Mortgage-Free in 19 months!
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Nickolas & Shilicia McFowland know that money can be stressful for a lot of couples. They have always been careful about their personal finances. Unlike many college students, they each paid for their tuition with scholarships, grants, and cash from jobs. “I got out of college debt free. By God's grace, I definitely did,” Shilicia exclaimed.
While they were dating, they got in sync about their top financial priority: tithing and giving. “I remember when she said, she tithed off the gross. In my mind, I thought to myself like, 'this girl is tripping.' This idea was just in me and then it got in my heart, and it was almost like God was just saying, 'okay, so now you know some different information, which you knew prior. What are you gonna do with that?'" Nickolas recalled.
Following the conversation, Nickolas starting tithing off his gross earnings too. He said, “This is me just saying, 'hey, I trust You. I know that You're going to take care of me. I trust the words that You say in Your word.'”
Nickolas and Shilicia were both advancing in their careers as an engineer and a registered nurse. Once married, they bought a home and started making payments. Then, Nickolas quickly noticed the percentage that was going towards the house. He explained, “The principal was $90 and interest was almost everything else. I was like, this doesn't add up.”
Nikolas talked his findings over with Shilicia and proposed they pay off their $150,000 mortgage in three years. “My response was kind of in shock. I thought it was normal to have a house payment. That was a normal part of life,” she said.
He put together a spread sheet and with the numbers now on paper, Shilicia became convinced. He recalled, “That's when we became on the same page and I really do feel like God was working in that moment.”
They continued to advance in their careers and financial stability. Nickolas saw annual increases of between $30-$45,000. “As we're going through this, other things were happening to where we didn't have to spend money on normal things and we could utilize that money to then go towards the mortgage. It was so many blessings that were happening and the Lord really took care of us,” Nickolas exclaimed.
In 19 months, their three-year plan was complete. “He did what He said He was going to do and He has supplied every need,” Shilicia said.
They then decided to live off one salary, just in case they ever had to. This decision was providential. In 2018, Shilicia became suddenly ill, and was out of work for three years diagnosed with Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. “I started having heart palpitations really bad. I was having a hard time just physically, even standing for long periods to talk. It was a rough time. But, every moment during the weakest parts of that journey, God was there,” she recalled.
With their mortgage payment fully paid off, they had no debt and were able to easily handle medical bills and added expenses, all the while continuing to tithe and give offerings. “There was no way we weren't going to give God what was owed to Him. God was number one and was the number one priority in this. We never failed to give Him that glory and that in our obedience,” she exclaimed.
Nickolas explained, “Not having hope is not what God says. Even in bad situations, we can still have hope even when the circumstances are right. We always know there's Jesus Christ who's there with us.”
Today, Shilicia is healed and now back to work part time as a nurse and consultant, and earning more than she did when previously working full time. Nickolas received his MBA and is now a project manager. In the past ten years, his income has gone up by nearly 400%.
“Being obedient to God, that will never fail you. He'll never go back on His word," Shilicia said.
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