“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
In the very beginnings of our relationship, we thought we’d discussed every important detail appropriate for the stage we were in. We discussed family, where we went to school, hometowns, and favorite things to do. Ya know, the typical boring things about each other. Obviously we enjoyed each other enough to keep things going and to continue this whole dating thing.
There were a few things that needed to be kept secret until the right time, but we’d get there eventually. Time would allow us to get to know each other fully, I mean, at least to know if spending the rest of our lives together would be.. well, a thing. So we keep going and dating and having fun and blah blah blah, the dating oozy boozy lovey dovey stuff that kindles in the beginnings of our dating relationships. But while at lunch together probably 2-3 months in, Ryan asked me a question I’d never answered or even shared. This question then took a turn for the worst.
He asked me if I had debt.
I answered with a simple yes, assuming he did too because in my head, everyone in the world had debt. To me, debt was just debt. You pay it month by month until it’s gone and it’s not something to cry or worry over. It’s not something that changes your life. Or at least that’s what naive little Catie thought. So I asked him the same question.
“No, I don’t have debt. How much do you have?”
“….well I have my student loans, and obviously paying off my car but everyone does that.”
His eyes got a little big… and then when I told him how much they got even bigger.
As the conversation went on, I was starting to get defensive. As if he was less likely to like me as much because now he knows the truth. Now he knows how much debt I have and deciding whether or not to marry me, he’d have to take these things into consideration.
I’m not saying my debt turned him off to the idea of being with me, I’m saying marrying into debt like he did is HARD. He made a decision to see that big number, and swallow it wholeheartedly. But he’ll be the first to say it stressed him out, and I can’t blame him. Coming from no debt EVER to marrying into loads of debt brings lots of life change. Plenty of tension and emotional fights arose because of the guilt I felt giving him this debt, and because of the stress he felt receiving this debt.
I mean, God saw our debt to him and paid it in full. Ryan didn’t turn his face and walk away from me just like Jesus didn’t walk away and give up on us. Ryan chose to take on this debt and carry this burden with me just as Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and paid a debt we could never pay. (I had to throw that in there, now back to the convo!)
Long story short, I left the restaurant in tears because I was so scared Ryan wouldn’t want to be with me anymore. I was afraid that big number was too much for him. But he stayed, and when we got married and joined bank accounts, I trusted him to make any cuts we needed to ensure we’d be debt free ASAP. Trust me, when he said no more shopping I might’ve cringed a little.
We made a goal of paying it off by July 12th (my birthday), and after draining almost all of Ryan’s savings to knock a big chunk of it out, we decided we would only spend money on food if it were at the grocery store or unique situations where we had to. We didn’t go out on dates and we didn’t have fun money. Our dates the last 7 months have been at home on our couch with a store-bought “make it yourself” pizza and Criminal Minds. Sometimes we’d land on a gift card somewhere, so that was a major treat. We’d even have to discuss whether or not going to coffee with someone was allowed because that 5$ may add up.
Things got pretty difficult and stressful at times, but WE MADE IT and met our goal a few days early! Paying off debt is such a God glorifying experience. As Christians, we are called to be good stewards of what God provides for us. And I’m so thankful Ryan chose me to do that with! I’m incredibly undeserving of this mans sacrificial love for me. Next month we get to celebrate by going to Fredricksburg for a weekend, so if anyone knows of a great place to stay or a winery to try, holla atcha girl! We’ll catch up on all those hot dates we never went on, and I couldn’t be MORE excited.
Here’s to living life without debt weighing our bank account down. We’re free!
Enjoy the awkward happy car selfie (: