We’re continuing the Pray A to Z Stories focusing on various topics from my newly released book Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community. I’d love to share your story related to one of the topics in the book. Send me an e-mail at amelia @ ameliarhodes . com.
Bankruptcy was a topic I didn’t know much about until I met Bonnie, a lawyer who has worked with many couples and individuals through the bankruptcy process. I previously thought bankruptcy was for corporations, and was unaware of the personal implications of bankruptcy.
Bonnie told me once that she’s seen many marriages saved in her office. She has taught me how to love and pray for those in my community who are going through bankruptcy. (This post makes a great companion to Praying for Your Finances)
Bankruptcy–From Fear to Freedom
Guest Post by Bonnie Davis
To most, the term “bankruptcy” brings about thoughts of complete failure or, at best, bad judgment. Feared by many. Only fools, frauds or careless spenders file bankruptcy, right? Not in my world. To me, bankruptcy really means freedom, hope and redemption for the downtrodden.
As an attorney, I’ve seen bankruptcy break the chains of debt bondage and restore hope and life to dehydrated souls. I’m an attorney breathing life into debt-burdened, broken souls; picking up the pieces of shattered dreams and marriages.
The powerless in my world are the couple losing their dream home after a downsize; the young entrepreneur shuttering up the windows of a business dream; parents facing the unforeseen funeral of a child or a tough guy nearly crushed by the weight of a farm tractor after a long day of work on his farm.
I will always fondly remember the sweet elderly couple I helped once. Wiser than my generation, but debt burdened the same. Their electric bill and high cost of prescription drugs became out of reach on their fixed monthly income and a shiny plastic card with a convincing repayment song and dance tickled their ears. Help at last, or at least they hoped. Crippling shame overcame the sweet couple and they hid their financial distress from their children. The wife, 78, had returned to work at Walmart to make enough to cover the credit card bill and eventually the monthly bankruptcy plan payment. She told her grown children that she worked because she loved the work and needed to remain active. If only it were true.
I will never forget the tears both of them shed in my office. Really, all three of us. The husband a decorated and disabled war veteran with no strength left to fight. The wife, with a small china doll stature, was full of fight but handcuffed to debt. Both of them broken, ashamed, full of regret and waiting for the final days to pass them by. I spoke to their hearts individually and as an accomplished couple. I begged them to not believe the lies filling their heads and to trust my advice. I gained their trust and we set out to redirect the course of their final years together.
Soon after the bankruptcy repayment plan was in place I received the sweetest phone call. That call still nourishes my advocate heart. The wife called to share that for the first time in over seven years they were able to “enjoy a hamburger at McDonald’s and see a show.” Her voice was full of life and joy.
That sweet couple experienced new hope and freedom. Their focus shifted back to living life together with peace; trading in the worry, guilt and shame of debt. Their life course was reset in the direction of quiet enjoyment together as they neared the end.
Maybe you’ve been struggling under the crushing weight of debt. Maybe you’ve held onto an opinion of someone you know that appeared to have it all together but yet frivolously filed bankruptcy, or so you thought. Every filing represents a story, and the plot of each story includes a twist. Pray, with me, for those facing the decision to change the narrative of their story through bankruptcy. Pray that those filing will experience peace and freedom in the next chapter of their story.
Bonnie Davis is a writer and an encourager. She is a social justice advocate as an attorney by day and pursues her passion for creative thinking and fun projects by night. Bonnie and her husband Scott are figuring out how to live fully alive in the pleasant farming community of Alto, Michigan. Together, they are secretly pursuing perfection as parents of their two sons, and hitting the mark according to their beloved dogs. Delighted by daily life experiences, Bonnie writes to encourage others pushing through the complexities of life.