This is story that you have all been waiting for. That life changing moment that occurred last week. The monumental event I hinted at on Friday. It starts off a little sad but gets amazing fast- I promise!
Last Monday, I went through the day not knowing that my life was about to be changed. In fact, I had a bit of a budgetary hangover. Relaxing for the weekend in Sonoma was wonderful, but it also cost moolah. Dinners out, zip lining, etc… add up… especially when you leave your favorite tasting room with this:
Yep, that's a lot of wine! (I have good news about this expense, too, but that comes later...)
I had done an okay job over the weekend in relaxing and not thinking too much about all the changes loomed ahead of us, but, in coming home, reality hit me in the face. While trying to stay calm about our finances over the last few months, I had done what I knew to do and then put off thinking about the details. Knowing exactly where we stood wasn’t going to make the problem go away. This is what my desk looked like:
Holy schmoly- that's a desk? Yep, there's a bra there...
Some of that stuff even had to do with us GETTING money, yet I still ignored it! It’s not like I was handling the situation remarkably well, but…
I did the only thing I knew to do. I just kept praying. Honestly, there was nothing else I could do; I was looking for a second job, as was Chris. We had cut back on expenses and were pretty diligent on not spending extra. I truly didn’t know where the money for the impending HSLP was going to come from. We had enough to get by; how were we going to get more? So on Monday, just like many days before, I faithfully asked God to help us. I did this every time I thought about our finances.
On Tuesday, my prayer was answered. Have you ever seen the Publishers’ Clearing House winner receive their prize? The morning of my birthday was a bit like this:
There were no balloons or camera crews or suits. But there should have been. I was in my pajamas, opening birthday presents with Chris. For my last gift, I opened a series of envelopes, each nestled in each other like Russian dolls. It seemed as if it would never end, but the final envelope held a card and a check filled in with a VERY large number. (It was a number many, many, many times larger than I had ever written on a check, that’s for sure!) This check was intended to pay off our debt- ALL OF IT!
- Chris’ student loans- PAID!
- Em’s student loans- PAID!
- Dental bills- PAID!
- Credit card we used Aug-Oct while Chris was job hunting- PAID!
- Chris’ upcoming braces- PAID!
This is how absolutely incredible God is: The number on that check, once I added up our debt, was $336 dollars more than what we owed. No one knew what the total of our debt was- not even me! Yet God heard my prayers and worked in someone who chose to do what he asked and sent a check that would pay off every penny that we owe.
Honestly, I don’t even know how to tell the story to do it justice. To top it all off, Chris received an unexpected quarterly bonus on Wednesday. This paid for all that wine I showed you at the beginning. Score!
I’m really excited to share this with you because it shows that God answers prayers. He is the one to be praised.
Now to Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we request or think about, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21, WTJ)
Amen is right!
Over the next couple of days, I had to work on two things:
- Recognizing that God had answered my prayer and being thankful. Who was I to tell him that it was too much? That I didn’t want it in the way he answered? Or to feel guilty or undeserving? He had answered exceedingly above what I requested, so the appropriate response was thanksgiving.
- That I should allow people to give to me. I don’t like it when I try to do something for someone and they won’t let me, so why should I do that to someone else?
The last week has been remarkable, because now that our debt is gone, we are ourselves again. We now see that God really is as big as he says he is- and he’s talking to us! With that realization and free from the burden of debt, we are now able to look up, to dream, to plan.
And that is what this blog will now be about!