I thought, "Wow! What a great question. I totally forgot to address that." :-) Thank you, friend, for always reading and asking questions. Thank you, for keeping me accountable.
Well, the simple answer is Jesus. :-) The more detailed answer begins with this: "The wisdom of God produces progression." - Pastor David Blunt reminded me of this during one of his sermons at Church on the Rock -St. Louis.
God's wisdom is given to us in pieces. Bit by bit he feeds us, teaches us. It is like learning to read. Letter by letter, sound by sound. Once you have developed the knowledge base, acquired the components, you can begin learning to read.
God knows that imparting His infinite wisdom upon us is entirely too much. Even giving us all wisdom for a particular series of situations is too much. So, bit by bit He prepares us. He gives us experiences and wisdom. Practice. Game day performances. Each time we grow, we progress with His wisdom. His guidance. His strength.
This is how I came back. God's wisdom reached out and brought me back. Click! Like a light switch flipping on, I started to see the err of my ways.
"Lady Wisdom goes out in the street and shouts.
At the town center she makes her speech.
In the middle of the traffic she takes her stand.
At the busiest corner she calls out:
'Simpletons! How long will you wallow in ignorance?
Cynics! How long will you feed your cynicism?
Idiots! How long will you refuse to learn?
About face! I can revise your life.
-Proverbs 1:20-23 (MSG)
1) A few months back, my aunt called me out. She challenged me. "31 Chapters in 31 Days - Reading through the book of Proverbs". I accepted the challenge. God's challenge to receive wisdom. As I read through Proverbs I was fascinated. I had read parts of Proverbs before, but never the entire book, and never with my current perspective. My heart was challenged in many ways. As I read the scriptures on being slave to the lender, being responsible for debts, and weakness due to lack of self control, I heard a still small voice whisper: "Jocelynn, you know this is your fault, right? You need to make it right."
"Wait? What?! My fault. How are our family debts my fault?"
"You are not listening, Jocelynn. The lack of progress is your fault. You and Jonathon are one. He may be the head of the household, but you are his help meet. You are to come together to consider the matters of the household. You have not joined your husband in this way for far too long."
"Oh, is right. You two talk about doing the right things. You have the knowledge, but not the wisdom. God is not going to bless this knowledge. He will not bless your intentions until they are matched with wisdom."
This was a tough revelation for me. I can't lie, I had to meditate on it for a few days. Didn't pick up the Bible for a few days. Say what you will, but that was my process.
I thought back over the experiences of the last few months. There were growth opportunities that we had been seeking. None of them panned out. There was always a logical explanation. The decision was fair. What I know about my God and His favor...it ain't fair. I knew that He wanted more from us, for us. I could feel it, but I didn't understand why it wasn't happening. My answer: Our financial household was not in order. We were not operating in wisdom. We were not being good stewards with God's money.
I talked to Jonathon a little bit about what was being revealed to me. I asked him if he would work with me. If he would read Dave Ramsey's, Total Money Makeover with me. He said yes and the journey began.
2) A month or so after this, some good friends came to visit. As usual, we had wonderful conversation. One evening, my friend asked me a tough question. "Jocelynn, how are your finances, really?" I answered the question honestly. I felt like we had been making progress, but definitely had a long way to go.
She said it was difficult to come to me with this question, but she was so strongly led by the Holy Spirit that she could not decline. Thank God for her obedience. After our very honest conversation, she suggested we take Financial Peace University. Later that week I received a text message from her with a list of classes being offered near our house. Haha! That's accountability for you.
Financial Peace University changed our marriage! Plain and simple. It made a very challenging subject much easier to discuss. It gave us the tools, the language, and the support we needed to really make a change.
***STOP*** This is why it is so important to have accountability partners who are praying and being led by the Holy Spirit. So many break throughs. The enemy would have you believe you are alone in this fight. You are not! If you do not have an accountability/prayer partner, ask God to bring someone into your life. Iron sharpens Iron! ***
Now, we all know that possessing knowledge and acting on it are two different things. I could have realized and refused to act. But God! My heart and mind were ready. I had people praying for me. I had accountability. I had a husband who only wants God's best for our marriage and our family. I had faith.
So, how has it been since I stopped checking out? Well, that's a post for another day. :-) Have faith, my friends. Be blessed.