The Frustrating Situation
Let’s just say, Bryan’s car better not break for a LONG time. I feel like we fixed everything that could have possibly gone wrong with the car. And yet, the brakes still need to be replaced and it needs at least two new tires.
Enter me: I’m a worrier, and a planner, and a control freak, lacking in faith and bearing my own burdens. Bryan’s car had been in the shop since Wednesday, September 30th and I’ve been freaking out for the last week and a half.
My mom thinks that I’m not trusting God. I told her, “I know! Of course I’m not trusting in God!”
It’s just that we’ve worked so hard to get so close to paying off ALL of our debt. We paid off my car in August, we paid off our wedding rings in September and by the end of September we had paid off over $5,300 of debt over the course of 4 short months! We only had $2,600 to go and we were going to have that gone by the middle of November. We had a PLAN, and I just don’t like it when my plans get messed with! My pain is understandable, right?
We got the bill today. And we charged $2,620.68 to our credit card today. Just saying that HUGE amount makes me squirm.
Provision from the Father
Maybe you’re even starting to see the way God is working in all of this. But it took me a little longer to realize just how perfectly this all works out…
The $2,600 I mentioned before is all that we owe Bryan’s parents for his car. No interest, no due dates, no decrease in credit score if we don’t pay it off right away. We’ve been blessed from the beginning by their generousity.
The bill? Yeah, only $20.68 over what we had already planned to have in our checking account by the middle of November. And guess when our credit card payment is due? Yep, you guessed it, November 16th.
How amazing is that? I’m almost in tears at the way God provides for us!
Sin Issue Revealed
I honestly never doubted that God would provide for us, after seeing over and over again his provision in our lives. It was more that I was and am struggling with anger that it can’t be done MY WAY. My way was to have zero debt by 2010. I hate debt! I really do. I wanted to be done with it and I, of course, did not want Bryan’s car to break.
But God desires to draw me closer to Him and make me more like Christ. That’s God’s way.
While I know I tend to struggle with control and carrying my own burden rather then laying them before the Lord, I didn’t really notice I was acting in the same way towards money.
I have been finding a lot of my security in money.
Lesson (in the process of being) Learned
I’m still struggling with putting my faith in a plan and finding security in our finances. We’ve been blessed. And it’s truly difficult for me to praise God in the midst of blessing. But I’m feeling a heavy flow of conviction at this point, and I’m ready to see God change my heart by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The New Plan
Ultimately, my plan is to trust God with our money.
I’m not going to look at our budget and bank account 3 times a day anymore. (You have NO idea how hard that’s going to be for me) I’m not going to obsess about having enough money in May 2010. I’m not going to try to plan each and every financial detail of our lives through the next 3.5 years.
I am going to look at our budget each month. I am going to pay our bills on time. I am going to take out the cash we need for the month and stay under our budgeted cash amounts. And I am going to remain responsible with our finances.
I don’t believe that trusting God with our finances means that I throw out our budget, do not watch what we spend, refuse to have a schedule to pay off our debt, and take out loans for school. King Solomon encouraged wisdom with money, and I’m still determined to be as wise as I can be regarding our finances.
So, in the mean time, we do have a plan so that we can stay wise and be responsible with the money God has entrusted to us:
In the following order, we plan to:
- Stick with our budget, cutting corners when possible and saving any extra.
- Fix the brakes and tires with an “extra paycheck” I’ll get in December.
- Refill our emergency fund back up to $1,000.00 as soon as possible
- By the end of this year, save up $1,200.00 for the first Iowa State Tuition payment to come out January 20th, 2010
- Slowly, but surely, re-pay the last $2,600.00 we owe to Bryan’s parents over the course of 2010.
While we’re committed to paying off our debt as soon as possible, we’re still going to pay cash for college so it’s going to go a lot slower then I’ve planned. And speaking of plans, I’m not going to have a schedule to pay off our debt. I really don’t want to make the same mistake twice by putting my hope in the date which we’ll be debt-free. We are going to work hard and whatever extra we have at the end of each month will immediately go to our debt.