Every extra penny went into a savings account. Budgets. Moderation. I watched Dave Ramsey and spoke with the utmost knowledge about money, investments and wastefulness. I sighed and shook my head at people who misused credit cards. I felt sorry for those who had never learned the proper way to handle money or to embrace the goal of becoming debt-free.
I was a fool.
There are certain principles that are wise and prudent to live by, but they are not “cure all” answers to life’s problems. Everything must be approached with grace. Mounds of it. So much that it spills out onto every word, every thought, every action. By all means, we should learn to handle our finances and we should aspire to help others do the same, but only with humble grace.
When my husband and I came home from Haiti, we had $20 between the two of us. That was it. We also had over $4,000 dollars worth of bills due that month. It wasn’t a matter of “cutting out” and of “budgeting” — you can’t budget twenty bucks.
Months passed and we couldn’t pay our bills. We scraped and saved. I cried. Couldn’t sleep at night. Worked harder. And God humbled me. Swiftly.
We started spreading the word that the farm was available for sale and I ached in agony over it.
And I learned to pray in brokenness when it came to the area of finances. I didn’t have any answers and I realized that I never had.
God was gracious. He worked miracles. Not only did we not sell the farm, but by the end of the year, miraculously, we were able to pay it off.
But I’m being brutally honest here: we missed months’ worth of payments. Our electric bill. Our heating bill. Our mortgage. Months. My credit score, that I had once been so proud of, was ripped to shreds.
It wasn’t our plan to go to Haiti until our farm was paid for. It wasn’t our plan to go without a year’s worth of income sitting in the bank for when we came home. Yet, God doesn’t usually depend on our plans.
It was God’s plan that I learn grace. It was God’s plan that I face difficulties that weren’t cured by a book or budget worksheet. It was God’s plan that I learned to feel desperation and learned to scrape my knees raw, kneeling before Him.
It is God’s plan that I be refined in every area. Finances, relationships, careers, schooling, etc… To remind me that there are no “cure all” answers. There is just Him and me. There is my heart laid bare before an Omnipotent Creator. Humbled and sifted. Made beautiful through my broken weakness and my utter dependence on Him.
I stumbled across your site. I am recently trying to find my relationship with God again. I am a single mother of two and in a horrible financial situation and am looking for answers help of any kind and support in some ways. I have been through so much and finding it difficult to breathe. I am trying so hard to breathe and do the right things and not lose my children because of some bad luck not because I spend or Im just in a bad spot.
Any advice would be most appreciated and needed.
Thank you so much in advance.
Oh how often we think we have it figured out…only to find we knew nothing! Thank you for sharing part of your journey.
In many of the same ways my husband and I have gone through this.are going through this.thank you
So very much
Ah, Natasha. 🙂 Thank you.
Great post, great reminder Natasha! Thank you for sharing. I am continually amazed at how God humbles us in areas we don’t even see ourselves as being prideful about. It happens all. the. time. When will I learn true humility??? Thankful He isn’t finished with me yet.
I so loved this…especially the line “there are no ‘cure all’ answers, just you and Him”! That’s it…that’s the point where our faith meets His! There is where the miraculous happens! Thanks so much for sharing! Have a blessed weekend!
Michell @Prowess and Pearls
That last paragraph spoke to my heart; knowing fully but often forgetting to embrace it, that His plans, His ways are higher than mine and He wants to use every shred of it to show me more of Him. He is using a lot in my life right now to show me grace, mainly a lot of grace for others, but also finally being able to have grace for myself.
God can make beauty from financial ashes. And if you’re anything like me, that season of great financial hardship helped you cement in your mind that money and “stuff” isn’t what’s important. I wouldn’t wish our year of unemployment and living off of food pantries on anyone, but at the same time, I think everyone would do well to grow through an experience like that. I know we were changed for the better because of it.
Thank you for being vulnerable, Natasha.
This post really shows one of the main reasons why Natasha is one of my favorite writers. Real, graceful transparency… Awesome! Great job!
This is so on point. Thank you for your transparency in sharing this wisdom from God!