Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Coming Home

This is chapter 15 in my history. Other chapters can be can be found by clicking on "History" at the right.

I know, it's been a long time since I gave a glimpse into my history, but here, goes, and we're almost up to the present.

I left off right after marrying my love, Matt. We settled into a tiny apartment in Salem, OR, with my long time roommate, Tyrone. Life was tough, between being in debt, Matt traveling an hour each way to work in Eugene, and living in a tiny apartment. I still was unable to find a teaching job, so I continued substitute teaching. By this time it was obvious that my health was slowly failing, but I was too stubborn to admit it. I was taking more and more days off from subbing, napping heavily on days where I did work, and never felt well. By Spring 2007, it was clear to me, Matt, and my parents that it was time for me to quit, but I was unsure if we could make it financially. This is when God's grace again touched my life and changed it radically.

Matt and I were both saying a prayer for a way to lift ourselves from the blanket of debt that smothered us. While we were able to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and the lights on, our credit card debt was out of control, especially mine. Years of living paycheck to paycheck and still not making it had caught up to me. All of my cards were over their limits, and the monthly minimums were impossible for me to make. I mostly stayed quiet about my struggle, the shame alone was too much for me to handle, let alone the humility to ask those around me for help. I sent up prayers for someway to wipe the slate clean, start over, and be free of the constant fear and paranoia of living in debt gave me.

Around this time, we were also considering a move to Eugene. This would put Matt in the same city as his work, and I could go back to a less demanding retail job, that hopefully I wouldn't bet as sick at. Tyrone, also ready for a new start, accompanied us on a low-income apartment search in Eugene. We started the next week, back to the grind of daily life, when Matt received news that would radically change the condition of our lives. The company that Matt worked for as a game programmer was being purchased by a larger company. The company would stay essentially the same, but now have capital to help make their goals a reality. In addition, they were buying the stock that the employees had invested. Matt had a significant amount of stock, and now we were set to receive a significant amount of money. Our debt would be gone, our worry lessened, and suddenly my not working didn't seem as scary. Not only that, but we had enough money to put a large down payment on a house... to go from one weekend looking at low-income apartments to looking at homes the very next weekend was quite the experience.

They say that money doesn't buy happiness, and at it's very core, that is a true statement. But the money made it so that there was so much less worry in our lives. The ability to relax and not stress as much led to more happiness and joy in our lives. We found a home fairly quickly and by April 2007 we were homeowners with only the mortgage hanging in our debt cloud. I made the official decision to quit work, and after an August hospitalization, I applied for disability. Officially resigning myself to not teaching anymore was difficult. I hated the thought of giving up the fight with my body to reach my dreams, but I knew that I couldn't physically handle it anymore. I was approved for disability, not a small feet for a first time applicant, and now we live in our home, happy and financially safe.

For the most part, this brings us up to today. There are many more stories to tell, but those will come, with time :) I am going to try to get better about posting more frequently, so we will see what happens!

No comments: