For many of us, nighttime is often an opportunity to reflect, reassess, and perhaps, shed tears on our pillows. Such was my life when I remembered the weight of a whopping $154,000 student loan. My husband and I, fresh out of college with our precious baby and not a dime of income, felt the pressure of the mountain of debt that overshadowed our young family’s joy.
I often felt akin to David, the psalmist, when he cried out in Psalm 69 about being engulfed by deep waters. His words felt like they were echoing my own heartbreak and despair. The staggering fact remains that with the rising student loan crisis, many borrowers suffer mentally and emotionally. It’s a harrowing thought that, according to the Student Loan Planner, an astounding 1 in 15 borrowers even consider the unthinkable step of ending their lives to escape the pressure.
When sickness knocked at our door, the medical bills and the potential loss of income only added to our fears. The strain made us snappy and suspicious, our once joy-filled marriage now treading on eggshells.
But amid the despair, a ray of hope pierced through. The Bible reminded us that Jesus offers a life abundant, not one paralyzed by fear. This led us to the story in 2 Kings of the destitute widow, her mounting debt, and the miraculous intervention of God. If God could perform a financial miracle for her, why not for us?
Our determination to break free from our debt prison led us to develop a strategy. While it wasn’t easy and required discipline, our resolve was fueled by scriptures like Hebrews 11:12, which speaks of the fruit borne from discipline.
The approach we took was simple: We tackled one loan at a time, focusing all our energies and resources on clearing the smallest loan while maintaining minimum payments on the others. This method kept us from being overwhelmed by the sheer size of our debt.
As months turned into years, our perseverance bore fruit. We paid off every cent, and the relief was indescribable. It was as though we’d emerged from a long, cold winter into the vibrant bloom of spring.
Today, we enjoy the freedom that comes from living without debt. No longer do we scramble for change for our basic needs, nor do we live in the shadow of financial strain. Instead, we are able to contribute to causes dear to us and support others in their God-given missions.
For the many burdened with student loans, my message is this: Start with the belief that freedom is attainable. Your race might be long and arduous, but as Apostle Paul encourages, you can complete it victoriously.
Remember the widow from 2 Kings, who felt she had nothing? Through faith and obedience, God multiplied her little to settle her debts and sustain her family. Likewise, when we felt at our lowest, with seemingly nothing to our name, God took our skills, our time, and our dedication, and turned them into a miracle.
If you’re battling student loan anxiety, know this: God stands ready to rescue you. It might be a journey filled with hard work and sacrifices, but the resulting freedom is truly priceless.