Friday, November 19, 2010

How Debt Smothers

This post was featured in the Carnival of Personal Finance #284: Thanksgiving Preparation Edition at Sweating the Big Stuff. Go check out all of the great articles listed there for some really great and informative reading! You might just find a new blog to follow!

I hate feeling like there is no room to breathe. Debt has so many far-reaching consequences. This is one I never anticipated.

Currently our church is one of the fastest growing churches in the country. We are currently facing a growth crisis. The crisis is no room for children.

Let me restate that. There is plenty of room for children. There is not enough room for all of the children who are currently coming. Our church has over 800 elementary aged children every weekend and we can't accommodate them all anymore. It's a good problem to have. But it is a problem all the same. So there is a capital campaign beginning to make more room for the kids and provide improved space for the adults that are getting displaced because of the growing children's program. It will also establish a center for abused families in our city as well as in a city in Guatemala that we have ties to.

We were asked to make pledges this past weekend. We knew it was coming and had been praying about what we could do. I have faith that God can and will provide for the faith pledge that he laid on our hearts, but I only wish that debt and former stupidity wasn't holding us back from giving more.

We have pledge to donate $200/month for the next 24 months to this campaign. This is above and beyond our tithe. This is in addition to any extra gifts we already had planned. This is going to cut into our credit card repayment plan. And I hate that. But this is a real opportunity to invest in the lives of kids forever and that chance just cannot be passed up. So if we have to slow down our debt repayment, we've agreed that we can do that.

Now we face that pledge in addition to the fact that we were knocked back down to one income last week. We are still pledging it because we still have faith that God will provide the money since he provided the pledge amount. I am honestly not fearful about it at all.

But I am angry. I am mad at myself and at us for how much more we SHOULD be able to give. I make a good salary. I make more than enough to provide for our daily living expenses when we are down to one income. I make enough that even down to one income we should be able to donate more than that to this campaign at church. It makes me furious that we have to scrape by now and donate less now because of stupid mistakes that we made YEARS ago.

YEARS ago, people.

I know...we are heading in the right direction now. But I just really regret the full effect that our debt is having on our lives.

No wonder so many people think debt is stupid.

No wonder they are now crying out to the masses about how stupid it is.

I hope more and more people will realize it before it has to hit them hard. But I'm afraid they won't. And then they will have to feel as stupid as I do now.

And I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

What has debt kept you from doing that really laid heavy on you?


  1. We are now getting back on our feet (so to speak) and during that "dark period" of our lives, my aunt lost her apartment (we lived out of state at the time) and I could only do so much to help her and it wasn't enough. I almost lost faith - I still get emotional just thinking about that. So, I do know how you feel.


  2. Thanks for sharing. It's amazing how similar people's stories can be when you start talking.