I know I have shared in the past about money and its effect on trust and security, particularly for women. I have also shared on our trust in God as it relates to money. I have not written about emotional pain’s effect on money – rather I should say on your ability to money manage. I want to share with you today what God has shown me about myself in this area. I do realize emotional pain does not affect everyone the same way so this may or may not resonate with you. The Lord has taken me a long way in a year’s time. Within the last week something has clicked inside me regarding where I was in my heart and money management. Let me begin.
As many of you know I have recently shared about God’s healing in my life over this past year – healing that goes all the way back to when I was a teenager, before my marriage and experience with an abusive relationship. For me, that emotional pain has had a negative effect on how I manage my money until more recently. I’ve always been more of a spender, I admit that. I have also made a lot of money in my almost 20 years as a nurse, so I had it to spend. Just because you have it to spend, does not mean you should spend it. The Lord has shown me where my spending was being used to soothe hurt in my life – the stuff was supposed to heal my heart right? Or so I thought. I am here to tell you all the spending I have done over time did a lot to get me in a lot of debt, but it didn’t heal my heart. I became a slave to the lender, but the pain was still there. I got out of this debt before I married but I still had not done the heart work so “stuff” would not try and fill that void again. I married a man with no financial sense, in fact he financially abused the people he was close to. I would end up back in debt before long. Thank God for his provision. He took care of debt related to my late husband’s irresponsibility and my fear. Yet, I still had not done the heart work to look at my own pain and this new pain just added insult to injury.
Fast forward 5 years and I saw an old pattern trying to emerge again only this time I recognized it! The difference this time? I am healed.
Spending does not need to fill a void. Stuff does not need to fill a void. Debt is not a milestone to be achieved (yes, I believed in adulthood debt meant you were successful despite being taught the contrary). I have nothing to prove to anyone, nor anyone I need approval from, nor anyone I feel the need to impress or compete with (this has not always been the case). I was sitting on my couch about a week ago and this clicked in my head and in my heart – that had never happened before. I believe before I knew financial things in my head but not in my heart. This time I knew that I knew an old money management habit was attempting to push its way back in – in fact, I think Jesus has been bringing me to this point for the last 6 months. I am going to admit right here and right now, I have some debt to pay off – nothing that affects my salary or lifestyle, but debt all the same. I have a plan and I have a purpose to that plan beyond paying off this debt.
I am thankful for the revelation and the healing I have now. I am thankful for friends who are financial influencers and people I can look up to. I am thankful to the people who speak, Dave Ramsey speak (in my silly pride, I thought little of his advice for a long time). I am thankful for parents who, despite my adulthood faulty beliefs that began with my first credit card in college, taught me that debt is never an achievement or a good thing. I am thankful for friends who have taught me how much life is not about what you have, but who you are. And most of all, I am thankful for a God who loves us no matter how much we are deceived in any area of our lives or how much we are hurt. He is always there with revelation, hope and healing.
So, Money, here’s to managing you better than I ever have in my entire life. Here’s to freedom! And here’s to all God has in store for me with His resources! Love, Elizabeth