Sunday, March 29, 2020

Debt Mountain Update Months 3 & 4

There's a lot happening that doesn't make sense right now. While I originally thought making the goal of getting out of debt a priority was going to be a great story about what God can do when we trust Him, it turns out, when one of the people resents being part of it, it makes the journey less fun, regardless of how amazing it is. 

Debt numbers do continue to go down... partially through regular payments, partially through jobs and opportunities that I wasn't expecting, partially through my own previous miscalculations (still waiting to find out for sure about that, actually...but it could be a decent chunk that I thought I owed the IRS that I don't.) God has definitely been in this.

For those wondering: As of the 15th of March,
we are at 67.5% of our original amount of debt! 

Our bills are paid and money goes into Mike's savings. He was given a substantial raise at work and they've put him in for a promotion. We have some work to do, but we're getting by. We are on our way to being comfortable for the first time in my life. 

His resentment doesn't sit well with me. Materially he wants for little. What he does seem to want, is justice: For me to pay for my own stupidity, my crimes, aka: my debt. On my own, without his help... meaning paying half the household bills and utilities at the same time. I already buy most of the groceries, and I feel like he's not taking into account non-monetary ways I'm contributing to the household.

Handing over money doesn't make sense to me. He too has been blessed during this journey. And because he wants for nothing materially, he basically wants me to give him several hundred a month for his savings account or to blow on things we don't need instead of putting money towards the debts that will affect our future. 

I know that we love each other very much... I believe we're trying to see eye to eye on things. So when something is so big we can't agree, I always say a simple prayer. 

"Change his heart, Lord, or change mine." By doing this, I'm asking God show us what we are supposed to do. We both know without God our marriage wouldn't survive. I do believe we are individually open to hear what God might be showing us. So I ask God to show one of us what we're doing that needs to change. 

And as I'm writing this, angry and hurt about the situation, obviously thinking about what it is going to take for God to change Mike's heart when simple logic isn't going to do it...  I'm also listening to the Sunday service online. This is what I heard: 

(Sorry about the quality. Streaming to screen-recording is even worse than normal.)

It didn't take much to get the message, even though it required a complete 180 degree turn around for me. Because by asking God to change Mike's heart or change mine, what I'm doing is giving up my own will, knowing that I might not be "right." I was giving God an opening to show me something I wasn't seeing before.

So, what's the message? I'm married to Mike. I'm committed to Mike. I am FOR Mike. If this is what it takes for him to know I am for him, then that's what I have to do. You know why? Because God is FOR us… and while it makes zero sense to do this on paper, I know that God is bigger than paper. 

Apparently it was my heart that needed to change. This debt journey has been about faith from the beginning, but the argument with Mike wasn't about faith. It was about logic and numbers. What he wants to do makes no sense to me, but what I want to do literally hurts his feelings, which means more to me than money.

Even taking what feels like a financial hit like this, God can do more, right? 

I have to fight the urge to be resentful about this or to let it hurt my feelings. I could make the opposite argument, that he should care more about me and our future together than money. But this doesn't really matter if I want my marriage to work. 

Regardless of what he actually does with the money, I'm doing what God told me to do... and I know that God is for me... not just me, US.  

God is for US, and He's not going to let US down. 

If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all
how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31-32

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