Let’s Talk Money Shall We?
As Michael and I push forward with our travel plans we have encountered many people asking numerous questions about the details of our trip. One question in particular continues to stand out to me, How will you afford that???
In order to fully answer that question I’m going to rewind 3 years back to 2011 when Michael took his bicycle trip. The main goal of his trip when he first started was to find out if God was real. Michael left his home with $300 to his name to ride a bicycle across the country in order to find a relationship with God. Now, in today’s world, if you were to ask any sane person how much it would cost to take a bicycle trip across the country I think we could all agree the answer would be well over $300.
Without ever having to ask for money, Michael was always blessed and taken care of through complete strangers. When he was down to $5 to his name and didn’t know where he would sleep that night or what he would eat the next day, someone would randomly bless him with cash, a place to stay, food to eat, and one time even a brand new (pretty expensive) bicycle so he could continue his journey. He never went a day without being taken care of and he believes, as do I, that it was all through God.
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:10
Now back to our new journey… Human nature makes us feel as though money is what will make us happy, what will sustain us, and what will allow us to live. Humans have it wrong. Our money is limited and it limits us. Money can be destroyed, lost, and it will always run out. Money will never be enough to satisfy our souls. God’s love is just the opposite though. God’s love is beautiful and unlimited. It is always there even when we cannot see it.
We left yesterday (Sunday) to embark on our journey but before we left we attended our church we call home, Five14. Ryan Donovan did an amazing job speaking to the church and to sum up his message he said, “We are limited, but God is limitless.” (I strongly encourage you to click on the Five14 link above and check out his message. It is extremely moving.) To think that I am limited…Money is limited but God is limitless, how comforting is that? Overwhelmingly comforting to me.
I make under $30,000 a year after taxes are all said and done and HALF (Yes! I said half!) of my income goes to pay my student loans. I went to a 4 year school, graduated with my bachelor’s in Health Administration and racked up $100,000 in debt along the way. I also had lost my job about a year and a half ago and while I went through that rough patch of unemployment I racked up a small credit card bill. Michael and I also got married this past October so some of the wedding expenses were paid with my credit card as well. I was paying $200 a month in credit card bills, roughly $1,000 in student loan bills, I tithed 10% of my earnings, and then whatever else was left went to groceries and gas. I guess I can say that I’m glad I have a husband who has been able to maintain a stable self-employed handyman business to pay our apartment rent and utilities. Now after those few numbers do you think that would be enough to be able to some how leave for 2 or so months on the road and not have to worry about money? Well, again, I don’t think any sane person would say yes. But it is! I must say God is truly amazing because somehow (and I really don’t know how we were able to get to this point-the only explanation is a limitless God) I was able to pay my student loans off so the next bill won’t be due until September, pay off ALL of my credit card debt, and save $1,000. We were able to save another $1,000 in our joint savings and Michael was able to save $1,000 in his personal account. And not only that but before we even left on our trip we were blessed with $800 in donations! Tell me that doesn’t make sense without God in the mix!
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:24
So to answer everyone’s reoccurring questions – “How will we be able to afford this trip?” – We will trust in the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul and lean not on our own understandings. In all our ways we will acknowledge him and he will make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)