In February 2011, I bought a new car. Our family had long been outgrowing my beloved Lexus RX300 and it had too many issues that weren’t worth fixing. So, after weeks of searching, test driving and calculating, I signed on the dotted line for a 2006 Volvo XC90…and paid for it with cash. Yeah, it was a pre-owned vehicle, but it was new to me and I was excited, and grateful, to make a purchase of that significance and walk away with no debt. Here’s my story on how I was able to do so.

In 2005, after a few diligent years working to get back to his true purpose in life, Harold’s job with GE moved our family to Louisville. At that time we decided that I would stop working to care for our young children. We lived successfully off one salary, the proceeds from the house we sold and the stock options I was required to liquidate. That year of living on one salary taught us discipline about money and stewardship over that which we had. So, when I chose to go back to work in 2006 we were able to save a great deal from the additional income, building up a nice nest egg. This would turn out to be well needed a little more than two years later when I was laid off. I was devastated. My ego was bruised. I felt betrayed and useless.

I was offered a severance that amounted to little more than a few weeks of salary right before the end of year holidays. That diligence in saving came in handy. I had become a victim of the downturn in the economy like so many others in 2008. It took me six months to receive a job offer; actually three offers from three different companies. I chose the one that allowed me to stay in Louisville and provided more flexibility in family balance. But it offered the smallest salary – nearly $20K less annually.

I started work one week after my last unemployment check with our nest egg nearly depleted. Unemployment was only $400 a week and we had purchased a house shortly after I went back to work. In addition, our family had grown with the 2007 arrival of Alexandra. We were no longer able to comfortably live off a little more than Harold’s salary. That said, when the Financial Peace University class was offered at work I signed up, desperately in need of some direction to get back on track financially. One year after the first class we had paid off a significant amount of our debt and began to employ more sound financial practices for our family. As such, when February 2011 rolled around we had prepared, planned, saved and shopped around to be able to purchase the vehicle we needed and walk away with no additional debt.

So, I’ll sum it up for you – when we move in line with God’s will He provides all of our needs and even some of our desires.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to. Matthew 6:33 ESV
Had we not submitted ourselves to God’s will, we would not have been able to experience the things that many of us take for granted:
1. Our house sold in one week for 103% of the asking price when we moved to Louisville.
2. I stayed at home for a year allowing Harold to provide for our family, as he had always wanted.
3. The discipline we learned in living on one salary allowed us to manage our financial blessings and prepare ourselves for the trial of unemployment.
4. Trusting in God’s sovereignty allowed Him to provide another financial blessing through employment in the timing we needed it most.
5. Being at THAT company (and not one of the other two) allowed us to reconnect with Godly teaching on how to be a good steward in the Financial Peace class.
6. That discipline allowed us to meet our need and desires (if you haven’t seen my Volvo, check me out) and walk away from it without being the borrower.
Throughout all this, Harold and I have freely given to others and were careful to return what we owed to God. We open our hearts and home to those in need and will continue to do so as God allows. Even through the time of unemployment, my tithe went into the basket every week – even if it was just $40! I have fully come to the understanding of God’s promise to restore and fulfill my needs when I give cheerfully. God will provide for me when I provide for others and am obedient to His word.