Monday, September 3, 2012

The next Adventure...

My name is Mindy, and I am a credit addict. Unfortunately, my husband is, too. (We will call him “DH” for Dearest/Darling/Devoted Hubby.) We had been praying and learning some of God’s thoughts about money for many, many years. God has been changing our hearts and attitudes toward debt, but we were struggling to get to our goal of being debt free. Little did we know, we still had a ways to go on this part of our faith journey. (There are some areas where we are slow learners.) :)

Two years ago we knew God was calling me to not work but stay home with our kids. We moved forward, and I put in my resignation. A week before my last day, God slammed the door shut and said “not now.” It felt like our dreams were being ripped away. But even in the midst of this, God provided and allowed me to keep my job and current salary, while reducing my hours from 40/week to 30/week. Amazing God!

That was a big wake-up call. After much praying, we realized we were paying the price of years of relying on credit. We felt we would never make it to our reward where I could stay home. I really struggled with God’s call and my heart’s desire to make my focus be my husband, kids, and home. I longed to have the time to be able to help friends and family more. I had to post God’s promises over my work area to remind me that He does keep His promises. A year ago, as I was arguing and crying and pleading with God about our reality vs. His call, He gave me the verse, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

At that time, though, our time was devoted to work first and foremost. Between the 2 of us, DH and I were working over 100 hours a week, and we were barely making ends meet. We hadn’t used a credit card to pay for anything in over 2 years, we paid cash for our cars, and yet debt was still suffocating us. We have 3 kids and working to pay the debts was putting stress on our whole family; including extended family who graciously took care of our kids while we worked. Proverbs 22:7 says “The borrower is slave to the lender.” We realized that what we were feeling was that of being slaves to our debt. We were working with the sole goal of earning money, and we didn’t know how to get out from underneath.

Looking back, we had to really, truly, fully learn to trust God with our finances. If you asked us if we trusted God, we would have emphatically said yes. However, God started showing us his view of money, and our idea wasn’t meshing with His. During church one Sunday, the song we sang rang true. God told me right then that we were telling God we can’t follow His plan because we might not be able to pay for the house. He told me that we needed to surrender the house. To be ok even if we lost the house. Because He had asked us to follow Him and walk in His plan, it didn’t matter if we lived in this house or a rental or a motel. It is His plan, and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

When we really started trusting God in our finances, when we created and followed a plan for our money, when we started letting go of control of our things, we started seeing God’s provision. In fact, we decided to trust God in a big way, and I resigned from my job. This last Friday was my last day of full time work, and this week, I begin homeschooling our oldest 2 kids. Since turning in my resignation, we have seen our share of Satan’s fiery darts, but why shouldn’t we? By not living as a slave to our money and instead living as God wants us to, we are working for the eternal. We have also seen God step in and provide new opportunities for income that line up with our priorities of God first, then family; ways we never expected. We are still paying for 2 of our credit debts, and we may be paying for them for a long time. However, God is still faithful and showing us that He will provide.

We have closed almost all of our credit cards. We don’t use them, so why keep them? However, I like to have back up plans. I have not been able to bring myself to cut up our last open credit card. (DH was ready months ago.) What if there is an emergency and I need that $500 credit line? But, I’ve come to realize that for me, that really isn’t trusting God. God needs to be my first plan and my back up plan. He takes care of the flowers in the fields and cares about the little birds that are a dime a dozen. Romans 8:32 says “Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” So, as the next mile marker of our faith journey, I cut up that last credit card yesterday.

This faith journey/learning process that we are on is not over yet. I am sure that there will be days (or weeks) that I wonder why I ever wanted to stay home and teach the kids. I am sure that there will be times when we don’t see how the money will be there for the house, food, or other needs. But, I am also sure that God keeps His promises. God will provide.

And who knows what this is preparing us for in the future as we learn to fully trust? :)

This story will be added to our Memorial Album. What picture should go with it? If you have an idea, could you please leave me a note in the Comments below? Thank you!


Read more of my stories of God's faithfulness here, and jump over to A Place Called Simplicity by clicking the picture below to read other Memorial Box Monday stories...

"For what You have done I will always praise you in the presence of Your faithful people. And I will hope in Your name, for Your name is good."
Psalm 52:9

Read my friend, Linny's, explanation of the Memorial Box

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6 comments:

  1. Mindy.. I am so amazed by you and you have inspired me in ways you will never know. I have loved getting to know you and am so blessed to see the path God is leading you on.

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    1. Thank you, Laura. I have enjoyed getting to know you, and (at the risk of being a mutual admiration society :) ) I admire your journey as well. You are a strong, loving, caring Mom. I am praying for your family and your journey. <3

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  2. Great story Mindy. It is so difficult to do this but God does reward it when we are obedient. Joel and I had so much medical debt from both of us having Lyme Disease and we made a decision to not use credit to buy things we needed big or small. Right away many things in the house broke down!!! We ended up doing just fine without using a card....God provided money or fixing or just going without! Amazing!!!! Maybe a picture of a cut up credit card would work?

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  3. Thank you for sharing this story! Amazing how God is patient with us as we learn to lean on HIM!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story (we shared our link too). Love hearing about God's faithfulness to his children - God bless!

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  5. What a powerful story Mindy. I am thrilled for you guys. Yes, the road isn't always easy...but living by faith wouldn't be 'faith' if we didn't have to trust. I think that last credit card, cut in half, should go in your Memorial box. *giggle* Happy home schooling - I bet your kids are sooo tickled! xoxoxo

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