The First Step to Financial Freedom
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James Walter and his wife, Caroline, are enjoying their retirement years. Their three daughters, a licensed Counselor, a pastor, and a dentist, all live nearby and visit often. One way the Walter's come together is with the Italian tradition of an "open" kitchen with family meals. They said they've had opportunities to cultivate trust in God through all life's seasons, like when James lost his job in a recession that forced the company to downsize his post as a chemical engineer.
James remembers: "My biggest fear at that time walking out was that I wouldn't be able to supply the needs of my family."
Caroline recalls: "To see him suffer, you know, to see his heartache in that, um, to watch a man who, you know, just had a purpose and a plan every day to get up and go to work and do well so I think for a wife, that's hard to see, to see your husband hurting that way."
James and Caroline prayed about the company's offer for a lower-paying job in a safe but dead-end position. The couple knew whichever decision they made; they would continue to tithe. They accepted the severance and trusted God with their family's needs while James pursued a master’s degree.
James says: "We still gave; it's just that we, we gave more with faith in regard to, okay, Lord, since we don't really have it, we're still gonna give it."
Caroline remembers: "We kept seeing God show up in intervals of short-term jobs."
James adds: "And I got a call from a professor of mine. He said, 'I have a consulting job, and I need to know if you'll help me out in three days. If you can do this, this is what I can pay you.' And I took it. And in those three days, I made as much as I did in a month."
Caroline says: "It was just a sweet dance with God that He's like, 'I, I have you, and you have Me,' and we're going to be okay."
James’ master’s degree paved the way for new career in higher education.
James reports: "I got a full-time teaching position at the University of Valley Forge. So God pieced everything together, but it's a principle. Malachi 3:10, 'Tithe here, and I will open up the windows and the gates to supply all of your needs.' Test Him. He supplies my needs. I supplied the tithe."
In his 50s, James earned a Ph.D. and later made another career pivot as a business broker. He evaluated companies for sale and matched them with a new owner.
James says: “But that relationship of the tithing to me represented my faith in Him taking care of me and seeing how He took care of me no matter what. Knowing that gave me the peace that I could do it without questioning it.”
Caroline adds: “I would say if you are afraid to take that first step, just do it out of obedience. And if you open your hands and just do this, He can then do this. He can do more than you could have ever imagined or dreamed of.”
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