Author: Krissa Dorfner
I sat in my room and cried. I sank into the hideous floral printed couch processing what my boyfriend had just shared with me. He had made poor financial decisions while working through college and the debt had accumulated. Was I sure I wanted to tie my life to his when it included this financial burden? I did, and it was worth it (we have now been married for 8 years), but it still follows us. Perseverance has been key as we have learned to be good stewards, but we have also learned that God is bigger than any amount of money owed. I still sometimes feel the strain, but I know he has given us this story to tell for a reason and purpose.
I came from a home where credit cards were used for emergencies only. So when I married my husband, I was shocked to hear he had 3 credit cards and essentially nothing to show for it (other than the pretty diamond on my ring finger). We began chipping away at this mountain that seemed impossible to conquer. Paying off those cards and the little debts that floated around us became a priority. Within our first 14 months of marriage we paid off our wedding loan, Credit Cards, and we saved up $8400 CASH to go to Egypt and Israel. Let’s just say God is amazing and faithful! God has shown us what HE is capable even in the realms of finance when we are obedient. Still to this day I cannot pin point how we did this, other than that God provided.
Before saving for Egypt and Isreal, my husband and I were grocery shopping and we ran into one of our Best Men from our wedding. He raved about a new book he had read about money and told us to wait there. He insisted on finding it and buying it for us since it had changed his life. Little did we know that this book, Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, would also change our perspective on our money and lives forever.
Since day one of our marriage, my husband and I have been college students and career jobs felt so far away. We would dream of the day when we were both not doing homework and instead doing what we loved. We longed for when we would be bringing in money instead of accumulating more student loans. Then when my husband couldn’t find a job with his bachelors degree in Psychology, he decided to go back to school…again. He pursued his masters in counseling which ended up being a total of 9 years that he was in college. As for me, It took 8 years or more (I’ve lost count) to finish my Nursing degree. As you can assume, we have racked up quite surplus of student loans…and basically should have been doctors!
We would not be where we are today if it was not for Jesus giving us reason, purpose, and the knowledge needed to persevere through this burden of debt and years of school. I know that Jesus does not intend for us to live outside of our means. He calls us to live humbly, selflessly, and to not be conformed to this world, and I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2
Now that my husband and I have our dream careers, we could easily go buy a new home, a new car and go on fancy vacations…however, we choose to live by faith and obedience when it comes to our finances. We currently put 35% of our monthly income toward student loans so that one day we can say that we are debt free. Don’t get me wrong, God has placed big dreams in our hearts and minds for our growing family. We dream of giving to a point where it would make a difference in someone’s life, we dream of owning a home where our children can build memories, and we dream of our family traveling and exploring the world to serve people. We will persevere through this difficult time of debt, so that we can be free to see the dreams our good Lord has given us come true.
Readers, How can you persevere in discipline, so that you may see more freedom in your life today?
A huge thank you to our guest poster, Krissa Dorfner! Krissa is a passionate follower of Christ, wife, mother, and nurse. If you are interested in submitting a piece for consideration you can find the details on our submissions page.