For those of you that know us personally you know much of this story. For those that don’t, I must start by telling you a little bit about our family’s money philosophy. About 7 years ago my husband started listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio and bringing home tidbits of his advice. Dave Ramsey is a talk radio host and financial expert (and also a Christian) who believes in a debt-free lifestyle. His motto, or one of them, is “Live like no one else so later you can LIVE like no one else.” We attended one of his one-day events which led us to beginning his Financial Peace University class at our church about 6 years ago (still going strong).
We paid off all our debt except for our house within about 2 years – credit cards, student loans, cars (sold one of them). Then just a few months ago, in November ’07 we reached our major goal of paying off our home. We are 100% debt free.
And then God led us to adoption, which is not an inexpensive endeavor. We have savings that will pay for part of it but we do not have all that we need. I began to say “Well, if we have to go into debt to do it, then we will and we’ll pay it off as quick as we can.”
Yet once again God used Dave Ramsey to speak incredible truth into our lives. Last week I was visiting a friend in Pittsburgh. It was late one evening and I was flipping channels when I discovered that the new Dave Ramsey television show was on the Fox Business Chanel. (We don’t get it at home.) I was all excited to see what it was about.
Dave was taking calls from different people. A man called in and explained that he felt God calling him to a career change that meant going back to school and thus, in this man’s eyes, incurring debt. I forget what his actual question was but I will never forget the words that came out of Dave’s mouth. It might not be verbatim but the gist of it was, “If you truly feel like God is calling you to this then I believe that you need to look at creative ways for you to finance your schooling. There is not ONE example in the Bible of God calling someone to do something and then using debt as a tool to accomplish it!”
I think my jaw actually dropped into my lap. How little faith I have had. Sure, I know that God will provide the means but I just assumed some type of loan would be part of that. How could I short change his power by thinking so small?
When I told Mark what I had heard he pretty much said “Well, I’ve been thinking the same thing but I was afraid you’d be upset if I told you.” And he’s probably right 🙂
So a debt-free adoption it is! I’m not sure how it will happen but I am totally stoked to see the amazing ways that God will help us earn/find the funds.
Update: It’s been two years since I first wrote this post and because it’s still visited frequently, I felt like I should add an update to it. We brought home our two kids on December 27, 2008, just 11 months after this post was written. And we did it all debt free! It wasn’t easy.
In fact what my original post didn’t mention is that right around this time, my husband left his full time job with our church because of God’s leading. We had no idea what God had in store for him but felt 100% sure that he was telling us it was time to go. At the time I was only working part time but God, in his perfect timing, provided a full time job and benefits for me….at less than half of my husbands income. Yet we remained convinced of our debt free path.
I really can’t explain how it happened. No huge checks arrived in the mail from anonymous donors. The couple of grants we applied for we didn’t get. I do know that I had freelance work (web and print design) coming in at a steady pace. My freelance work has always just been an “as it appears” kind of thing. I don’t go advertise or hunt down jobs, I just take the ones that come to me through word of mouth. Well they kept coming and coming and coming. Some big, some small but a steady stream.
We cut back our budget even more which freed up a few hundred dollars every month.
Miraculously, every time a check needed to be written, the money was there. God was faithful, as he always is!