A reader writes:

Here’s the short version of my story: I was a proposal writer for a non-profit in Alexandria, VA until early December ’08. Thanks to the recession, some of our top donors were unable to come through with some pretty significant donations. Layoffs began in earnest, and about ten of us lost our jobs in the first round.

Obviously this was “inconvenient,” but it wasn’t the end of the world because I already had a small side business in place. When we found out my wife was pregnant more than a year before, I started offering local “moving and delivery assistance” with my pickup to people in the DC area. It actually turned out to be pretty popular, and helped to pay the bills. However, the infrastructure wasn’t where I needed it to REPLACE my previous income – especially when you throw health care into the mix. It’s getting there, but our savings just ran out and while business is getting better, now we’re beginning to get nervous.

God has been good. Thanks to our own stupidity, we bought too much house early in our marriage and have been scrambling ever since. We should have gone under several times by now, but somehow we’ve stayed afloat.

But like I said, it’s do-or-die time, and on this particular Monday morning, I’m having a hard time being optimistic. There’s no more cushion, and business is just trickling in. If it doesn’t increase in the next month or so, it could get really rough.

I’m not looking for a hand-out here. I accepted a little bit of money from our parish early on when it seemed like a good time to panic, but it’s burned my conscience ever since. What I could definitely use are prayers. I’ve never been happier – working for oneself tends to do that – but I’m also running pretty ragged. I could easily work around the clock to promote the business, but I’m sure my wife and son would like me to be around at least part of the day.

Father, hear the prayers of your son as he seeks to make an honest buck for an honest day’s work and provide for his family. As you you helped Joseph always have enough for the Holy Family, we pray that you we will help your son in his need as well, through Christ our Lord.

Father Joseph, pray for your son and help him to trust in God who provides for us.

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