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Question from an Overworked Dad

In our “Questions and Answers” section, we got this question from Tim, a dad in Nashville who is struggling to get his family’s finances back on track after some difficult medical circumstances. We posted an abridged version of Tim’s question with the our answer here; the full text of the question that he sent appears on this page.

On October 16th, 2010 my wife, Tiffany, and I had taken two of our three sons, Colby, who was four and Caleb, who was two, on their very first camping trip. We were enjoying a beautiful day in the park with the boys and had hiked to the bottom of Fall Creek Falls. We had no sooner reached the bottom when a large boulder came crashing down the steep slope from more than two hundred and fifty feet above us. Our son Caleb was struck in the head. And our lives changed forever. Our son nearly died from the accident, more than once. He suffered traumatic brain injury, and at best the doctors conjectured that Caleb would never fully recover. Perhaps you saw our son’s story on the news. A quick Google search will pull up hundreds of stories.

We remained in the hospital for months. And after a month of intensive rehabilitation in Atlanta we finally came home. I had just started a new ministry work at a local church in Nashville prior to the accident, but now faced with the task of being my son’s full time, stay-at-home therapist, re-teaching him how to walk, talk, play, and be a kid again, I had to be creative and come up with a different another means to support my family. It was then over the next three years I took everything I had taught myself outside of ministry (I had been in ministry for 10 years, but had also taught myself web and graphic design as a hobby), and created my very first home business. Things were tough, but I was motivated, determined, to support my family and most of all give my son all the therapy he needed. We lived off of donations and whatever else I could bring in financially for the next 2 years.

I am grateful to God to report that over the last 3 years we’ve seen miracles with our son. Upon returning home Caleb began multiple intensive therapies both at Vanderbilt, and at home as we reinforced the things he was learning in occupational, physical, speech, and vision therapies. Slowly, we watched as Caleb re-reached many of his developmental milestones. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to watch him a second time learn how to crawl, then walk, then run. Today, Caleb is now 5 and is about to enter into the special education class in Kindergarten. He remains about 10-12 months behinds developmentally, but the good news is that the doctors continue to be hopeful and see no end in sight in terms of how much Caleb can recover. I believe with all of my heart that Caleb would not be where he is if it were not for the many hundreds of thousands of Christians all over the world that prayed and continue to pray for him on a daily basis.

After working with a marketing company for the last year (and being contractually obligated to not work and build my own company), I recently renegotiated my contract due to the fact that we have severely struggled financially since taking the job. The marketing firm I am with has not been as successful as they had originally hoped, and all my work for future great reward, never paid off. The money I make from my day job is approximately $3,000 per month, which is about $1,000 short of what I need to provide for my wife and 4 kids (and that is with a very tight food and gas budget, no extras, no money to pay pay off medical bills, etc.)

I have since started working on trying to build websites again, but as it is not, my whole life is work. I work all day, come home, see my kids for a brief moment as I rush up stairs, and get back to work and work till 2am – 3am building websites and trying to find new website clients. This has “worked” for the last 4 months as I was able to pay all my bills on time (usually at the end of the month after incurring late fees). But this last month, I couldn’t get web jobs and I could not pay my mortgage (our church wound up helping us).

I am exhausted with life and don’t believe this is God’s will for me. I am supposed to be engaging my wife and kids and spending time with them, and raising them to love the Lord. But all I do is work, just to provide the basics. With my wife not being able to work I am not sure what my options are. If I re-entered ministry (which I love) I don’t think I could find a work that could provide what we need. Outside of church I have so few skills that no entry level job will provide.

Anyway, I know this is a long email and if you don’t have time to read it I will understand. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless you and your ministry.

Click here to read our reply to Tim’s question.

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Copyright Brian Jewell, 2011-2013

All of the contents of this site and its posts are copyright of Brian and Laura Jewell. Any redistribution or duplication of this material, without the consent of the authors, is strictly prohibited. Instead, please feel free to link to us. Thanks!

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All content on this site is given on a general basis and is intended for informational use only. The content does not reflect any professional legal, investing, accounting or tax advice, and should not be used as the sole basis for making financial decisions. Always consult a certified financial professional before investing.
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