Money and Debt and Things

Before John and I even got engaged, one of the topics we discussed was debt. John had very little debt, while I on the other hand did not have little debt. I remember crying the night I told him about the debt I was in, thinking he wouldn’t want to get involved any further in our relationship. I look back at that now and laugh a little. At the time, John was super supportive and also believed I must have been a million dollars in debt by the way I was acting. When I actually told him the total and the things it was on, his response was, “Seriously? That’s it? I was expecting way worse than that!” To which I sniffled and thought he must not have heard me correctly, haha.

I really did marry a great man. A guy that has listened to me complain several times over about how “I was forced into some of those situations, yet at the same time, I hold myself completely responsible,” and on and on and on. Growing up and not until shortly before I started dating John, I didn’t realize that being debt-free was an option. I mean, if you needed a car, you went to a car place, picked an average car, signed some papers, and then wrote a check every month to someone for the car. I mean, no person (barring celebrities) really walks into a dealership and completely purchases a car. Or, if you want to go to college, you have to get a student loan, because that’s the only way to afford an education. I never really understood about savings accounts or ways to do things without some help from an interest based loan.

I am, by all means, not talking down at all to people that have student loans, car payments, or a credit card payment. Because, I definitely have all of the above and I don’t have any desire to talk bad about my ownself on my own blog. If that were the case, I wouldn’t publish this entry. Because, it’s my own blog and I get to choose how good I want to make myself look :o) Anyways, I digress back to the whole debt really sucks thing…

When John and I got engaged, we decided our family would be one that does things debt-free (with a small loophole in there for potentially purchasing a house one day). For starters, our wedding was completely debt-free. All of the glory goes straight to Jesus on that one because there were so many ways He provided for that to happen. And, since we’ve gotten married (almost one year! in two weeks!), we have not created one ounce of new debt. That’s another “all of the glory goes straight to Jesus” things because there have been times when parents or other family or friends have provided something big or small right when we needed it.

We have also, by the grace and help of the Lord, not missed a tithe since we’ve been married. This is huge for me personally, because the Lord struggled with me for years on this topic. It was an area I had a really tough time of surrender in. Oh, if only I had surrendered sooner, then the Lord would have been able to show off in my life so much sooner. There have been times when I have looked at our bills and thought, “If we don’t tithe, or lessen our giving, we’ll have more for {insert whatever here},” but with the Lord’s help, those thoughts don’t really exist anymore. God has blessed us huge by our obedience in this area.

Over this last year, it wasn’t/hasn’t been easy to live in a teeny, tiny one bedroom apartment. Or to not have cable. Or to not eat out whenever we want. Or to miss out on so many movies on the big screen. Or to not be able to get my nails done (there are some days when I feel like I would murder someone just to enjoy a pedicure, haha). Or to get trendy clothes. Or this or that….blah blah. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s all just stuff. And, I would rather limit my material stuff now to be debt-free in the near future!

As the payoff on our debt is getting smaller, I am amazed at how much progress we’ve made despite all of the medical/dental stuff we’ve paid over this first year, moving into a new town, etc, etc. We still have a long way to go and I so wish we were already there! But, we are praying through some exciting options right now to springboard our debt-free movement even more. I don’t want to say specifics just yet, because we are still seeking the Lord’s will on it, but please pray for us if you don’t mind! We want our sweet child to grow up in a debt-free home and we want the freedom of being debt-free so that we are able to do anything imaginable that the Lord may call us to in the future. It’s amazing how much debt can confine you and limit your possibilities in work for the Lord. (Of course I believe that the Lord could completely deliver us from debt today if He so desired, but I also believe that our sin of allowing debt in our lives has consequences. And, one of those consequences is the limiting of our sphere of influence to impact the world for Christ) But, we are excited to see what God holds financially for this next year of our marriage!

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