(this post is very old, but went unpublished until now)
I sat on the phone silent tears filling my eyes- "of course you can put your loans in deferment, how long have you been working under 30 hours?" He said it with so much compassion I could hardly breath, the weight of grace over took me.
Hearing the person who deals with my school loans reassure me that this was my best choice; it was even financially wiser then paying a lower consolidated amount; the abundance of grace was more than I wanted to bear. I cried.
I cried because even with a terrible economy and an 11% unemployment rate in CA, I want to be able to say 'I did it on my own.' 'I saved myself.' 'I took care of myself.'
I accepted the help with gratitude. I left the living room before my roommates saw the tears in my eyes- my bedroom door closed behind me, I sobbed silently in solitude. I crumpled into a huddle on the floor and felt God gently holding me and softly letting me know that I was not going to make it on my own, but I was going to make it.
I have grown to dislike the metaphor of debt in relation to God's grace; still, in this moment I felt the power of debt deferment (not even forgiveness) and the power of the gift was more than my heart wanted to hold. In that moment I felt God whispering gently this is grace: forgiveness of debt, without judgment. Pleading with me softly accept the grace given to me, God urged me to know that I don't have to be this strong and My Creator will not stop loving me.
I am sharing this knowing that it has never in my life been acceptable to not pay your debts. Unemployment has always been an unforgivable idea in my mind. I am sure that some readers will judge me for this. I am also sending out a prayer that someone else who is as overwhelmed as I am will know that you are not in this alone. I urge you allow God to hold you.
*I wrote this post almost 8 months ago. I saved the draft planning to share it when it would hurt less for the world to read about the struggle I was in. I think I had planned on posting it within weeks; I was not planning to wait months. Nonetheless, starting my full-time job next week, I am feeling less vulnerable. I must confess that the drama I felt was definitely a sign of my stubbornness and pride. At that point I still had housing and through it all, I was better off than 75% of the world that would see my life as luxurious. Still, as was promised by God, I got through, and I didn't do it on my own.