Friday, May 13, 2011

Couldn’t You Have Picked a More Exciting Hobby? (6

"Have you prayed about it?"

What is a devastated and defeated husband to do when his wife strikes a blow against the enemy of his mind with such powerful words?

With that simple phrase, Mindy got me refocused on what was really important and not on the seemingly impossible eight years. Mindy reminded me that I was concentrating on what was impossible for man when I needed to focus on what was possible for God. God understands time. He set the boundaries of time, but He has no limits.

Right there in that moment, we prayed together. We laid out our heart's desires before our Lord. We handed him control of our budget and all that He would want for us. We asked for forgiveness for the debt we had incurred. We asked that He would make us good stewards of all He would provide. We asked that He would give us the stamina, focus, and encouragement to keep climbing and to not give up despite our current circumstances.

When we were done praying, I was no longer focused on the eight years. 96 months was still right there on the debt snowball forecast but instead, I was at peace. I knew God was already answering our prayer and He had a plan. There was no way to know what He would do, but I had faith that He was already doing it.

Now, I am about to share some things which most people would find very personal. We have been very open with many close friends with our story as it has been happening. We do this for two reasons - accountability and to build trust while discussing a tough subject. Even so, three or four months ago, I was hesitating about doing this. But, last weekend something happened to give me reassurance it is all for His Glory. The numbers only matter to show what He has done.

DEBT at the start (February 2007): $95,283.48
That was 51 months ago. As mentioned previously, we struggled through the first year.
DEBT Paid in 2007: $4,094.37
DEBT (February 2008): $91,189.11

This was the amount staring me down when the debt snowball forecast said 96 months to Freedom! That was the point I found myself ready to give in and accept a lifetime of mediocrity. This did not appear to be going away anytime soon.

Then we prayed.

That was 39 months ago. Today we can say:

"Praise God, because by His Grace, We Are DEBT FREE and can walk in Financial Peace and Freedom."

There is so much more to the story than I can share right now. So much happened during those 39 months which always pointed to the Hand of God. Here are two quick examples:
  • During four of those months, as the sole income provider in our home, I was without a fulltime job. During that time, we never lacked and we had peace like we never had during three previous jobless periods in my career.
  • Since February 2008, I have been working on 6 or 12 month orders at a time for the Army. The additional cool thing about that is I do not have to worry about throwing numbers out and someone extrapolating them to figure out how much I earn. My salary is public knowledge and easily found through an internet search.
When God takes 96 months and changes it to 39, Brace yourself for what He will accomplish next!

The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender. - Proverbs 22:7

At least in terms of consumer debt, we are servants no more. We are now moving on to Baby Step #3: 3-6 months expenses in savings. We still owe on a reasonable home mortgage, which we will pay off early in Baby Step #6.

I'll focus on that when we get there!

"The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory." - Ted Engstrom


Jennifer said...

=) W & M, how can we express our excitement for you?! Words are absolutely inadequate. So excited about the testimony & the faithfulness of God in your lives shown through all of this. We have personally seen you give ALL of the glory to Jesus Christ and His impossibly possibly ways. Wow! Praise God! What also excites us that He joined us through all of this in sweet friendship with your family. We have witnessed the church working as He intended it to by sharing in your journey and by you sharing in ours. This victory for you is like a victory for us and all along our bumpy path, we've watched you cheer us on with prayers and endless encouragement.

Thank you for sharing your story with us on a personal level, and with the world so that others, too, can experience the freedom that God intends for so many families.

We love you guys.....THANK YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

Donna said: I have to say that your article gave me much hope for the future. Prayer starts the action of what you prayed for, but following it and doing it takes faith. Praying as a team of husband and wife is so vital in this present day. Staying the course is the key, (JESUS is that key). As a divorced woman whose husband goals were different than mine, money was a source of control. The two of you setting this example of praying together, right hearted, in agreement, seeking Gods Will for your lives, only encourages me more about the power of prayer. I hope that your example leads more married couples to seek Gods Will together, in prayer, to see many miricles in their family lives. Great testimony!

Marc said...

Way to go guys! An inspiration, and an example of God's goodness and grace. Thanks for letting down your pride to allow God's glory to shine!