“When I first walked through Love Your Neighbor’s door at the beginning of 2023, I was at the lowest point in my life. My marriage was imploding. My mental health was crashing. My children were in a constant state of fight, flight or freeze. My finances were a disaster. And my spiritual life was on the rocks.
How did I get to this low of a place? I, of all people, should never have ended up here. I had grown up observing my parent’s solid financial management. My mom had used the envelope system with me for my money management as a teenager. I attended and even taught classes on budgeting as an adult.
But as we know life rarely goes as we plan.
Mental and physical health issues began to take a toll on my family. I ran out of energy to budget and began to spend money trying to solve problems that stuff could not fix. Credit card bills began growing and I kept hoping I would find a way out of this hole that only continued to grow. Finally, I made the hard choice to move into our neighbors home. One of those homes happened to have a connection with Love. K & G loved like no one else did. They gave me space to think my own thoughts, make my own choices & even to make mistakes. They did this without making me feel like I was ruining the world as we know it.
K kept telling me that I needed to go check out Love. I knew she was right, but found ways to avoid it and procrastinate the need for change.
Finally, out of desperation for peace, I went…
I was a mess for a while and a rollercoaster of emotions for even longer. Coming to the Life Skills Program gave me stability. It gave me a routine where I found community, learning, and accountability.
The support at Love was a blessing. The volunteers, the staff, the mentors are all here to provide another layer of support. Those layers are priceless when you feel like your world is crashing. Nobody judged or looked at me wondering why I didn’t have it all together.
The financial accountability gave me the opportunity to rebuild my budgeting habits. Recently, I realized that the cash envelope system is a good choice for me. Seeing if there was cash or not in an envelope helped me to know if I could spend or not. For me, budgeting like this felt like returning to an old friend.
The gardening class with Amy was therapeutic. I learned how much I love getting my hands in the dirt!
My emotions smoothed out. My confidence returned.
The people I have learned the most from are the others in the program like me, but also not like me. They have given me understanding for things I haven’t experienced. Many are fighting battles I have never had to fight. Those that are in the program or will be graduating in the future have taught me and continue to teach me so much.
I share this story to be an example to show that it’s okay to fall. Getting on top of your finances is not a once and done thing. Life can throw curveballs when we don’t expect it. You might fall back into old patterns. I know I have. The question is not if you will fall again. The more important question to ask is whether you will be willing to get back up again. Don’t let setbacks define you. By the grace of God and the community of His people, you can put one foot in front of the other. Finding the road to freedom once again.”