I have been debating on what part of my testimony I would start with as my first blog post under the Faith category. Deciding to share how Faith, Finances, and Trusting God has impacted my family’s life all began in 2019 at my women’s conference, which I now realize was the foundation of PositivelyB coming to fruition. Cue the Law-and-Order music “DUN DUN DUN.”
Discussing finances can sometimes be both frustrating or even worrisome. Each of us is prone to worrying, especially when sharing private and personal information, which can lead to unraveling of the peace in your mind, home, marriage, and spirit. Worrying gives us the sense of not having control over situations, but God never called us to control our circumstances, rather He calls upon us to trust Him with our circumstances. Worrying changes nothing… Prayer changes everything.
Faith without works is dead.
If you have not read my introductory blog, I discussed how on our debt free journey I worked a part-time job as a waitress, while still working in my full-time career. So, for 11 months, I was on the grind!!!
- Monday – Friday at my full time job
- Tuesday night choir practice
- Wednesday night church service
- Thursday – Saturday nights I waited tables at the restaurant
- Sunday 9am & 11am church services, followed by home to eat & quick nap, then off to the restaurant to work at night
I did this while DJ was also working a fulltime career and a part time job at Home Depot. All of this with two kids and making sure they didn’t miss their activities. There were days we were just passing each other. Literally meeting up to swap kids, so the other could work their side hustle. This became our norm, a true team effort.
While waiting tables I had several awkward moments; waiting on the CEO of my full-time career, running into my pastor and his family, friends who did not know I was working a part-time job, and community partners that I work with as part of my full-time job. All were awkward moments, but I kept my head high, told them why I was there and kept it moving. It was about putting my Pride aside and staying for so that I could one day scream, “I AM DEBT FREE.”
I had faith that I would achieve my goal, and faith without works is dead, so I was putting in work. Trust me, during this time I refused to drop any of my commitments, even on the long days when it felt like I had no energy or drive. I made a commitment to God, my church, my family, and my future that I would stay the course and keep my faith on the path God had set me on. It was fully trusting God that all things would work for my good
Do not become weary for in due time you will reap a harvest.
After 11 months, I was exhausted, we had hit specific milestones in our journey, and so DJ and I collectively agreed to part ways with our side hustles. Although it was great having more time to rest, and not be pulled a thousand different directions, I found myself becoming frustrated that our debt payments were not as much as I would have liked. I began letting the enemy get to me, and my flesh over power me. I was thinking of ways to increase our debt payments but not have do another side hustle. What could I eliminate from the budget to increase the income?
It came to a point where I decided to stop tithing, because that couple of hundred dollars could go to Chase, PayPal, Target, etc. In 2018, I was not a faithful tither at all. I was so focused on the debt that I took my eyes off God and trusting him. I decided to put everything in my own hands and not in HIS hands. Trusting God is trusting him in all things.
Yes, I made progress in paying off debt in 2018. Yes, I was getting closer to debt freedom. But the feeling I had spiritually knowing I was not trusting God fully and being a faithful tither did not sit well with me. I also know, everyone does not have the same beliefs as me when it comes to tithing. Please note, I do not tithe expecting something in return.
As 2018 ended, I finally was like yes Brandy you want to be out of debt badly but there is someone else who wants you out of debt more than you and that is GOD. Trust HIM. He wants you to be FREE from DEBT more than you want to be free from debt.
In December 2018, I declared that I would TRUST GOD in all things, not just some things, but all things, and faithfully pay my tithes beginning January 2019.
My tithe is now listed as the #1 item on my budget. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops;” Proverbs 3:9 NIV.
It is now February 2021, I have become a faithful tither again since 2019, I have paid back all my debts minus the mortgage, been blessed with some unexpected financial blessings, and I have been able to help others financially as well.
(Receiving my 2019 giving statement from church. You would of thought I was receiving a check.)
Things are not always easy, but I choose to continue to put in the work, keep my faith, speak life, trust God, and watch Him work in my life.
If you are reading this message and going through a particular season in your life try your best to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight – Proverbs 3:5-6.