We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~~Romans 5:3-5, NLT
Expecting my second son, I yearned to be a stay-at-home mother. I worked since I was sixteen years old, but something about becoming a mother changed my desire to work outside the home. The nurturing, cuddling, and long to be with my new baby consumed all my thoughts. I already missed out on staying home with my first child who already attended school. When the first child came along, I was serving my country in the active duty Air Force. Therefore, my attention was divided.
After the Air Force, my husband and I stacked up a pile of credit card debt as high as the desktop. We lived for the moment not understanding that eventually it would all crumble around us. Also, I searched for a home-based business to work so I could make money and stay home. From attempting several businesses and failing, the debt rose even higher.
At that point, we owed so much money that I could not quit my job. When I faced the reality of the money owed, my heart felt crushed. Every time I dropped my youngest off at daycare, he cried. And on the way to the car, I cried. The certainty of my consequences set in and I felt deep despair.
My sin had consequences. Living in debt had repercussions. In order to stop the cycle, we repented for frivolous spending and sought credit counseling. We agreed to stop charging and started paying on the debt. We chipped away at our obligation little by little. We chose to live on a lot less. Throughout this time, my youngest started school and I also missed being a stay-at-home mom during his baby years.
Through those years, I prayed to the Lord. I persevered in hope that I would someday be able to stay home with my boys. I read Scriptures that filled me with hope, such as the widow who kept knocking on the judge's door seeking justice. (Luke 18:1-8) She never quit on hope. The parable starts with, "One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up" (NLT). So I kept on asking and seeking the Lord, not giving up hope.
Finally after five years of perseverance and character development, the day came when our debts were paid in full. I resigned from my full-time job and became a stay-at-home mom. Finally overcoming my failure of money management, I learned to be more financially responsible. And I received my God-given desire to stay home with my boys.
Though I failed by racking up a mountain of debt, hope in our Lord never failed me. Though the times I couldn't stay home felt painful, I endured. Through the endurance, the Lord developed character and character developed hope, which did not disappoint me. I never quit on hope.