Debt; something that is owed or that one is bound to pay to or perform for another: a debt of $50.
It doesn’t sound so bad when you look at the definition. But when hearing the word debt much different feelings arise. Often times the word debt evokes feelings of entrapment, despair and regret. Not quite as simple as the definition implies. Debt is not just money or services that are owed, when we are in debt we become slaves. We are slaves to the lender (proverbs 22:7) and we become slaves to the things we own.
I look back on our first years of marriage, our struggles to keep up and the desires for nicer things. The mistakes we made with our credit cards linger with us today and as hard as we try they’ve yet to go away. We originally opened a card to help us with our moved. It served us well in that purpose. After that it was all downhill. Instead of staying at home we’d go out and have nice meals. Didn’t have the cash in our account? Who cares, we’ll put it on the card and pay it off later. Oh my goodness, this outfit would be perfect, lets just charge it. It goes on and on. Now I can guarantee that the purchases that were so important back then are no longer with me today. Physically that is. But every day I am haunted by the bills we are still paying for. Sure I’ve probably paid off those items but the poor spending habits that it created we are still paying for every month. I may no longer own those things, but they sure do own me.
It may not seem so bad, after all everyone carries debt. But it is. Every month we struggle financially. Every month we look at our budget and know that if we did not have our debts with us that we would be living very comfortably and able to pay our bills on time. We could take our kids to shows and not have to think about where the money is coming from. We could be preparing to own a house. I could work three days a week and not have a second job! To me this is a large price for something that was done with little thought six years ago.
The biggest price however is the dreams that are put on hold at mercy of our debt. Until our debt is paid off (and it will be) I cannot start school. Its the decision I made. I desire to start everything towards becoming a midwife. And becoming a doula I will start as soon as I can. But I promised myself that I would not start nursing school until we were 75% to 100% out of debt because when I start school I want to do only school. I want that to be my full time job along with raising my children. I want everything I have in me to go towards my dream, but I cannot do that when everything I have right now is trying to keep us afloat. I’ve let instant gratification then get in the way of moving forward in the future.
And though we’ve created quite a mess for ourselves. God’s hand has been guiding us all the way. He’s allowed us to make our own mistakes, but He’s never left our side. We’ve seen it even more the last ten months. He’s guided our move every step of the way, from providing us with jobs, our home and the money to get us out here. And since we moved here its been quite a struggle. Every month seems to get a little worse but all our bills are still paid and we still have plenty of food on our table (thanks to gifts from family and friends). But each month we see his blessings and His promise that we will learn so much as we come out of this mess we’ve created. This mess of debt has truly been a blessing. I just have to use this passage as my mantra:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – – James 1: 3-4
We will get through this, with discipline, faith and perseverance and when we are done we will be more mature and complete, not lacking anything. (At least in the knowledge of that area!)