Out of debt and into church
In my twenties I got into financial trouble when I cosigned a car loan with my boyfriend. After we broke up, he remained in possession of the car, defaulted on the loan, and refused to communicate with me on the matter. The bank that held the loan pursued me for the full amount.
Although I had drifted away from regular church attendance, I knew this situation could be resolved harmoniously through Christian Science. Having grown up attending Christian Science Sunday School, turning to this Science in a time of trouble was a natural choice for me. After several months, the bank’s efforts intensified, and I decided I needed to pray with greater devotion to improve my understanding of what was spiritually true in this situation.
For over a year and a half, I worked to resolve this issue through spiritual study and prayer. This healing journey became much deeper than just finding a resolution to a financial situation. First, it required that I gain a stronger faith in God. I had always questioned God’s existence. An editorial in the Sentinel (Kim Crooks Korinek, “Loving God in a material world,” June 11, 2018) really helped to awaken my thoughts on this topic. The author says, “I may have questioned if God exists, but I had no doubt about love’s existence.” I had never questioned if love exists; now I asked myself, “Why would I not have the same trust in God as I do in love?” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy states, “The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death” (p. 140). I saw that divine Love breaks through fear, hate, and division, and that this could be applied to the car loan situation.
Second, I had to forgive myself. I felt I had made many mistakes by being in that relationship and cosigning on the car loan. As I prayed about this, several statements from Science and Health were helpful, including, “The great fact that God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin, is your standpoint, from which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness” (p. 412).
I saw this as applying to any kind of fear or discord. I realized that, in reality, no mistake had been made, as I was constantly in God’s care, and the situation was at all times under God’s control. I also saw that I needed to stop thinking about how this problem should be resolved humanly in order for God’s resolution to be achieved. As Jesus said, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
I consulted a bankruptcy attorney, who advised me to contact the bank’s manager of asset protections and offer a settlement for the debt. This proved to be challenging. The asset protection manager did not return my first call, and none of the bank employees I spoke with would allow me to talk directly with her.
I continued in dedicated prayer. Throughout this period, three key words stood out to me: love, forgiveness, and trust. I saw that I needed to love everyone involved, including my ex-boyfriend and the bank employees. I needed to forgive not only my ex-boyfriend for his choices in the situation but also myself. Most important, I needed to put all my trust in God.
Finally, I heard back from the asset protection manager. When I saw that she had left me a return voicemail, even before I listened to her message, I felt at peace. She accepted my settlement proposal of 50 percent of the amount owed on the vehicle. This amount was all the money I had in my bank account at that time.
This healing experience included a wonderful demonstration of God’s supply. Before I started praying about this debt situation, I was living paycheck to paycheck, was in credit card debt, and had no money in savings. Just six months prior to the debt settlement, my savings account balance had been zero. But in six months, while working through this process prayerfully, I was able to save 50 percent of the total amount owed. And one year after the debt was settled, I had on hand exactly the amount of money that I had seemingly lost. Today, three years later, my credit has rebounded to a level higher than it ever was before, as has my savings account.
My gratitude for this prayerful journey is immense. It helped me regain my faith in God and demonstrate supply, and it ultimately resulted in my returning to the Christian Science church and becoming a member of The Mother Church.
Jo Ellen Davis
Goshen, Indiana, US