Latonia Kelly recently wrote to us her testimony after taking the Financial Peace University class.
I still remember walking down the basement hallway of the church feeling extremely helpless. It was the fall of 2008 and the economy was in the midst of a recession. With rumors of company layoffs, I couldn’t envision the thought of being unemployed with over $88,000 in unsecured debt. As I contemplated whether to attend the FPU class, questions flooded my head. Would I be judged for allowing myself to amass so much debt? What would others think of me? How much will I have to share? The guilt of my past decisions was overwhelming and I needed help as this burden was too difficult to bear alone.
The beginning of my debt reduction journey was extremely scary and nerve racking. My journey is much like a story I heard recently of a man who came to watch a famous tightrope walker cross Niagara Falls. The onlooker yelled out “You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world!” This spectator was amazed at the daring feats accomplished by the walker. He thought the tightrope walker was incredible. He continued to load the tightrope walker with accolades going on and on, about his abilities. He repeatedly shouted, “You’re the greatest!” The tightrope walker looked at the man and asked, “Do you really think so?” The man answered, “Yes, I believe you are the greatest!” The tightrope walker smiled then asked the man “Do you think I can walk across that cable pushing a wheelbarrow?” The man replied, “Yes, I believe you can!” The tightrope walker replied, “Well, let’s see.” He then went to his truck, took out a wheelbarrow and proceeded to push the wheelbarrow across the falls and back. The man in the crowd cheered and yelled out, “I knew you could do it since you are the greatest in the world!” The man repeatedly chanted: “You are the greatest!” The tightrope walker smiled at the man and asked, “Do you think I can push this wheelbarrow across the falls with 150 pounds of weight in it?” The man replied, “Yes, I most definitely believe you can; you can do anything!” The tightrope walker then looked at the man and said, “All right, you’re about 150 pounds, climb in and let me take your across!” In that moment the spectator realized the difference between professing belief and truly believing.
Like the tightrope walker, God had invited me to climb in and allow him to do the impossible with my finances. Some of the steps of faith I took felt like crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope. It seemed my financial situation left no room for error.
Each setback or hurdle in my journey brought me to my knees. As I cried out to God I found:
– He was not only able but the Lord was ready to save me (Is 38:20).
– He is a merciful God and He did not treat me as my sins deserved nor repaid me according to my iniquities (Ps 103:10)
– He is able to do abundantly more than I can ask or think as he provided a job that allowed me to spend more time with my family while increasing my pay to accelerate my debt payoff (Eph 3:20)
During my time in the class, I was able to meet with advisors whom God graciously used to provide me with valuable insight. I experienced the truth of God’s Word as He provided safety in a multitude of counsel through the video sessions, advisors, shared testimonies, and printed material. This class provided the accountability and structure I needed.
Despite times of unemployment, numerous car repairs, and a recession, within 3 years God had blessed me to completely pay off $88,000 in debt and I share from experience that with God nothing is impossible.
The Financial Peace University class will begin on September 7.
at 9:00am in room 224.
(Tightrope story original shared in a sermon by Chip Ingram: Living on the Edge)