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The 700 Club

From Financial Secrets to Transformed Marriage!

Zsa Zsa Palagyi - 700 Club Producer

Donald and Abby Gadson use social media to help fellow millennials manage their marriage and family, faith, fitness, and finances. One thing they share a lot about is debt, because they’ve had to overcome it twice. The second time came as a surprise to Abby.

“I saw a document that was saved and it was a credit card statement. So, I opened it up, and it was several thousand dollars,” Abby explains. “It turns out that there was a total of $25,000 that my husband had accrued in debt that I didn't know about.” 

Donald had recently left teaching to start a full-time voice over business. Abby agreed to put her social work salary towards their bills, even though she wanted to be at home more with her daughter.
 
“Our daughter's getting older, and so I don't want to be missing out on things with her because I'm working so much,” Abby says.
     
Donald ended up going into debt because he wanted to get the business off the ground as fast as possible.

“My mindset was, ‘Okay, if I can just get everything that I need, then I'll be able to arrive in that place that will make me feel like, okay I’m good now,’” Donald shares. He confesses, “It wasn’t until much later than I really felt the gravity of the financial infidelity.”
  
He’d always had the mentality that borrowing money to succeed was normal. In fact, when the couple married, they were $160,000 in the hole, and most of the debt was Donald’s.
 
“It's a part of living in our society, right, where you have access to these financial instruments,” Donald explains.

Abby says, “Initially, I was so discouraged because I felt like all that we had done, did he not learn anything from it? Did he not learn anything from paying off six figures, that how much hard work that that takes? And I certainly was under the impression we were never going back.”  

Donald admits, “I don't think on a soul level like that, I really got it. It didn't click how significant it was. Because there was still places in my life that I was unsatisfied.” 

Only after Donald’s secret debt was exposed did he want to look at what kept driving him into debt. 

He says, “For me, I began to see like, ‘Wow, there's something off.’ It really was a tool that the Lord used in my life to bring me back to Him. I began to pray and ask God to help me to see the error of my ways correctly. The-the root of that was. ‘I do not want to fail.’  I'm afraid, and so I'm charging up, and I’m overleveraging like on credit, right, opposed to being okay with the pain of having to move slower. It kind of gives you a perceived way of getting what you need now.”

He also found that even though he and Abby had been tithing throughout their marriage, sometimes for him, it was more an obligation than anything else. And putting God first in his finances wasn’t always his priority.

“There was a point where when Donald was paying off the last $4,000 of that $25,000, and I asked him one day, I was like, ‘Are you tithing the money that you're getting?’ He's like, ‘No, you know, I'm just trying to put it all towards the debt.’"

Donald admits, “I believed that if I held onto my tithe, that it would be what I needed to take care of, what I had to take care of. But it's the exact opposite. God said, ‘Hey, like, will you have enough faith and trust that everything that I give you is mine? Whenever you let go of what's in your hands as a worship unto Me, it actually blesses the rest of it.’”

Moving forward, Donald has been fully committed to trusting God with his money. The couple paid off their second round of debt and gave without reservations.

“Going from the religiosity of it and where I stand now, where it’s like freely giving, it’s like a night and day difference. It has been an incredible, I would say ‘the’ key to business success,” Donald declares.

Donald has since seen his income triple what he made as a teacher, and Abby has been able to leave her job to be a stay-at-home mom. 

Donald says, “I can definitely say that by tithing and by giving of offering, sometimes giving above and beyond, that there's clients and there's business opportunities that I’m like, ‘Okay, I didn't audition for that.’" 

The Gadsons encourage others who want to be free from the cycle of debt to examine where God is in the midst of the equation and give.

“There’s nothing like touching your money that’s going to help you know where your heart’s at on something,” Abby proclaims. “We tithe because we recognize He gets the first because He is the one who has kept us, He is the one who has sustained us.”  

Donald concludes, “It really is a way for you to experience the fullness of what it means to be a child of the king, a very generous king at that.” 

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