Like so many couples, Murphy and Melissa Stewart’s marriage was being torn apart by money problems. It started when they came into their marriage with a combined six-figure debt load.
Murphy shares, “We had a lot of friends that we hung out with that drove cars, went on vacations and spent money frivolously. It’s something that we wanted to do to.”
Melissa recalls, “it really caused a lot of hardship and burden in our marriage.”
After they married, Melissa left her bank job to return to school. She also took out a loan to pay for it. They were now stuck with paying back thousands of dollars.
Murphy says, “So on top of the $7,000 in credit card debt, we also had $30,000 of school debt that my wife accrued, and also we had IRS bill debt and medical debt.”
Melissa shares, “And it was just like this never-ending cycle of just insanity.”
By 2012, they knew they needed God’s help and started going to church. They also began learning about financial stewardship and tithing.
Murphy recalls, “I was now immediately onboard, absolutely because I realized that something needed to change.”
Then Murphy lost his bank job. Now they were both out of work and using credit cards to get by. One night, at church, they were prompted by God to give a sacrificial offering.
Melissa remembers, “And it was actually from our recycle cans money, some of the last cash that we had on hand. And we both felt like that was confirmation, like okay, God is with us. He’s going to take care of us.”
The Stewarts began tithing from Melissa’s new part-time job and Murphy’s unemployment benefits. Within a month Murphy was hired as an account manager at a bank.
Murphy recalls, “I knew God was still in it and enabled me to become more of a provider for my household as a man.”
By 2013, the Stewarts were consistently tithing. They also put themselves on a strict budget.
Melissa says, “I started to see us paying off the debts one by one and things started to inspire me and motivate me and really trust Him and trust God too that we can do this.”
In January 2014, Melissa got a new job at a community college. During that year, they received a combined total of $18,000 in bonuses and raises which they used to pay down their debt. After a five-year commitment, they were able to pay off $229,000 of debt.
Melissa remembers, “It was probably the second best day of our lives besides our wedding day. It was amazing.”
Murphy shares, “Being debt free is a surreal feeling for sure. I feel a lot lighter, so no burden, and I feel like I’m walking now into my destiny that God has promised me.”
Today, the Stewarts find their fulfillment in staying debt free and helping other couples find freedom through their fitness and financial coaching business, called Fit-n-Fund.
Melissa says, “If you really just take that step of faith and turn it over to God and just let it go, He will just overwhelm you with blessings and abundance.”
Murphy says, “I believe it’s important to give and to really follow God’s principles because He will bless you beyond your imagination but most importantly He opens up doors for you to start giving back and show others the way.”
copied from: https://www1.cbn.com/hope-marriage-six-figures-debt?utm_source=cbn&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=cbn-eu-ww&utm_content=20200918-1538706&inid=ae90b42f-5c44-4498-9d51-f36341a60995