Dear Mama.

I see you.

You’re at the checkout line wondering if your card will go through. You know you should know exactly how much is in your account but you’ve been too scared to check and know that you just need to get some produce and milk.

You hold your breath and pray that the words DECLINED don’t show up so you can just get your milk and leave before you bump into anyone that sees you using WIC checks to make ends meet.

I feel your heart beating faster and faster as the cashier looks at you with a sad look in your eyes that your card didn’t go through and she still needed $5.25 for the bill. I feel the panic set into your brain as you realize you have no cash, no cards with any money on it and you know you’ll have to walk away from the store empty-handed.

I can feel the tears well up in your eyes as the woman behind you looks at you with pity and says “I’ve got it Hunny, don’t worry about it” and your face flush red as you accept her help.

Your mind starts to race at all the things you wish you could say to her. How you want to explain your situation, what happened that you needed to get help, that you aren’t lazy or just wanting a handout but just need a little help. Your mouth can’t seem to form words so you just nod and replay with tears streaming down your face, “Thank You”.

Mama, I see you at home, opening up the bills and wondering how you’ll make it through. You sit there and try to plan out if you’ll be able to get the kids anything for Christmas, what you can sell to make extra money for groceries or to pay the phone bill, and wonder when your husband will be back at work or how you can help bring in more money.

I understand your fear mama. I know what it’s like to have the ground ripped from under you. I feel your jealousy rise up as you see other people on social media taking their kids to fun events, filling up the Christmas tree, or eating out multiple times a week and you wonder just when you’ll be able to even take a breath again without worrying about money.

I know what it’s like when you feel your faith tested. When you find yourself asking God, “What else can I do”? And wondering if He has forgotten about you or what you did wrong. Mama, I know the despair in your heart.

But mama… can I tell you something?

I know it’s hard right now and it might not get easier for a long time. I know how scary it is to not know whether or not your phone will get shut off, your card will get rejected at the store, or how long you can put up a front to your friends and family about how tough things really are.

But know there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.

No matter how deep and dark things feel now, know that things WILL turn around. God has you in His arms and though you don’t understand why you’re in this valley, things will be okay.

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help. There is no shame in using assistance if you need it and there should be no judgment from the people who really love you. Know that there is always something you can do or somewhere you can go for help, even if it’s just something little, to make it through.

Dear mama… I know you’re scared. I know you feel lost. I know you are broken. I know you are hurting.

But I also know that you are not in this alone.

You are a warrior. You have all you need to get through today. Take things one day at a time, one decision at a time and one step at a time. You deserve all the happiness in the world and know, your time will come and your light will shine again.

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