January 29, 2018
Jennings and Suzanne Gray had always tithed—always. It wasn’t ever a question. But it wasn’t until they completely surrendered their attitudes and finances to the Lord that they experienced the promises of God and financial freedom. The North Raleigh campus members had struggled with finances their entire marriage. Admittedly, they always just bought whatever they wanted when they wanted it.
But things began to spiral when the economic crisis of 2008 hit. Their financial troubles and unemployment eventually led them to move to the Triangle in 2012, the same year their son, Landon, started at NC State, and they began to attend The Summit Church.
The Grays had been exposed to Dave Ramsey’s teachings before and had tried to apply them, but nothing helped. Debt issues continued to plague them—mortgage payments, tuition payments, and unexpected hospital bills. Throughout it all, they still tithed.
Despite being faithful, Suzanne confesses, “It was out of obligation. We weren’t showing God honor. It was just a bill. But also, we said to ourselves, ‘Why withhold God’s tithe? We got ourselves into this.’”
In September 2016, the couple began Financial Peace University, and things began to change. They began doing everything they could to pay down their debt—second, third, and fourth jobs. “Little accomplishments fuel the fire to keep going,” Suzanne said.
Then, the breakthrough came. An unexpected payment for work Jennings had done. It was enough to pay off their debts, and then some.
“To be locked in a prison that you don’t think you’ll ever get out of, to have the freedom that was only a dream—I didn’t know how to worship,” Suzanne said. “It’s all about God. He wanted to bless us.”
In addition to getting to start over and live differently, Suzanne is excited to help others. She now serves as an FPU table leader.
Of course, out of their newfound financial freedom, they still tithe. But the heart behind it is a little different.
“Now, we’re blessed more to give more,” Suzanne said. “It’s God’s [money] for me to give away. And it’s not just our money—it’s everything.”
Find out more about FPU and sign up today by visiting summitrdu.com/FPU.
Written by Mary Moorefield, volunteer writer for the Summit Stewardship and Generosity Ministry.
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