When I was twenty-five I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In the courts of Columbus, Ohio, I sat in front of a trustee along with my attorney and admitted that I was financially insolvent. No money, no assets, no purpose and very little hope.
Have you ever been bankrupt? Do you think your bankrupt? Maybe you have knocked on the doors of some bankruptcy attorneys recently. Bankruptcy didn’t just happen for me. It was a result of bad choices that were beyond how I managed my money.
As a teenager, my parents attempted to teach me how to be diligent and wise with money, but I didn’t listen. After a few semesters into my freshman year at Ohio State, I was lost in the wilderness of debt. After graduating, I had a nice compilation of consumer (credit cards, bank loans, etc) and student loan debt. My negative equity position brought on much despair. At the age of twenty-five, when I believed life was supposed to be beginning, financial bankruptcy provided much “Chicken Little” drama instead. Like many of us, I decided to run from my troubles.
A few months after my hearing in Ohio in November 2002, I embarked on a journey that moved me to Florida to continue my career in the wine and spirits industry. While I hoped my new title, increased pay, new teammates, new boss, new street address and completely new climate would change my situation, it didn’t.
After a bit of time in the sunshine state, I realized my personal rain clouds had followed me. I learned that my financial bankruptcy wasn’t the only baggage. The move to Florida taught me that I was spirtually and emotionally bankrupt, too. As I look back on the whole situation, being financially bankrupt spawned decisions that depleted my spiritual and emotional account balance, too.
I made choices to build my life on a foundation of sand on a slippery slope. My life’s blueprint was based on “making money” and spending it even quicker. By ignoring spiritual and emotional health, I lived my early life with a broken and distorted compass. I did not know my life purpose or if I even had one.
My relationships were surface-level at best. I did not want to discuss my situation with my parents and my “friends” were just drinking buddies. I accepted advice from anyone who would offer. I didn’t have a relationship with God and had no clue about what the Bible taught about life skills, success principles or purpose (a.k.a the meaning of life). My choices were based on my upbringing, environments, friendships and what I believed was best for me at the time.
I didn’t want to rely on anyone and I didn’t want to be reliable. I lived my life by the “seat of my pants”. When I felt like doing something, I did it and when I didn’t feel like doing something, I didn’t. I thought life would work out how I wanted it just because I wanted it to. I was embarrased and ashamed of who I was and fearful of what I was becoming. I didn’t want anyone to see my personal struggles and failures. I was faking it, but I wasn’t making it. This was the opposite of the adage, “People want to know and be known.”
My paradigm, my seclusion and choices that followed made for an embattled life experience. I was searching, but didn’t realize it.
Have you asked yourself these questions?
“What is the meaning of life?
“For what purpose was I created?
These large and looming questions are a part of the life journey. These were questions that my bankruptcy didn’t answer. My debt position was minimized, but my struggles were with me no matter my state of residence. I struggled with the two questions above. Do you struggle or have you struggled with them? If so, you are also searching, just as I was.
Discovering the answers to these questions will help you know your purpose! When I did, my life began to turnaround.
Next Week’s Post in the Series : How do I know my purpose?
Question: What can you do today to begin to answer the questions above? You can leave a comment by clicking here.