“If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Dave Ramsey
In the fall of 2004, I found myself in a place of “security.” I had a beautiful truck, a decent paying job, friends, and freedom. I moved into a pretty decent apartment in Memphis and I was ready to conquer the world. That was until I was not expecting to be fired in the middle of the month of December. I had accumulated a lot of debt at that time and had no means to pay it. At one point, I worked three jobs and paid as much as I could to get it all taken care of. I had always told myself “I’ll charge it to the card and pay it off at the end of the month.” The old saying “the road to ruin was paved with good intentions” was the motto at this point in my life. I knew that it wouldn’t all be good when at the end of the month if I had a job.
Less than 6 months later I found myself at the Shelby County Court House filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and living back with my parents. I had always been the and now I had to face the music of my poor decisions. The shackles and chains of this bankruptcy haunted me for many years after it happened.
I met my beautiful wife to be in 2006 after I moved to St. Louis to start my life over. I have always tried to be open and honest about my past with anyone to whom I had relationship with. I was met with a lot of grace and mercy regarding this past from her and her parents. At this point, I had not incurred anymore debt; however we weren’t doing anything to attack it after we got married. It wasn’t until 2008 that I finally listened to a well-known expert on money that the borrower was truly a slave to the lender. I truly became a slave to those of whom I owned money to.
Sara and I began the journey of freedom in 2008. We found ourselves with nearly $14,000 in debt from my student loans (FYI…Student Loans are not able to be bankrupted unless you’re dead.) To you, that may scoff and say “I wish I only owe that much.” But for a couple who had only been married a short time with one child on the way and an income below poverty leave; this was impossible. Then we decided to throw a wrench into the gear. Sara was pregnant with our 2nd child and we made the decision for her to come home full-time. We knew that God was telling us to make this move that made absolutely no sense and we received a lot of opposition.
The Word tells us if we honor God, He will honor us. At this point, we had made little headway on paying off this debt and we were burning out quick. In July of 2011, I found myself at a crisis. Our lives could have been a country song with all the stuff that was happening. At this time, I had a major car accident which totaled my transportation to get me to work every day while at the same time the head gasket blew on our van that carried my kids around. We began to ask where was God in the midst of this. We could not understand why if we gave our tithes and blessed others that we would have to go through this. We just could not seem to get a break.
We had vowed to never have a car payment again and we were in deep trouble. After a few months with nothing seeming to come from the Lord, we got a check for a sum of money that would allow us to buy a car. It wouldn’t be anything fancy but it would be something that I could afford to buy. With that, I was on a search for another vehicle.
I just wasn’t finding something that would settle. I wasn’t snooty about it but I wanted a decent car. I finally put something on Facebook and I got a lead. “We have a car if you want to buy it. I will send you some pictures. ” This was the ugliest car I had seen. However, I know how God works so I went to look at it. Long story short, I fell in love with this car. Ugly and all. I also got a super deal on it. So super that the money that was given to us covered the car and when I got home, I got online to check our balance on one of the loans and I had enough to pay the loan in full. What? God used that to do what?
My point is, if you let God do His job, He will relieve you of bondage. He will release you from slavery. What happened next was even more of a miracle. We received another check 4 months later and that paid off all of the other debt. If you honor God, He will honor you.
Why tell you all this? What does this have to do with leaving a legacy without selling your soul?I want to encourage you leave a legacy of greatness to your children. When you have the shackles and chains around you of debt, you have less that you can use to put into the Kingdom of God. If you are in bondage to debt, you have less that you can invest in your savings and in the future of your children’s education.
Friend, I want to see you succeed! Get ready to break off the shackles and the chains of debt! Once you do, you will begin to save money for a legacy for your children not have to sell your soul in the process.
Let your light shine brighter for men!