One evening as I contemplated my next step, I stood outside the pantry door of an apartment that I shared with several college roommates, people that were never their and that I didn’t know. It was just as empty as the emptiness and feeling of loss that had overcome me after making my recent move to another city. I had, on a whim, decided to move to another city, 2 hours away from my previous hometown. In this sudden moment of unpredictability, I had had a lapse of judgement and decided to run away from it all. I had no friends and no family there; I just moved. Not only was I running away from the town that I felt had ruined my family, but I ran away from the only true love that I had known, all for the “college experience”. Truthfully, I didn’t know it at the time, but I was running away from the plans that God had for me. As I stared at the empty box that no longer contained that last pack of ramen noodles, I began to realize that this was my last meal. The money was GONE! My mind began to race and as I tried to figure out what to do, I realize that I might be able to cash in a small savings account that was meant for healthcare, in my previous job. If it weren’t for that, I don’t know what I would have done. Because of my lack of awareness about money, I had made a foolish move that should have not been made and I placed my future in jeopardy.
As time went on, I was able to find a decent job that kept me semi-afloat until I finally came to my senses and moved back to what I now call HOME. Coming home didn’t solve my issues with money, at first, but it was the start of what I would eventually become. You see, before I was married, money was something that was constantly worried about. In fact, it would haunt my father, up until the day he died. One of the last things he said to me was, “we’re going to lose everything”. See you can be a millionaire and still be in debt. No matter how much I made or how many bills I had or didn’t have, I constantly struggled with the issue of money. A wise man, my husband, once said that “It’s not what you make, it’s what you save”. As I have almost been married for five years, I now realize that it is the truth.
Have I been cured? No. Are discussions about money always perfect? No. But, I have the security in knowing that when I lay down at night, if something were to happen, I would be able to eat, the next day. For some, it’s all about name brand clothes and cars; they want it NOW. As for me, I rather like the idea of going up to a car lot to pay CASH for a car, one day. Those that live in the NOW are not prepared for their future and, sadly, may understand what it’s like to cry at night looking for their next meal or car payment. I once lived in the NOW and, for me, that was a huge factor in many of my financial decisions and disappointments. I LOST EVERYTHING AND MY CAR. Now, because of the balance that I have found in my husband, I don’t have to worry. Does that mean I don’t eye a little Tory Burch number now and then? No. But, because of what have come from and the changes I have made financially and being in total submission, I might be able to just purchase one here and there, GUILT FREE. Also because of my past, I have come up with the conclusion that just because I have it, doesn’t mean I need to spend it.
It all started with that miserable feeling of emptiness, looking into a pantry and wondering what my next meal would be. There is so much peace in knowing that I am trusting in God and his guidance on what to do with my finances. Sadly, for some, they will never experience this peace and will continue to live in the NOW. For some paycheck to paycheck; for others, they will spend every dime they have, as fast as they can get their hands on it. I pray you never experience the loneliness of an empty pantry.