and no, not in the form of a tax refund.
Long story (somewhat) short? I was married and divorced in 2001. (Yes, all in the same year.) One of the long-lasting issues of that marriage? Was an immense debt to the IRS. One that was supposed to have been paid. But there were lies and forgeries and the broken trust between two people who were supposed to have loved each other. That debt was not mine to pay. But the government and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye on that issue. So when they came after me for it? I did what any other sensible person wouldn’t do.
I buried my head like an ostrich in the sand.
(FYI, learn from me . . . don’t ever bury your head when it comes to the IRS. It doesn’t ever go away and it doesn’t ever get better. Put on your big girl panties, cling to Jesus and face them head-on.)
Anyway, years go by, penalties and interest accrue, and I finally meet and get engaged to the man that God intended for me. And no, he wasn’t a self-made millionaire who made my IRS issues go away. In fact, I almost didn’t marry him for fear of dragging him into this IRS mess.
Instead, here we are today. Five years into our marriage. Eleven years into my IRS issues. And this morning I awoke to him saying, “wake up, I need to talk to you about something.” It so happens that my 13-year-old son left on a cross country flight at 6:00 am. I immediately assumed the worst. But no, it’s not my son. He’s fine. Thank you, Jesus!
Instead, it’s the fact that the IRS, without notice; levied our bank accounts. Every last penny (and more) that were in there. Without. Notice. Even though, we’ve been paying on my never-ending payment plan. We let them know five months ago that our financial situation had changed. We continued to pay what we could, but it is less than the overwhelming amount that we originally were forced to agree to. We tried to contact the agent “handling” my case, but to no avail. We were told that she would contact us.
Which apparently she did. Yesterday afternoon. By draining our checking accounts beyond their balances.
The gift? (First, that our son was safe and sound.) Then the actual gift is that my husband woke me up. That although he is angry and hurt and reactive and trying to not point blame at me, he woke me up. To talk about it. To express his frustration and hurt and lack of control. To admit how scary this is. To say how overwhelmed he is. To say that he is angry.
In my mind’s eye? He could have just left. I expected him to.
And while I still battle with self-hatred over this one thing? This one little thing that has become huge and wants to take over our lives? I rest in the fact that it cannot take my life. Because of the gifts that God continues to pour out on me. Even when I can say, in my darkest of days (like today); if not for Jesus, my husband and my children? I would take my own life to escape from this.
I am so grateful for the gift of grace that God pours over me. That He doesn’t exact penalties and interest and levies and never-ending payments. What a gift. I am eternally grateful, even when we’ll need to face a bank account that is beyond gone, bills still to be paid and an overwhelming payment plan.