For those of you who read the title and expected something like, “I Love You” or “You Complete Me”, I’m sorry to disappoint. It may lack the sappiness, but the phrase which changes my life, the one which causes peace to my inner being is this:
It is not an expression we hear often in our debt-ridden society. Spending more than we make has become commonplace. Shoot – our whole country’s economy is based on owing someone else.
No one enjoys debt. For some, it’s a weight to heavy to carry. For me the burden becomes so heavy, it bogs the desire to accomplish anything else. Edd and I don’t have credit card debt and we paid off our student loans soon after marriage. If a friend loans me a dollar when I’m short for a latte, my body doesn’t ease until I pay it back.
I’m not saying we’re totally debt free – though that is our goal. We have a car payment and a house payment. Owing on those 2 purchases is about as much as I can handle.
So you can imagine what a joy it’s been to hang around me after we moved to Portland in late 2010, but never sold the house we owned in Washington. Knowing we could never come close recouping funds around the original purchase price, we were fortunate enough to find renters while we waited out the housing market crash chaos. While this helped with some financial obligation, it didn’t cover all. Nor did it help with the homeowners association fees or the county assessments. The period of time in between renters we payed 2 mortgages, 2 sets of utility payments, and begged the neighbors to look out for our lawn, overgrown weeds, or potential squatters. (shudder)
Last July, we took a risk and put the house on the market. We accepted an offer after Labor Day and closed escrow last Wednesday. On Friday, this appeared on our bank account webpage:
My eyes see it, but after 3 years of debt caused, anxiety build up deep in my gut, my body hasn’t felt the relief. Cognitively, I understand I owe no more. Physically, the heaviness of debt remains.
|So long mortgage, utilities, HOA, and county assessment.
I’m sure your new family will love you.
A reality hit me this morning in a deeply, Jesus-feeling, kum ba yah, spiritual way. As a lifelong Christian, I’ve known “Jesus’ paid my debt in full” since I was in my mother’s womb. For the last 43 years I’ve heard/said/read/learned:
- I’m a sinner.
- Jesus sacrificed his life for my sins.
- The debt of sin has now been paid.
Again, cognitively, I get it. But do I feel it?
Am I so aware of the meaning of this sacrifice that I’m light and carefree and happy and singing “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” to everyone on the street?
My brain knows I am free in Christ, but the heaviness of me being me remains.
But I have hope. The freedom of complete financial debt is a goal that will be accomplished one day, of this I am confident.* Living non-selfishly because of my trust and thankfulness in the true Nature of a Servant? Of this, I will strive for daily.
What is your feeling about debt? Does it bother you, or is it easy to ignore?
*Ooops…kids and college. I forgot about that. Maybe less confident.