Welcome to our Blessed Chats series! Each month, we will dedicate an entire week of blog posts to a topic that affects many of us. These conversations often come up in our Facebook groups and in our real life friendships. We want to share a variety of perspectives on the topic at hand, so we’ve asked women to share their stories and how the teachings of the Church have guided and comforted them. In this series, we’re talking about finances. We’d love for you to join the conversation!
We were newlyweds, just recently married and on our grand adventure on life. Matt and I met in law school, fell in love, got married, and then moved to Denver, CO. We didn’t have a lot, but we had each other. It was just the two of us, and eventually, our dog Sully. We’d wake up on Saturday mornings, go for a walk downtown, stop at a local coffee shop, chat with those we sat next to and that was life for us. Carefree. Simple. Comfortable.
Made for More
One Saturday, as we took our usual morning stroll, I looked at Matt and said: “We’ve got it pretty dang good, wouldn’t you say? We’re so comfortable!” Matt agreed and we kept walking.
I sat in those words and still do. I knew Jesus well enough, at that point, to know that there had to be more than this, for as lovely as this was for us. We were comfortable. We went where we wanted to, spent when we wanted to and for whatever we wanted to. Because we could! Sure, we gave to Church, but our hearts weren’t quite in the right place just yet.
It wasn’t long after that that our little (surprise) gal pal, Callan, was born. Parenthood was the first time that Matt and I began to feel stretched. Between diapers and clothes and all of the other baby things you need, we also experienced two hospital stays in Cal’s first three months of life. Suddenly, we had less than we did to begin with and it felt, in a lot of ways, that there was a reason behind it all. And with God, there always is a reason, isn’t there?
An Abundance of Perspective
Aside from massive law school loans, we were now piled high with medical bills nearing the 50k mark. Stretched was an understatement. We honestly, at times, felt poor. And in our poverty, He came to us.
It took having our world turned upside down for us to realize that we wanted to re-prioritize how and why and when we spent what we had. We truly began to internalize the Truth that what we had (and did not have, for that matter) was a true gift from the Lord. God shook us out of comfort and into a season of life in which we grew to cling to Him, and it’s been one of the greatest blessings in our marriage.
Learn and grow in our Faith and love for the Lord.
Letting God Make Our Financial Goals
Matt and I say that we want to get rich and die poor. It’s true, we do. But with that said, the heart behind it all is His. We recognize now that coffee dates come second behind giving. I truly believe that had we not experienced such financial struggle when we did, we would have continued down a road of comfort. And we know that we’re not created for comfort, but for greatness. And it is in the struggle that we become great. More holy. Refined and refocused. We learn that all is gift for He gives and takes away. Only to strengthen us and our bond with Him.
We are still trudging through both our student loans and medical bills. And the trudging has brought us so near to one another and deeper into His Heart. It is in giving that we truly receive—and so it is with us. Though our coffee dates are now few and far between, we are comforted knowing that our priorities are what they should be. Our duty is to tithe first, and all else second. Tithing is a beautiful sacrifice, an offering from our hands to His.
Emptying + Filling
It’s interesting, how God works, isn’t it? How He constantly calls us to trust and follow. He empties us, only to fill us again so that we may overflow and be made new. God sure emptied us, and in a lot of ways, we are still empty. Yet from an eternal perspective, we are more wholehearted than ever before.
How is the Lord calling you to surrender your finances to Him? How are you feeling stretched right now and how is He speaking into it all? Go to Him. Sit with Him. Empty what you so tightly cling to and let Him refill your life with His presence and lead!
If you want more on the Church’s rich teachings on these engaging topics, our best-selling study, “Blessed Conversations: Rooted,” dives into the Catechism’s teachings and now offers a video companion series along with it featuring Theological Editor Susanna Spencer and Managing Editor Nell O’Leary. Get it here.