I feel like any good soul shaping series would include something about money, right?
Money is a subject that no one really likes to talk about. We don’t talk about how much money we make or how much we spend. We don’t talk about our debt or our generosity. I think I understand why. Maybe we feel like we will be judged for making too much money or too little. We feel embarrassed or ashamed by the amount of debt we have.
So, our money troubles stay inside; it remains a secret. We worry about it alone or perhaps with our partner.
Secrets often make our souls sick.
While I’m not saying that we should go around sharing our financial joys and woes with the whole world, I am saying that maybe money should be a topic we venture into with those we trust. Money, like everything else, should be brought out into the light. I think we’d find that our souls would be lighter after sharing some numbers, sharing some worries, and sharing some prayers.
The other day I was sharing with someone in my Life Group about some stress that I’ve been feeling, thinking about some student loan debt we’ve been accruing as a student family. It had been weighing on my mind and heart heavily, and I just felt like I needed to tell someone- to ask for prayer for perspective and peace and hope. My poor friend didn’t even see the conversation coming. She was so gracious and kind about it though (of course she was! she’s my friend after all!). She listened intently and then a little bit later in the evening, offered some words of encouragement.
“Tiff. You know what we talked about earlier? Well, I want to tell you that I’ve been thinking about it, and I think others in your life stage feel the same way. Your kids are just finally starting to grow up a little; they are getting out of the toddler stage, and for once you have space to look up and see something else besides the everyday survival. It’s okay to feel a little freaked out by this, but it’s also so normal. You’re going to be in a new season soon and it’ll work out.”
Those words (paraphrased) were a healing balm to me. My secret was out. I shared it with someone and she offered some real perspective and hope. I didn’t have to bear it by myself.
While our situation remains the same, the burden on my heart has been lifted because I’ve brought it into the light and it’s lost some of its heaviness.
Perhaps this isn’t really about money, per se, but more about secrets and community and sharing our yuck stuff. I have found that, shared with the right people, truth-telling sets the soul free. We no longer carry our burdens alone; I think this is how God created us to live.