I want to share this story with you, about how God literally transformed me while we were working on a monthly budget, but I don’t want to talk about money. Can you grab a glass of something cold (or a mug of something warm, depending on your weather) and sit with me awhile? Because this post isn’t about money.
So let me get really real for a minute. We have never been really great with money, as our problem was twofold: not enough income and never learned about finances properly. And because of that first reason (not enough income – and by not enough I mean more than most in the world, but for our family size and our location, we are extremely tight each month), we never really thought there was any point to the second reason: learning about money.
But I had slowly been feeling this nudge by God to do something more about the second reason. To learn more about handling finances and really, to just do a budget already. It was never a condemnation, as if God was angry with me or I was disobeying by not having taken these financial steps before, but more that he was just saying “it’s time.”
I think in the past I decided that doing a budget would be scary (spoiler alert: It WAS scary, but only at first). I convinced myself there was no point in budgeting when we lived in a time of financial scarcity as a family. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
So, we did it, we set up time with a financial counselor to do a budget for September and learn a lot of other things too. Logically I was doing fine. I was looking forward to this appointment, because I felt like we’d see a) that we had been doing pretty well in our decisions; and b) that our money just needed a little organization and it would stretch a bit further.
But emotionally I had become really resistant by the time our appointment arrived. I could feel myself wishing I could cancel, or otherwise shrink into a hole in the ground. I wanted to escape, but I did it anyway.
Then as we sat down and began, I started to feel like I might burst into tears. I told my husband and the counselor what was going on, because for some reason I felt it important to give them a play-by-play. Five or ten minutes later, I told them I felt like I was going to throw up. I wasn’t upset or thinking about anything negative in relation to the money stuff; I just was having this weird physical reaction to what I was doing. Naturally they thought I was just stressed out, but I knew it wasn’t stress.
Suddenly I felt like it was very important for us to stop and pray. Why I hadn’t thought of praying before this financial appointment, I don’t know, but I learned my lesson for sure. We stopped and grabbed hands and I prayed things I hadn’t had on my mind at all (I love it when that happens).
I prayed that I would be free from any shame of financial failure of the past. I prayed that I would know how God saw me, as whole and beautiful and free, and that these steps were going to be wonderful for our family. I prayed I would ignore any lies of the enemy telling me we couldn’t stick to this budget, or that we would never get out of the situation we had been in for so long.
My husband prayed as well, and when we were done I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. All my physical symptoms were gone. I felt healed, body and spirit. We continued on with our appointment and it went fine and we are excited (as much as you can be) to begin the new budget next week.
Since that day I’ve felt a lightness in my spirit that can only be described as the transformative work of Jesus. How he heals with surrender, the way I was surrendering during my prayer. How he heals with obedience, the way I agreed to the appointment and showed up for it. And I know the obedience and surrender were only possible by the Holy Spirit within me in the first place, because when I got involved, I got scared and wanted to escape.
I love when the Lord uses the practical things of life to heal little corners of our heart that we maybe thought were “fine”, or that we thought because of mistakes of the past were just a burden we had to bear. God doesn’t want us to do any of that heavy lifting. He asks us, gently, to let him have it all.
What areas of your life have you felt transformed in lately? How has God’s spirit been working on your every day life, in healing your heart?
Or maybe you feel like it’s time to have God work on your heart in this way? I would love to hear your stories!Leave a Comment
Great words to read this morning! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been on a 3 week journey with God and honestly some of this journey I’ve walked by myself because I went ahead of him. I know, silly to take a journey with someone and leave them behind! Lol. He has really brought me to that place though at times to remind me , hey, we’re in this together. You committed yourself to me in this and you need me to complete it!
Arianne Segerman says
I love this – and it is so easy to want to run ahead where things seem like they will be easier. But he has us slow down to his pace, where the healing is. Thank you Cassandra!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
Your post has really made me pause and think about things that are going on in my life and just how God works. Something hurtful happened to me just yesterday that I have been trying to make sense of. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will just suffice it to say that is laid open some wounds that I thought had been long healed. I’m not quite sure what God is up to, but maybe that’s the point that I just need to trust Him. Like you said, he doesn’t ask us to do the heavy lifting, He just wants us to give it over to Him. Thank you for a very though provoking post…
Arianne Segerman says
Bev, I’m praying for you as you process the hurt and pray over why God is bubbling those things up (and out of you). I know that we heal in layers, so sometimes when it seems as though something long healed is hurting again, it might actually be a *new* layer of healing. Blessings. xoxo
Beth Williams says
Praying for healing from the hurts. Asking God to show you what He wants you to get rid of & why these feeling came up again. What must you learn?
God Bless you!
kris scorza-sobieski says
so much happens when we follow, even when we don’t see the point in it. teach my children daily, but needing the lesson myself lately. thank you ari for sharing! xoxo
Arianne Segerman says
Yes yes and yes. Love you Kris! xo
I’ve or rather we’ve been healed in the very same area of our finances. Like you mentioned. Good habits of careful spending. I think now, a tighter budget would be so much better for us. Good advise.
The LORD has brought me into a new season and this area is what HE is talking about. We are not having any problems but it is nice to be able to live kingdom ways. HIS ways and not my ways.
I’m learning, slowly but surely and it is making a difference in our budget. And in our marriage. We are relaxed and the pressure is off.
What a good post. What good advise. 🙂
Arianne Segerman says
I love hearing good news. Thank you for sharing Karyn!
Sherri Ohler says
Arianne if you had any idea how timely this post is! I just spent the morning pouring out all of my past financial sins into my journal and begging for understanding and breakthrough in this area. I feel such a ‘block’ when it comes to money. God ALWAYS provides for our needs, but abundant living, giving and serving in freedom has eluded me and the financial pressures are ALWAYS there, hovering and choking me. I know that is not God’s plan. It robs me of joy and does nothing for His kingdom. I am going to read and re-read through this post again, pray for you as I do, and believe great things for us both! THANK YOU for your vulnerability in sharing with us today-God has used to to let me know He is right here and heard my hearts cry this morning!
Many blessings to you and yours,
Arianne Segerman says
Oh Sherri, it gave me chills to read your comment. You not only so aptly described where my heart has been on money, but made my heart soar a bit that this was so timely for you. I love when God does that. 🙂 Praying for you, too, sister. Love. xoxo
To know that there is someone out there who struggles in this same way is heartening. I haven’t thought about turning to Him in our time of financial struggle. I was just thinking about a budget, something I have never done in my 40 years. I was contemplating envelopes and such…none of it seems to make any sense to me. But I have taken comfort in your story and pray that I too will find peace about it. Thanks to God for all of our blessings!
Arianne Segerman says
It is all very confusing, I know. We are starting the envelopes next week! We have found Dave Ramsey’s teachings on these things very helpful. We don’t always agree with him on other stuff, but his financial advice is good. Praying for you Renae!
When the Son sets you free-you will be free indeed! Amen!
Thank you so much for your post this morning. God has been working in my life to lead me to start my own health counseling business. Man is it scary. We have always been on a budget because my husband loves finances but when I was called to quit my full time job, rely on God and start my own business, I have been stressed with guilt about not providing an income. My husband has been nothing but supportive and so this is just a guilt that I have carried. I think that I am trying to do all of the heavy lifting with worrying about the finances and about if I going to be able to do this health counseling business or not. God is leading a curvy path but I know that following him is going to grow my faith. He has already taught me so much. Thank you so much for sharing your heart this morning. Have a blessed Wednesday!
Arianne Segerman says
It’s so easy for us to carry around that suitcase of guilt well into our journey, when most times God wants us to drop the shame and guilt right away. He longs for our redemption and healing, not for us to emotionally pay for things forever. I love what you shared here, MacKenzie, thanks so much.
Heidi Fuller says
As with a lot of things in life, it comes down to paying attention, and straightening our perspective. We live in a time and culture that bombards us with what our pastor refers to as “weapons of mass distraction”. Finances can be intimidating, but mostly come down to attentiveness to where the money’s going, and remembering that every good thing in our lives comes from God (even the good things that run out too soon). We are stewards of the blessings in our lives, and remembering that our money… our home… our children… everything good comes from God and belongs to God.
Leigh Kramer says
Love this, Ari!
Amber L says
The past 2 days I have cried all the way to work about our financial status which never seems to get better.
I have read “The Total Money Makeover” and applied some of the principles. We live literally paycheck to paycheck and the budget is one step I haven’t even tried to tackle yet. The thought of it makes me want to vomit. I think it’s the thought of what if I can’t stick to it and then we are still broke and I have also failed at budgeting. I have been feeling the Spirit call to get my finances in order. I cut up my credit cards and have the $1000 in an emergency fund. It just feels like I can’t go any further with our current income.
I just keep praying for Him to show me the way!
Arianne Segerman says
Oh Amber I so get it. I am no expert, but I do know that if you already have an emergency fund you are SO on your way! Also this is what we ultimately told ourselves: if we try a budget and it doesn’t work, we will be in the same place we were in before trying. We are not going to make anything *worse* by trying, but it could really help. I know how you are feeling, and I’m so praying you feel some relief soon. ((hugs))
God is using my Reformers Unanimous classes to teach me more about how to handle my Depressions—this particular that i just came out of, had me learning ALL NEW THINGS!!!
Nancy Ruegg says
Somehow we believe the lie that surrender and obedience will shut off freedom, fun, and fulfillment. In reality, the opposite is true. Obedience to Jesus brings lightness and freedom to our spirits. We have fun in new ways, enjoying the delights he provides along the way. And we experience fulfillment in accomplishing our God-given purpose, designed specifically for each of us. I like the way you expressed it, Arainne: He HEALS us through surrender and obedience. Oh, yes–made whole and complete, fully alive, with joy coursing through our veins, and more!
Debi Schuhow says
What struck me is the healing you received when you surrendered! You put words to my experiences! That’s awesome!
Beth Williams says
I have surrendered my work life to God. My job duties changed a few years back & it hurt my feelings to a point I wanted to quit. I kept praying about it and things have changed & now I have a sense of peace about it all!
Thanks Arianne! Good post!
Arianne, thanking God for leading me to this today. I have struggled financially almost my entire life. I rob Peter to pay Paul. I pay late. I get in jams,etc,etc. I get bi-weekly paychecks which makes it harder(one excuse).I know that I know I need to get a budget. I have resisted is for so long for the same reasons you gave. Thank you for helping to let go of the guilt. And for encouraging me. I don’t know who to go to. I mean,it’s so personal. Would you please pray for me in that regard? I will to.and I will update you as to my progress. I know God desires this for me,and I desire His will. And,I know He will give me the desires of my heart. So,this will be done. I need His guidance and direction. And encouragement along the way. Thanks again! Gritting my teeth,but taking the first step:Releasing it to God!
P.S. I am a widow,raised my girls as a single Mom.
I was just sharing in my recovery program last night that I just so want to be free of money struggles that I have had all my life. I found out that my problem is not with money per se, but with the character defect that causes the symptom of mishandling money. So, my prayer is that God will get to the root of the character defect, heal that, and help me to make responsible decisions. Desperation always comes before deliverance, and I am desperate. Lord, please help me!
Renee Ronika says
It feels good to read and know these things about you. Standing with you in this time of faith increased.
Cindy in Indy says
I needed this. We’ve never had a budget. My excuse was always that my husband was on commission and I never knew each month what his income would be. 44 years of marriage later…. he’s retired (due to medical reasons), and I want to retire, but there are so many unknowns it has been laying heavy on my heart. This is exactly what I need to do – make a budget and maybe get with a financial counselor (how much does that cost?). I need to figure out what we can live on so that I can retire. I want to make handbags and table runners and tooth fair pillows and fun creative stuff and sell them. I’ve already started and my daughter has volunteered to make me a professional website. But I need to fill in some of the blanks on the budget and make contact with insurance man to see what supplemental insurance costs and prescriptions. It’s a big jump, because I have health insurance where I work and I’m getting paid well. I’m just very tired. I want to do something creative and fun. Am I being selfish? Thank you, this gave me some direction, and yes PRAY!! That’s a big part of it. Prayer puts aside our personal agenda and gives it to God. I love that… He doesn’t ask us to do the heavy lifting. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m looking forward to some freedom, which can be scary.
I just read this post today. I have been divorced for almost 3 years and finances have been a struggle even before the divorce but have intensified since then. I sit here desperate for God to show me myself in finances and yet scared to death to see. Your post is perfect for me. I want to do a budget, Ineed to do a budget but I have no one but me these days to blame. It’s Christmas time and I am beating myself up for not having gifts for the kids or enough money for fun and food while I have them both with me for a week and for not having enough gifts for them to open and enough money for me to travel to watch them open their other presents from Santa and my ex’s family. My broken family is just one of many things that I am looking heavenward for healing….finances and a budget are among them. There is only me to blame and I feel condemnation and worthlessness and ugly things for not being able to stay ahead of the bills. Lord help me !!!