of myself, and yet suddenly here I was—in need.

It was then that I remembered a pastor at Mars Hill encouraging me to reach out to the White Bucket Project.

It’s hard to accept help, even when it’s offered so willingly. Yet I couldn’t put it out of my mind that there are people who are in greater need. Who was I to receive? One of the things I learned through this experience, though, was that my need was enough. It’s ok to ask for help, and others desired to be there for me. So I met with one of the White Bucket advisors and was overwhelmed with how gracious he was. I never once felt judged, and was offered help with my mortgage for 3 months. God was meeting my needs through my community. He didn’t stop with just my physical needs, however.

Since leaving my job, I was able to begin attending Women of the Word. After a few months, my group leader, who was also a licensed counselor, mentioned that she wanted to pilot a Shame Resilience group. This group became my lifeline. It was in that group that I was freed from my shame from being reliant. You see, it wasn’t enough for God to help me. He wanted to heal me. To see me through from the beginning to the end.

2015 was a hard year. Yet through it all, I found that when I let go of my self-reliance—God and my community were there to catch me. And isn’t that what being the body of Christ is all about?

If you’re struggling. Help is available. Learn more about the White Bucket Project now.