I NEVER thought this day would come, and OH how I want to run through the streets of Chicago, declaring the goodness, faithfulness and timeliness of TODAY.
Today, by God’s provision and goodness, I PAID OFF THE LAST OF MY DEBT!!!
Anyone who knows me, knows what a dog-gone burden these last four and a half years have been with debt. I have shed SO many tears over the penny-pinching and weight of it all. I even remember last summer, balling with my roommate in her car because the weight of debt just hung over me like a cloud. According to my calculations then, it should have taken me ANOTHER 3 years to get out…
“With my God I can scale a wall” … “Those who go out weeping, will reap with songs of JOY”
What’s more important is what I learned in the process. These are just some of the things I learned and for them all (and even what I don’t even realize that I’ve quite learned) I am SO thankful!
* My money is not mine to do whatever I please. It comes from God and essentially all belongs to Him. I learned to ask Him about purchases and how I should spend the money He’s given.
* It is WAY better to give than to receive! When I am actually not spending more on me, there is more to give away or, crazy thought, put towards debt! Imagine that…
* Watching how I spend the money that I’ve been entrusted with helps me to distinguish between needs and wants, what can wait and what I can get over and live without.
* God showed me in this process how I would put a lot of security in how I dressed and what people thought of me. Please don’t think I’m saying God wants us to wear paper bags and be dirty, but I learned that He wants us to be less “me focused” and more secure in who He says we are. That’s being clothed with beauty that this world does not have a clue about!
* One of the greatest things I’ve learned – GOD GIVES US INCREDIBLE GIFTS!! Wow, does He ever! I have testimony after testimony of when I had nothing, He lavished me with things above and beyond what I could have ever purchased or saved for (a FREE trip to Colorado, in the mountains, stayed at a Beautiful ranch…need I say more??!)
* Another lesson I so cherish from this time is how to deeply trust and abide in Christ. Money is a real root of worry and anxiety in us all – that’s why we worry when the savings account is low, or 401K’s seem insufficient for retirement or what we will wear and eat. Rarely is it really, “In God we trust” (funny how that’s written on our bills…) but at the root of it if we’re honest it goes more like, “In the money I see or can budget or save, I can then trust in God”. Man, God showed me how ALL of that is just false security and can be taken away in an instant (which it was!) AND I’m grateful. It created a greater leaning, trust and surrender of what I put my hope in.
* A little sure can go a lot farther than we think, and when coupled with prayer to a gracious God, it can go a hundred times farther!
* I want gratification NOW and I DON’T LIKE TO WAIT. Yeah, this reaaallllyy surfaced in my heart and funny thing is, God has allll the time in the world to help us get beyond ourselves : D, so better to learn sooner than drag it out!
Thank you Lord…may I never forget these truths and help me to continue in them! Honestly, one of my biggest fears is that I’ll go buck-wild on a shopping spree or something — haha! Hey, just being honest 🙂
To all those who are chipping away at their debt with what seems to be the smallest hammer, I just want to encourage y’all to KEEP CHIPPING AWAY. God will bring the increase and teach you valuable and priceless lessons along the way. And when you get discouraged because you see others doing what you wish you could do, I KNOW it totally stinks in the moment, but press into believing that as you wait on God, something greater is at work then giving in to the temporary lures. He truly rewards those who diligently seek Him with greater treasures that cannot be bought.
My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God!! ~ 1 Samuel 2:1, 2
Hannah’s praise is mine today!!! THANK YOU LORD!