Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Story of God's Provision (Part 3)

In case you missed them, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

March 2011 arrived and there we were with a credit card balance of almost $4,500, a savings account with less than $1,000 in it and paychecks that just didn't quite pay all the bills. It's not like we had been spending our money on ridiculous/frivolous things, or even big ticket items for that matter, we were really quite frugal. However, we definitely ate out more than we should have and I definitely bought more clothes/goodies than I should have. We were unfortunately living in a place that we just couldn't afford. Even with Collin's minimal annual raise in January and the small annual raise I was expecting in May, we knew our financial situation was not good.

A couple months before our lease was up, Collin's parents sort of casually mentioned to us that we could always live in their basement for a little while if we needed. I was dead set against that because I wanted to be independent. We were married now. Married people don't live with their parents. However, after our other plan fell through to move into an apartment with a roommate we prayed long and hard and felt God calling us to move in with Collin's parents. It was so uncomfortable having to approach them and see if the offer still stood for us to live in the basement. Of course they were more than gracious to help us out. And we even had our own private living quarters in a way. We had our own living room, bedroom, bathroom, fridge/freezer, microwave and sink downstairs. The only thing we needed to go upstairs for was to use the kitchen and enter/exit the house.

Before we moved in we sat down with Collin's dad and had a talk about our financial plan for while we lived with them. They wouldn't let us contribute financially to living there, but the deal was that each month we would put $500 into savings and $250 would go towards the credit card to pay down our balance. We still had to pay for our cell phones, insurance, car loans and my student loans, but our expenses drastically decreased! This was a huge, huge blessing for us! We could finally get out from under this money cloud that loomed over us.

Living with Collin's parents was not all easy. It was very difficult at times for me to live in someone else's house, especially after having lived on our own for a year. I felt like his parents, his mom especially was trying to do everything for us and I wanted to be as independent as possible. I wanted it to seem like we were still living on our own even though we were just underneath our parents. But I couldn't be completely independent; and so it made me very bitter and very frustrated with not being able to be the wife I felt like I should be. This caused some tension between Collin and I, and at times some tension between his mom and I. Collin and I even sought some counseling from our pastors at church (a husband and wife team) because we were fighting so much and couldn't figure out why. We had been married about a year and a half and it felt like we just fought all the time. We weren't headed for divorce, but we just wanted to be able to go a day without having a fight.

After about a year, I finally knew that it was time to move out. I was becoming a very negative person (totally opposite of my usually cheery, bubbly self) because of my attitude toward his parents. I LOVE Collin's parents. They are amazing people and so, so gracious. But I just couldn't get past the need to be independent. I couldn't see them for the wonderful people they truly are because all I saw was the couple "preventing" me from being the wife I wanted and to have the independence I wanted. We both knew that if we wanted to have a good relationship with his parents (and a good relationship between ourselves) we needed to find our own place again.

We were able to pay the credit card off by the beginning of 2012 and our savings had a bit more money in it than we started out with. It was still not a lot though because I got so antsy about paying off the credit card that I did take some money from savings to pay it. But with the debt gone and another annual raise for each of us we decided that if we found an apartment that was cheap enough we could indeed move out on our own once more.

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