My husband Moses and I are busy again, but it’s a fulfilling busyness though. We are coordinating our 4th class and the first one for the New Year from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. You might ask, what’s our credentials to facilitate a financial class? None. But let me tell you about our journey and why we ended up facilitating a financial class.
In 2009, our friends in Florida who own a clothing company hired me to design their new office. So they flew me to Orlando, FL for a 3 day work excursion and when I arrived, I was so impressed as to how they progressed in their lives. On top of owning a thriving business, a 5 bedroom house, the latest BMW and Mercedes Benz and travelling around the world, I couldn’t deny the fact that I was envious. Then something caught my eye on their coffee table called Dave Ramsey’s ‘The Total Money Makeover. My friends who are Bible believers shared that although they are set up financially, they really don’t know the Godly ways of handling their money. I was inspired. She gave me the book for me to read and encouraged me to register for the Financial Peace University class.
I came back to LA and to my shame I never opened the book for awhile. Fast forward to 2012, Moses and I were struggling with our finances that was affecting our marriage. We didn’t know what we were doing. We fell into the bracket of debt-filled, ‘hopeIess’ Christians trying to survive from paycheck to paycheck. I woke up one day and was having extreme anxiety, I couldn’t breathe. I was anxious of not having enough savings, college funds, funds for Austria’s autism special programs, a retirement fund and a decent life insurance just in case one of us pass away. That same year, Moses was in and out of the hospital due to gallstones and swollen gallbladder and medical bills were piling up.
Being bipolar didn’t help because my anxiety was magnified 10 times more and I became resentful of my life and my marriage. Obviously, my faith in the sovereignty of God was out the door. I reacted to my emotions and did more stupid things that made our situation worst and hurt our marriage more. Deep inside, I was crying out to God for help. I was familiar with this feeling of hopelessness that I experienced in my 20′s when I thought of committing suicide before I knew about God’s salvation. He was just waiting for me to be still and trust that he is looking out for our needs. God was waiting for that moment of humility from us. We needed to be humble in asking for help because his answers to all our financial miseries and insecurities are all in the bible.
After all this, I remembered the book my friend gave me about Dave Ramsey. I pulled it out from my bookshelf and read it. I searched more about ‘handling money God’s ways’ in his website which led me to discover the Financial peace classes. I told Moses we need to register for this class and shared with him the hope that I have for our struggling marriage.
I remember on our way to our first class, we had an argument. I felt like I was more enthusiastic than him and i was just dragging him to this class. I cried with frustration, my eyes were red and puffy coming to the class. I did however consider the fact that he didn’t have the proper knowledge to deal with our finances and was overwhelmed as to how to lead our family financially.
During the class, I was praying, hoping that this endeavor would provide direction and enlightenment for us. Again, God was gracious for answering my prayers. After watching the first video, we looked at each other with mixed emotions. We were stunned, convicted, encouraged, enlightened and empowered. We took a deep breath, held each other’s hand, we hugged and since then there was no turning back. We were committing ourselves to a path of handling money God’s way.
“One definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Children do what feels good; adults devise a plan and follow it. “ –Dave Ramsey
The next 13 weeks was a true journey. We laughed, we cried, we argued and we became unified. It challenged us to take personal responsibility, it corrected our character of being undisciplined, it showed us practical ways as to how to save, invest, set up our kids’ college fund, build wealth and secure our retirement. We fully embraced all the biblical, practical and relevant pieces of advice in the class. We tackled our debts with full intensity and saved tremendously. We ended up in better shape than we ever thought possible. There was a bit of regret, we wished we have known this earlier in our single years before getting married. The decision to do “FPU” helped increase our faith that God is taking care of our needs. But the most rewarding part of the class is capturing God’s heart of giving.
We felt refreshed going through the life saving series of classes. We were truly grateful that God showed us His answers of having true financial peace. Because of this experience, we were compelled and excited to share this with our friends. It’s like having that feeling of redemption when God forgave us of our sins. We realized a lot of our friends and members in our church who were also drowning in debt, struggling with giving or not even giving at all to church. On top of that, a number of them have marriage problems because of finances. So we made a decision, that we will share this to our friends and that we will not be defined by other people and by societies definition of what we have or don’t have in lives.
So if you ask, do we have financial peace now? Yes. Not that we have a million in the bank, a fully paid house or a diversified portfolio, but we have peace because we have a direction, a blue print as to how to get there. And for some who are already there, I believe that no matter how much money you have, you will still need to learn how to handle God’s money and how to give it away.
“A good man (and woman) leaves an inheritance to his children’s children..” Proverbs 13:22