Friends, this is a super vulnerable post for me, because I've never shared this piece of our story publicly. I've been on a journey for the last 7months to become financially literate, and I've been feeling a pull to share more of our financial story, and what I'm learning. However, I felt like I couldn't fully share what I'm learning now, if you don't know the beginning.
So a long time ago....back in the 1980's and 90's....I was raised by a single mom. I saw her work several jobs in order to provide for us. The story I wrote was that you worked hard, to barely survive. As I grew up, I wrapped my identity around the belief that in order get out of this situation, I have to do things by my own power, like get a college degree, no matter the cost. In turn, I got myself into a ton of student loan debt....like 80K. To try to survive, I was deferring my loans, and before I knew it, it went up to 100k. There's a total God story in how it got paid off, but I'll have to share that another day.
Then I got married, and continued to lean into the lie of the American Dream, which meant having that cute house filled with brand new furniture, and a nice car no matter the cost. So we got into credit card debt, and a mortgage we couldn't afford. Before we knew it, months later, the housing market crashed. Friends we found ourselves being 1 of the 5 million that lost their homes.
Not only did we lose our home, but we lost most of our possessions due to a flood and mold, our car was also repossessed. We had nothing left! My spirit was so broken, and I saw no way out. It was during that season where God taught us that possessions didn't matter, and that keeping up with the Jones' wasn't what He longed for us.
During this time we connected with a new church community, and they helped us get on our feet again. But old habits didn't go away. We didn't get into debt, but we weren't saving and didn't know how to budget. We found ourselves needing help too with LINK, and All Kids. Being on public aid was one of the most embarrassing, yet humbling experiences we ever walked through.
In 2014, we took a budget bootcamp at a new church community called Soul City Church. This was how we learned to save, budget, and set ourselves on a new trajectory. Before we knew it, we paid off Jeremy's remaining student loans, because remember, my student loan debt was paid off.
For the next 4yr years, my poverty mindset would still be in control. Even in the midst of that, God blessed us with a beautiful home in November 2016, that was a dollar less than our rent. This house was God redeeming everything we had lost in 2009, I called it our Year of Jubilee.
In December of 2017, we hit a super hard financial crisis due to my business not making income. I hit a deep depression, and wondered why this was still our story. God showed me that I hadn't done any form of healing, because at the core, I believed I was meant to live a life of struggle, that I would always be "the poor" among the land. I believed that everyone around me would succeed, but me.
He wanted to free me of my poverty mindset. So that very same day, He partnered me with a financial coach, and she told me I had limited thinking. You guys, her words were hard to hear, but it took the scales off of my eyes. Something snapped in my brain. All this time I was limiting myself, and what God was able to do. Since then, I've begun a healing journey of diving deeper with God, and identifying what my true identity is in Him, like that I'm truly loved, wanted, and accepted by him. I'm his daughter, and as his daughter, he would take care of me, and provide for all of my needs: mentally, physically, spiritually, and more.
I can't say that I'm completely healed from my poverty mindset, but I have coping skills to help me from spiraling down. And at my core, I'm starting to believe that my life won't always be a life of struggle. He's doing some deep hard work in me, and I'm excited to share what He's been teaching me. I have a gut feeling that I'm not the only one who believes these lies. Friends, He wants to set you free! He wants to show you just how special you are, how worthy you are, and how we can all experience His abundance, and no, I'm not talking prosperity gospel here. I'm talking about experiencing ALL that He promises for us.
I hope you'll journey along as I share more of what I've been learning these past several months, like how I'm shifting my mindset with Jesus and the help of my therapist, how exploring the prophetic has been a proponent to helping me heal (this feels super random but I promise it's not), how to look past my own brokenness, and see myself the way God see me, and others.
Well friends, thanks for reading this super long blog post, and for reading my story! I pray that you would experience the overwhelming consuming love of God this week, and know how amazing He thinks you are.
Until next time,