From February 2000 to January 2001, I lost my grandmother, grandfather, and aunt. Thereafter, I discovered I longed to be near my parents in Portland, Oregon. After living in Atlanta for 15 years, May 2001, my husband and I moved to the West Coast. We sold everything we owned, packed up our car and daughter, and took a two-week leisurely road trip to Portland, Oregon. In mid-June we arrived in Oregon, and stayed with my brother and his wife until we purchased our home. In mid-July 2001, we were settled in our new home in Camas, Washington, and ready to start our new life. Our plans included my husband working in the information technology industry, and me staying home raising our daughter. I had worked since I was 13 and I wanted a break.
Well, 9/11 happened. The economy changed. Thousands became unemployed, and businesses were closing and not hiring. At that time I felt lead to start doing business again. We made the decision to have my husband become a stay-at-home dad. He would be the one behind the scenes supporting me and the business. It took time and patience for a training and coaching business to grow from scratch in a new location. Over a two-year period we made some money, but mostly sustained our lifestyle using our savings. I felt financially secure when we arrived, but after going through more than $147,000 over two-years, I was feeling insecure, depressed, worried, fearful, and spiritually I was drained.
I’m going to be honest, my peace and security were gone. For a time, everything I thought I believed in was thrown out the window. I felt God had abandoned us, didn’t like us, and maybe we had done something wrong. One day I cried out and asked Him “Why have I been called to teach people about money and you have us living on our savings and going broke?” His answer, “How can you be effective teaching and ministering to others about money if you’ve never had a money problem?” At that moment it all made sense. Also, at that moment I realized as humans we can make the best plans in the world and have the best intentions, but ultimately God is in control of what happens. When we put our trust, security, and peace in money, material things, and our own efforts — it is a false sense of security. In 2003, we moved back to Atlanta. We couldn’t wait. We drove six-days straight. When we reached Tennessee my husband started crying. He said, “I’m going to kiss the first mosquito I see in Georgia. I’m so happy, Georgia is home.” Georgia was home. Home really is where your heart is.
One thing I know for sure, life is about learning life-lessons. Either you learn the lessons or you keep repeating them. The lessons I learned during that season was to trust God for everything. He will give us everything we need when we need it, and He will open and close doors as He sees fit.
Prepare for Purpose
Today, I have learned to listen to His quiet voice, ask for understanding, pray, and prepare through the season of waiting. Additionally, I’m learning to be obedient even when it doesn’t make sense and walk through open doors. Most of all, I’ve learned to be “thankful” for the closed doors, and to be encouraged knowing everything learned good and bad prepares us for a higher purpose.
So I ask you again, have you learned to trust God or Money? I’d love to hear from you.
Sharman Lawson is a financial coach, speaker, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Visit her website at www.sharmanlawson.com.