I was working on our taxes on Sunday. They are kind of complicated due to various things but I'm pretty sure I got it all right comparing what we paid way too much for someone else to do for us last year and what I'm coming up with this year on the free version of Turbo Tax.
One thing I was (for some reason though I really shouldn't have been) surprised at was that we don't get a federal tax refund this year. Did you know that you have to actually earn income to get the Earned Income Tax Credit? And the Child Tax Credit? Who'd have thunk it? Silly me.
Last year we got a bit of a return because Glenn had had that work study job the summer before. The previous year we got one because he had worked half the year at Highland before starting medical school. This year we both worked hard but neither of us worked at all for pay. That means we didn't earn any money. Which means, obviously, no tax refund.
When I first came to that realization slight panic attacked me. Our tax refunds have been super helpful in the past. They are something I've come to expect every spring. They helped us purchase a vehicle. They helped cover the little more that we spend every month than we should (we're not good at the zero based budget thing but our only debt - by God's grace - is school loans - PTL!). They have helped us pay cash for part of Glenn's tuition bills, our inevitable vehicle repairs, and other unexpected expenses. And this year we aren't getting one.
Truth came through after my brief moment of panic and I realized something. God doesn't need a tax refund. He is going to
supply our needs. In His way. In His time. I am not worried. He's not using a tax refund this year. That is OK. I can trust Him. I know part of how He is going to provide for us for the coming year but I don't know what else He might or might not do. I do know that every cent we've ever gotten has come from God to provide for our needs. Even if, from the outside, it looked like it came from our jobs or a tax refund or an inheritance from my parents or countless other sources. Every penny has been a gift from our generous God who knows our needs and provides for them and for so many of our wants as well.
Thanks God for faithfully providing for us. Thank You that You are not dependent on any outside source. Thank You that we can trust You completely. Please help us to be faithful with the resources that You provide for us and help us to steward them well for Your glory remembering that they are, ultimately, Yours.
Note: When I saw that we weren't getting a federal tax refund I thought, "Oh no! How much do we owe NY?" It turns out that, this year, NY gives you $100 per kid aged 4-16 even if you didn't earn any money. Interesting. So, after all the calculations are done, we are getting about $300 from NY. I am thankful that we don't have to pay anything this year and that we are getting from NY enough to pay for our moving truck - yay! Thanks God!