Christmas day my husband posted this on his Facebook wall:
The adrenaline was rockin’ here in the DeGarmo home this morning. I spent all year working and preparing for a gift to me and my family. I can proudly say, with honor to our Lord, that we are officially DEBT FREE! Here’s to a new life not being enslaved to the dollar.
In just a day some 200 people “liked” it. Two hundred may not seem like a lot, but in our world that’s a lot. And I think it also represents a pretty accurate picture of how passionate we all are about debt. Some of us are proud we conquered it and some of us are crushed by the weight of it.
Which brings me to today, I feel like God is asking me to share a part of our story I don’t often share. It’s a topic that is more uncomfortable for me to talk about than sex. It is they money part of our story. But it’s time. It’s time because it’s a story that doesn’t give credit to what a great financial planner my husband is or how frugal I am, or how our kids go without socks in the winter. It’s a story that gives God some amazing glory.
I think I will start about seven years ago. We were working with a small, stable church in Canada. Our health care was totally covered. We lived in a nice home given to us by the church, and we earned a suitable wage. Life was comfortable. Too comfortable. Something wasn’t right.
Finally, the Lord sent a messenger to deliver the words that changed our lives, “I always thought Chillicothe, Ohio would be a good place to plant a new church.”
And so the journey began to relocate our family of 5 back to the States, to an unfamiliar town, where we had no church to work for and no salary to be paid. It may have been faith. It may have been stupidity, but we jumped.
We found a house. We started living our life. We planted a church. We also got hit with an exorbitant tax bill. We borrowed from Peter to pay Paul… at interest.
Life went on with all of its daily expenses. We had baby number four and I gave up my part-time job and its extra income. Life went on and God blessed us with baby number 5 and 6.
And here we stand today, against all of man’s wisdom, debt free. After giving up a steady income, after coming to a town that had no job for us, after following our hearts to have me stay home with our SIX children… we paid off all our debt. We stand today with no credit card bills, no student loans, no medical bills, no tax bills, no nothing. That is incredible.
Someone asked my husband how did we do it? My simple answer, we didn’t. God DID. We trusted God, not always without wavering, but we trusted. When support for our ministry got cut, we trusted. When an unexpected expense came up, we trusted. When we gave up income, we trusted. We trusted because the Master Planner of this journey promised he’d take of the details if we would only jump.
And jump we did.
Now don’t get me wrong, as we jumped, we followed his wisdom and we incorporated spiritual thinking into our financial planning, but we jumped and God took his hand to direct our landing.
This week I want to talk about walking in the Spirit and doing it debt-free. Follow-me on our journey to financial freedom by God’s design.
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. 1 Tim. 6:17-19