Declined

images-1My morning routine, when it’s my turn to take the boys to school, is to go through the drive-thru at Starbucks and grab a coffee before I “hit the highway”. So, last Thursday I did just that. Placed my order, pulled up to the window looked in my wallet – had absolutely NO cash, thanks to the boys who tap me out continuously at the hockey rink getting snacks at the concession stand, UGH! Anyway, so I decided to grab my credit card. Thinking to me, this is embarrassing that I’m going to charge a $2.00 coffee, I decided to purchase a gift certificate for $20.00. Yeah, that’s perfect; I can use that gift card later – tomorrow! So, I gave the card to my friendly Starbucks barista and the card was DECLINED!
Declined? I said to the Starbucks barista, that’s odd, I JUST paid this down to zero a few days ago. Luckily I had another card to use, so I gave it to him – it went through, woohoo! BUT, what’s the deal with the declined card? This is not a good thing. This is our main credit card, the one that earns us points that we use for EVERYTHING. Every month, we charge it up with gas, groceries, business expenses, haircuts, travel, etc. and every month when the statement comes we pay it off. I immediately got on the phone to FIX the problem since clearly there was a misunderstanding, right?
Initially I talked to customer service – they had to transfer me to another department who could look into this further and after about 30 minutes on the phone, with the boys still in the car on our way to school (traffic was horrible that morning, long commute!), the “credit analyst” informed me that the reason my card was declined was because my credit limit was $900.00 and I had pending charges OVER that limit. WHAT?? $900.00? MY limit is $25,000.00 NOT $900.00 – you must be mistaking!! NOPE they weren’t; You see, Bank of America decided to do a random review of my account and because it had been 5 years since I received the card and they didn’t have my current financial information I apparently didn’t fit into their current guidelines based on the other credit that was extended to me which shows on my credit report. SO – they adjusted my limit to $900.00.
After taking a deep breath I said very politely, “What can I do to get this back up to where it belongs? What can I provide to you to fix this NOW? My husband is traveling on a short business trip with this credit card and he NEEDS access to the funds.” The credit analyst said, “Ma’am we need to take a new credit application over the phone and it could take up to 48 hours to get this approved.” REALLY? Are you kidding me? You took this away from me without ANY notice, I’ve been super nice and patient through this whole phone call, I’ve NEVER had a late payment with you, and over the last 5 years our relationship has been GREAT, I pay you every month. I’m sorry, that’s NOT going to work for me. I need this NOW! Oh and by the way, I have to hang up now and call my husband to let him know this so he doesn’t look like a fool taking clients out to lunch today with a credit card that will be declined – UGH!!! I was NOT a happy camper!!!
Ok, so the next call was to my husband. He could tell I was very upset. I gave him the run down and I’m sure I over dramatized everything, but I filled him in. Here’s what he said in a very calming unbothered voice, “Honey, its ok. It’s not our money.” I was like, yeah BUT………look at this! What an inconvenience, we don’t deserve this, we are a great customer, blah, blah, blah, blah. He listened to me go on for a little bit and said calmly again, “Honey, its ok. It’s not ours. We will figure it out. We don’t need it. It’s ok.” He’s so level headed AND has other GREAT qualities, of course, I just LOVE him!!
After shedding a few tears, getting my boys dropped off at school, finally!! I had a chance to reflect. It’s now about a week later and I’m still thinking about it……….I learned a HUGE lesson from this. It’s NOT ours! None if it! Everything we have is a blessing on loan to us by God. Where in the world did I get the sense of entitlement? I DESERVE to have that credit limit, I earned it? SICK can I PUKE?!?! Who do I think I am?
This is not only about material things. It’s about what has been so freely given can be gone in an instant; our children, health, opportunities, family, friends, shelter, food, everything!
Romans 11:36 says “All things come from him. All things are directed by him. All things are for his good. May God be given the glory forever! Amen.”
He is the source of ALL things, I am nothing without Him. I pray that God will continue to humble me like he did with the declined credit card; that He will open my eyes to see when my focus is not on Him and when I’m becoming dependent on other things or other people.

I HAVE to tell you how the story ended with the card that morning. I went back to Starbucks sat in a comfy oversized chair with my laptop to view my account online. My balance was OVER the $900.00 limit, approximately $1,400.00 because of some preauthorization’s for hotel charges and airfare for my husband’s business trip. To my surprise the reward points that had accumulated over the years were 220,000 – I had never really looked at them before OR what I could do with them. I took the time to figure it out and I was able to convert them into cash and electronically have a deposit into our checking account. So today, I checked our account and the money was there……just over $2,000.00 can you believe it?? I used that money to pay off the new balance on the card AND had a little left over. We haven’t needed the card so now were going to cancel it. I LOVE how God works!! He’s soooooooo cool!

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