Here is the conclusion of Jessica’s story from last week. (If you missed PART I, you will find it in the previous posts.) This is not the “end” of Jessica’s story – as you will discover – it is a new beginning.
“The lawyers told us if we claimed bankruptcy, we could stay in our home and the mortgage company could not take it away from us. The lawyers also told us all of our credit card accounts would be closed, and we would not be able to use credit cards for the next 5 years and we would need to make monthly payments to a trustee. At the end of 5 years, all of our credit cards would be paid off, and we would continue making mortgage payments. The difference is the mortgage would be up to date. The lawyer assured us we would be able to stay in our home. It was a difficult choice, but filing bankruptcy allowed us to restructure our debt in order to get back on track. That was in the beginning of 2014. Today, we are still in our home, making payments every month to the trustee, and looking forward to 2019 when all of the credit cards will be paid in full.
We have learned to live without using credit cards or buying anything new on credit. We have learned to live within our means and only spend the money we make. If we need to buy something, we have to save for it. We try to keep money in savings for any emergencies, such as car repairs, home repairs, appliances, dental, or medical bills; all the things you cannot foresee, yet they sometimes happen. It’s actually been good for us to learn to spend only what we make and not be able to pull out a credit card any time we want to buy something new. It took us a long time to learn this lesson, but it’s about time. We have both attended the Dave Ramsey classes more than once over the years, so we had heard his teachings about being financially responsible. I’ve always known what I was supposed to be doing financially, but I wasn’t doing it! Dave says, “Live like you’ve never lived before, so YOU CAN LIVE LIKE YOU’VE NEVER LIVED BEFORE!!!”
You may have to live frugally for a while, in order to someday be free of debt. It’s okay to shop at Goodwill or thrift stores. I love getting a good deal on something! I wish I had been doing that all my life. It is well worth it! I want to be able to retire someday and travel. I’m going to need money then too, so if I have to buy used furniture or have yard sales to make some money, I’m okay with that. I won’t lie, sometimes I feel bad telling people I can’t afford something, but that is a pride thing. That is my own foolish pride. The important thing is God knows what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it! I don’t need to buy the most expensive products or the most expensive clothes or makeup. If others judge me, I’m okay with that. My true friends love me for me, not for how much money I spend on clothes or makeup. Remember, it’s not what kind of car you drive, or how much money you have in the bank or what college you went to, it’s how you make people feel when they are around you. So I hope I am making people feel good when they are around me. God is the only judge I need! I know we will get through this, and we’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way! Although I’m happy we’ve learned this lesson at this point in our lives, I just wish we would have learned it sooner. But God’s timing is not our timing, and thankfully, God has a plan for us.
Sometimes it takes going through something like this to make the changes in your life that you need to make. People have to do what is best for them without looking to others for approval. If God is for me, who can be against me? If God was trying to teach me something through all of this, it’s okay with me, and I’m happy for that. I need all the help I can get, and I want that help from God! I say, “Father, teach me everything I need to know, because I’m all ears!” My faith has gotten me through this, and I will keep believing that God’s Got This! God is my strength through everything I go through!
We live in a beautiful house, although I could use a maid! LOL! We both have good jobs with benefits. I have a 401K, and my husband has an IRA. We are blessed! I have to tell myself that every day, and I have learned to be truly grateful for what we have!”
Sometimes going through difficult times, we forget to take inventory of everything we should be thankful for. Jessica’s story is a beautiful example that God is in control, and the challenges in our lives can actually deepen our faith because no part of us or our lives is “too messy” for Him.
Thanks Jessica, for sharing your story!