Monday, May 10, 2010

Ghosts of Payments Past

There's this pit in my stomach that has nothing to do with pregnancy nausea. It feels a little like remorse, and a little like shame, and a lot like kicking myself. I'll tell you why:

You see, there's this Dream House-- a house that, for months, I've been decorating in my mind during sleepless nights; a house that has taken up much conversation between Chris, myself, and some good friends.

It's a 3-story Victorian house, in our neighborhood of which we hope to one day be the proud co-owners. There are a lot of details and small miracles that go into the story of how we came to even dream that we-- the tight-budgeted, always-broke, non-profit workers-- could one day own this house, but I'll save that for another time.

The story I'm thinking of today goes back to about 5 years ago, when I
walked into a U-Haul rental office, couldn't find my ATM card, and rented a truck on an old credit card that I hadn't used for ages. Fast forward 4 years to a collections agency sending me an $800 collection for this silly little rental bill, that somehow never found it's way to our new mailing address. Yuck.

Weeks of terrible phone calls, confusing numbers, and even tears resulted in paying the stupid bill, with a serious ding to my not-exactly-flawless credit score. And that insignificant little number-- that tiny little forgotten detail-- is what is haunting me this afternoon, causing the pit in my stomach & the lump in my throat.

Chris just got home from a meeting with a lender, working out the details of buying our dream house. And, as fate would have it, the one thing holding us back-- 22 little things, to be specific-- is my credit score. Vomit.

No, it's not the end of the world, and no, it doesn't necessarily mean that we can't get the house, but it most likely means (best case scenario) that we will have to wait another month before we can find out. And waiting another month translates to moving in right smack on my due-date. It also means starting off the school year, and welcoming a team of new staff and interns into the busiest season of the work year while moving, painting, cleaning, remodeling, and adjusting to life as new parents (i.e. sleep deprived zombies). If that's not enough to put a pit in your stomach, I don't know what is.

Not only that, but it pokes at a soft, squishy part of me that I would rather keep hidden. It's the
part of me that Chris saved when he married me & took on the financial responsibilities of our lives. Quite the knight in shining armor, when you consider all the forgotten bills, the late payments, and the financial chaos I so often found myself in during my college years. There is something about financial shame that is so... well, shameful. And now, all those skeletons in my closet are dancing around out in the open, affecting not only myself & my wonderful husband, but also our dear friends that we are trying to buy a home with.

I might have spent part of the afternoon in the bathroom crying. It's possible that I made a giant bowl of chocolate pudding, and ate said pudding straight out of the bowl with a serving spoon. I can neither confirm nor deny this story, and feel that I have already done enough confessing for one day.

At the moment, I am working hard to remember Grace-- not the person, but the concept. I am trying to remember that if God wants to provide us with our dream house, He's not going to allow 22 little points on a credit score to keep that from happening. I am trying to remember that my worth & identity is not wrapped up in a number. I am trying not to eat the rest of that chocolate pudding...


Jen Ip said...

I love you! I love this blog post and laugh and want to cry with you... so i'm going to come visit for a fun day! We must plan it soon! Has there been anything fun you've wanted to do? Let's do it!

Lisa said...

:( I'm so sorry, Christine. Having recently gone through this, I understand the emotions involved and the yo-yo of emotions throughout the process. What I learned was, God has the PERFECT plan!! If you're looking for encouragement, I'd love to share our story of getting a house with you. In the meantime, I'm grieving with you and praying for you and Chris. I hope you are able to look to the future soon and not let the devil try to lie to you by bringing up the past. Love you!!

Sam said...

Sounds like a rough day, Christine! Fall will be SO exciting for you guys! I hope you'll have that beautiful Victorian home to lumber around as sleep-deprived zombies with your new little baby!

People with low credit scores get loans all the time! There IS grace-- even in the lending industry!

Hope that pudding was tasty! Drown (smother?) your sorrows in that bowl :)

Simple Diva said...

I am sorry love. I can't relate exactly but I can so much... I hate credit.

deee said...

awwwwww, poor christine! I hope everything has worked itself out!

now, where are the pregnant photos I expected to see?

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