Have you ever been in a place where you’ve fallen content receiving all the assistance you can from outsiders whilst never making the attempt to try anything for yourself? (Let’s be honest here, I know I have at a certain time in my life.) What was the reason you refused to try? Where you fearful that you wouldn’t be able to make it on your own? Let me be transparent for a moment….
I am a born and raised New Yorker who like so many have depended on New York State for various different areas of help (Medicaid, food stamps, housing, etc.) because the thought of doing it on my own and not having anything left over from my paycheck frightened me. There was a sense of security these services provided me although it came with a price. Many people (myself included) have had to have teeth extracted because root canals are not a covered medicaid service. Free light and gas is an incentive when living in public housing. (Psst…so are the infestation problems it comes with.) Let’s not forget how your case worker for food stamps wants to be ALL in your business and treat you as if it’s YOUR fault when they fail to input certain documents for your case to remain open (insert eye roll here.) One day I woke up and decided that this was a Poverty Mindset and we needed a change if we were gonna break free from it.
Let me say this…that line “If you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere” is a bold face lie! When my family and I decided to relocate out of New York it was the hardest transition ever. Not only did we no longer have the extra sense of security, we learned that all states are indeed different with the services they provide. So what was once a fear of mines had become a reality. (It’s not that I wasn’t ready, It just happened so suddenly. I mean I just relocated can I at least get my bearings first?) We were left having to pay for everything New York offered us for free. Though I was ready for change never in my 30+ years did I think I would have to pay healthcare and it would be a HUGE chunk of my bi-weekly gross. I don’t want to talk about the other realities we were forced to face.
I remember in the midst of our transition I watched a disheartening video on Facebook about how many Americans were barely getting by (due to minimum wage income) and here I was making more than double the states minimum wage requirement and I still felt that I couldn’t make ends meet. The issue wasn’t that I couldn’t make it meet, the issue was that I never knew how. New York never made me become an adult. It was time for me to learn how to budget so that I wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck. I spent much time seeking God as many days were rougher than others but the one thing that I know to be true is His Word in which He reminded me many times “…never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”-Hebrews 13:5 NIV
Now my story may not be your story and that’s okay. We all have a different race to run and a story to tell that God will use to tranform the lives of many. I just pray that this may help someone to understand that they can break free from the Poverty Mindset with faith and absolute trust in God.