Just this last September, I invited many of you to participate in praying with me for financial provision. I firmly believe that the Lord is my provider and that He desires for me to be free from the bondage debt can bring. Though I appreciate people praying on my behalf, this "project" was more to invite others to witness God's miraculous hand at work. I hoped that it would remind and encourage you to be confident and specific in your prayers as well. He has been providing for me in large amounts, but even in that I still need encouragement. I prayed last night that the Lord would encourage me as I felt the doubt seeping in. Worry of the next miraculous provision not coming and how that could potentially cause others to doubt or stumble... Early this afternoon I received this email from a good friend of mine. He has given me permission to share it with all of you as I believed it might continue to extend encouragement to those who read it.
I wanted to share a story about how you encouraged me and you didn't even know it. A couple of months a go you included me in your email to ask for prayer that you would be debt free by the end of the year. In your letter you said you had school debt. I don't remember the actual number but I remember it being astronomical.
Upon reading your email I thought to myself, yeah right, probably not gonna happen, but I prayed for you anyway, but was honestly very skeptical, and then your first update came in. You told us about a check or gift that had come in that was totally unexpected and it was for a sizeable amount. I thought to myself well that is awesome, but she still has so far to go, but I will keep praying because Tricia has asked me to. Later that night I got to thinking, what if I started praying for God to get me out of debt by the end of the year. So I skeptically and apprehensively asked Him to, with the expectation that it probably wouldn't happen. I have never been a person who gets unexpected checks sitting in my mailbox, or random people saying hey here is a hundred bucks so honestly when I hear stories like that I take it with a grain of salt and never expected it to happen to me.
Anyway, over the weeks and months since then I have been occasionally asking God to help me pay off my debt, totally forgetting, until today, that I asked Him to help me pay it off by the end of the year. Also since then I had become very strict about tithing. Every check that came in whether it was 20.00 dollars or 2,000 the very first thing I did was tithe and then saved 10%. At the time my checks were much smaller so it was easy to tithe 20 bucks and save 20 bucks, who cant do that right? Also in the recent months I have been listening and reading stuff by Dave Ramsey, a Christian Financial Advisor, he puts on a class called Financial Peace University, and has written a couple books.
So the months have gone by, I sold one of my classic cars (my baby), the work has been POURING in, and I have been implementing the "baby steps" that I learned with Dave Ramsey. A couple months a go I paid off about 2,000 in State Taxes, last month I cleared a 7,900 debt that I had with a credit card, and this month I am clearing another 7,100 debt I had with another credit card and after clearing this last card, I will be DEBT FREE! Not only debt free, but also a small savings left over.
Today as I was doing my bills and getting ready to pay off this last card I thought, man God it seems like all of this happened so fast, all this debt was over 2 years old and I hadn't made a payment on any of it since October of 2008 and now it is paid off in a matter of months. And then you popped in my mind and I remembered your challenge to God, which then made me remember my request I had asked Him to be debt free by the end of the year. And I am just floored. I totally forgot that I had even asked Him to help me be debt free by the end of this year and He did it. As I was going through the process I was just praying God get me out of debt, and totally forgot the time frame I asked Him for. So despite all of my doubting and cynicism God answered my prayer anyway.
I just wanted you to know that you played a part in this journey without even knowing it, just by sharing your journey with me. I don't know how all this hits you or where you are at but I hope it encourages you!!