Learning to trust God with money & giving.
When I think about Sara and I and how we’ve had to deal with money and figure money out, there’s one word that comes to mind – and I think that word is uncertainty. It’s scary – money is scary, especially when you‘re first starting out on that newly married life.
We were both really lucky though. We both knew God when we met one another, and when we got married we both knew that we wanted to put God first in all areas of our lives. We knew we always had that to fall back on. No matter what, God was going to be there for us. When it came to money, maybe we were a little bit unsure about what we should do with it.
I have never understood money. I went to school for theater, so I’ve been a professional actor and my strategy with money has always been to just hoard it away and not give any of it away to anyone – spend very little of that money. That’s been my strategy.
We were getting into more and more debt. Bills were becoming a problem, and money became a source of strife for us and our family. One day when we got done with work, we’re both teachers for CISD, Sara came to me and said, “Honey, I’ve been thinking.” I know that when she says that it’s important. And she said, “I’ve been thinking. I heard about this class at Church Project. It’s Dave Ramsey’s class Financial Peace University.” I instantly said, “Okay, let’s do it” because I know when there’s a time when God says, "Hey, I’ve been trying to tell you about this subtly, but I’m going to slap you in the face and tell you, 'You really need to get on the ball with this.'"
About 6 weeks through the course, my mom called me up out of the blue one day and told me that through a series of circumstances and events, her parents were going to be moving out of their home and they needed somebody to take care of the house. And, would we like to be those people? It was going to be for way less rent than we were paying. It was going to be this situation that was going to completely change our lives as far as our money situation, and it was a miracle really. All of a sudden, Sara and I were going to make ends meet, and continue giving, and still be able to save some as well. That was such a huge thing for me – it was a shock, and God had this for us this whole time.
Then, my father called me and said, “Hey, son. I was thinking that I might be able to help you with your debt. I’d like to consolidate your debt, give you a loan, and basically help you out so you’re not losing money in interest.” So we’re going to this class, we’re giving, we’re praying, and all of a sudden God is taking the debt away from us, He’s taking the fear of money away, He’s allowing us to see the kinds of blessings that He has for us, just as long as we give to Him.
In the Scriptures it says, “Give with a happy heart.” It’s part of what we’re called to do.