What does it mean to be “bankrupt?” In ancient Italy a banker would literally sit on a bench, and do his job. When he could no longer do his job as a banker, he literally “broke” his “bench.” Thus, it seems the origins of bankrupt imply that the person is broken, and no longer able to do what they did in the past.
We filed bankruptcy yesterday.
It’s not what we ever envisioned we would do. Never would we have thought we would walk away from our debts. We both come from families where a handshake is all that’s needed to seal a deal because your word is as good as gold. To tell the people who invested money in us that we no longer can repay them…..that’s hard. We want to make it all right. But we’ve tried. We’ve tried for over 3 years, and we simply can’t keep it going anymore. We have to walk away. We have to try and start over.
This will stop the foreclosure proceedings on our house, at least for a few months. There is no equity in the house, we are in fact way upside down, so this means the trustee of the bankruptcy will likely tell the bank that he can’t do anything with it, so it’s up to them. At that point we can start negotiating with the bank. Our hope is that, we being two adults who are seriously trying to earn a decent income and want to stay in the house, that they will work with us on the loan and the terms of the loan so everything works out. But…..I have a few thoughts in my brain on all of this. First, is that it truly does look good for us. The banks don’t want ANOTHER bad debt on the books that they have to secure with real funds, so a renegotiation should work. Second though, is that they truly could say no, we don’t want to negotiate with you, leave. And third, is the fact that God’s got it all covered, so I shouldn’t worry. Doesn’t mean I won’t….that’s just human nature. But I do have the assurance in my heart that it will all be okay.
The bankruptcy truly is a gift to us. In a very good economy we tried to make a very viable business model work. Now, there is no other option. We are still trying, but now we are living one day at a time, with simply doing what God puts in front of us that day.
Was I shaking when we walked out of the lawyer’s office yesterday after having signed the paperwork? Yes. Did I want to cry and then throw up? Yes. This isn’t something you do lightly.
But here’s my thing…..let me turn the tables for just a sec.
Being bankrupt is you saying you can’t do it any more. You can’t live the life that you used to live. You want to give up the debts of your past, walk away, and start anew.
Isn’t that what Jesus did for us?
He wanted to give us the chance to start fresh, without any stains marking our lives. We get to start out again, remembering the past but looking for the future. We can smile, lift our heads up out of the shame, and walk through life knowing that we’ve gotten another shot at things.
He died because we were broken, and in need of fixing.
He died because of his love for us.
I look at this bankruptcy as a huge metaphor in our lives. It’s a good thing, because He has said to us, “You’ve tried on your own strength to solve things. Now let me work out all things in your life in MY strength.”
We want to be bankrupt for Jesus. We want to lay it all on the line and say, “We can’t do it. We need You.”
Our family is starting over.
Today………is a new day.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17