I’m extremely proud of my B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice. It’s especially meaningful because I hit the pause button several times and resumed my journey after each life altercation. It took a combined 10 years of fresh starts and one unplanned pregnancy to complete my degree, but mission accomplished! Overall I have no regrets (except the student loan debt acquired), and my critical thinking skills were definitely developed and enhanced from the experience. Later in life, however, I realized I wasn’t fully prepared for the real world and the lessons most relevant to my future (unlike Algebra!) weren’t solved by answers memorized from a hardback book. College didn’t suggest I pay attention to my finances, save money, live on a budget, stress the importance of planning for the future as a backup plan, or minimize the possibility of working my body to exhaustion for survival or to simply pay for healthcare. Life took a chunk out of me, and provided a final exam of epic proportions, which I failed!.
A female experiencing the abrupt loss of a soul tie will usually compare that sense of loss to the end of the world. You learn your world REALLY only shatters when something you have no control over threatens the future/security of your child. My son’s Paranoid Schizophrenic diagnosis ten years ago shoved me into a sinkhole and evolved into my best instructor. It’s demonic presence forced a reality check that started a journey from denial to feeling the full weight of debt left behind during various stages of life. Credit cards either put a band-aid on a problem or was proof of how much I cared for someone. Once I tallied the cost of decisions made by emotions, my account hit a negative balance. Fear was compounded even more by being totally unprepared to handle medical emergencies which had the potential to bankrupt me. As a mother, I felt like a failure and was terrified not only for my child’s future but mine as well.
Enter Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. After completing the twelve week (now nine) course, I felt like I had earned a Master’s Degree in Life 101 at a much cheaper cost. I now had the knowledge required to transition into a better financial position to help my son (as well as secure my own future), as well as change my family tree. I reluctantly opened my mind to the possibility of life without debt being the only solution one year after my introduction to Dave Ramsey. I finally faced the reality that a quick fix in anything never works as a long-term solution. I begin to put in the work and eliminated debt completely in seven painfully slow long years holding down three jobs, obviously working more than I slept. That season ended with no regrets and an added bonus of a second son graduating college with an Engineering Degree minus student loan debt that follows most graduates to the grave. I didn’t even believe that was possible until Dave said it was so! This experience was a reminder that life lessons are equally as important as textbook knowledge, as long as we take the message from the mess and learn from them!