Here’s my little Happy New Year gift to you. Each Monday in January, I’ll bring you a simple, concrete and easy-to-put-in-place tip to fuel your efforts to Save Money, Pay Off Debt and Be Awesome this year. Looking for a quick plan? Well this might not to be the right place for you. Most things done well take time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t begin to implement systems in your life that will help you achieve your goals. I’ve said it many, many times before. Paying off debt isn’t complex. It’s just not easy. You have to punch the clock daily and do the hard work. Here’s another way to make that happen.
I struggled with the best way to share this bit of wisdom with you. You see, I can think of more than a handful of times when I came to a friend seeking wisdom and immediate action steps and was met with a seemingly dismissive, “You need to pray more about it,” or, “I’ll pray for you.” I am positive my sweet friends meant well. I just longed for a little something more.
Don’t misunderstand me. My faith is the centerpiece of my life. As best as I can, everything I do and say turns around who I believe Jesus to be. Granted, there are certainly times when a Cherie-centric view grabs hold of my mind and heart, turning my direction. But seeking and serving God is my sole means of existence. My heart’s desire is to have everything flow through that filter.
However, I am a practical gal. I operate under tag lines like “5 Easy Ways to Save Money,” “3 Must Haves to Make Your Home Function,” “10 Household Cleaners,” “15 Questions to Ask Your Spouse.” I like action steps. I like measured results. I want quantifiable outcomes. So for me to tell you to Kick Debt in the Teeth by praying seems flippant and cliche and, if I’m being bare bones honest, weak.
I’d do anything to shower you with financial wisdom. I want to provide you with simple life-changing lifehacks. I long to take your seemingly insurmountable debt and poof it away with the wave of my hand or at least a coupon trick or two. But there are forces in this world beyond my control, powers I barely comprehend.
Seeking God’s assistance while paying off debt is daunting. I’ve written about the ways I feel debt is spiritual and how essential asking for forgiveness was on our journey. But I’m not sure I’ve ever shared how we prayed. Sometimes we prayed together, but usually we prayed as individuals. I know I begged and pleaded with God to make our debt go away in the early days. For a miracle check or a mysterious windfall. It never happened. Did that mean God didn’t answer my prayers? Highly unlikely. God used both prayer and the experience of paying off debt not just to change our finances but to change my heart. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen quickly. Turns out, I’m a pretty tough nut to crack. Contentment can still evade me. Greed and envy find a playground in my soul more often than I’d care to admit. Sometimes my thoughtlessness can result in not saving as much as I could.
I’m far from where I should be, but I’m not where I once was either.
By God’s grace, we’ve paid off $127K in debt and I still pray to be delivered from debt every single day.
Every time a thought of wanting something we can’t afford sneaks into my soul.
Every time a desire to spend recklessly assaults my heart.
Every time I want to blame my spouse for my own errors.
Every time I want the world to throw me a pity party because we choose to make a difficult financial decision.
Every time I make a mistake with money.
Every time I choose my own wants and needs over those I know God has called me to seek out.
It turns out prayer is not weak. And if you really want to kick debt in the teeth, it might be the most powerful way to start your day and to live in each of your hours.
For more practical debt-slaying tips, check out Cherie’s book Slaying the Debt Dragon available now wherever books are sold!