My chains are gone…I’ve been set free – those words are part of the chorus of a newer version of the song Amazing Grace. And technically, it’s referring to the way Jesus’ death set all believers free from their sin (which is super meaningful to me too).

But you know what, it’s exactly how I’m feeling right now.

This morning, February 21st, 2012, I made the final payment on my $64,000 credit card debt.

If you’ve known me for awhile, you know it’s been a long hard journey. There were times I struggled to make the payment, and it nearly tore my marriage apart. (You can read about that here.)

If this is the first time you’ve come across my site, I’ll fill you in quickly…

After having 3 kids in 4 years, I was lost. A mom, to be sure, but still not sure of where I was going, or where I even wanted to go. I was bored. I was lonely, and I was tired of living on a strict budget (3 kids eat A LOT).

I was a substitute teacher for awhile – but it was draining. Kids missed me and wouldn’t let me out of their sight when we all got home. The house was never clean, meals were a chore, and I was spent in more ways than one.

To end the monotony I started mystery shopping. I loved it. It got me out of the house, and let me spend money. The problem? I would only have a set amount to spend – and I never, ever abided by it. I would submit my receipts, knowing I would only be reimbursed for the set amount. I figured with the money I was being paid for the shops on top of the allotment would cover it.

It didn’t.

And I didn’t stop spending.

It made me feel alive. It made me feel like I had awesome “stuff.” But in the end, it made me feel empty.

And when I realized that it was really piling up, I started to panic. And I spent more.

When I finally stopped, I was $64,000 deep in credit card debt, spread across 5 cards.

My husband had no idea – and I wanted it to stay that way until it was paid off. I worked, and worked, and worked – for what he thought was peanuts. He was annoyed at how much I was working.

I had it paid down to $48,000 when he found out. It wasn’t pretty.

And it wasn’t easy – but we worked it out. And I kept working.

And, while I am super proud of myself, I have to give all the credit to God. He got me through this in so many ways.

He set me free, and he paid my debt. (The sin one AND the actual one).

So, now that the debt is gone, it’s time to unveil my newest project.

If you saw my interview over at Lifebyme.com, I briefly mentioned that once the debt is paid off that I want to travel.

But I don’t just want to travel. I want to see the world.

You can follow that journey here

And I’d love to hear your debt stories. Come on, leave a comment – tell me I’m not the only one…

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