Today it hit me. The reality of this recent life-change hit me. All my friends set alarms this morning and went back to work. Summer break is over. I woke up, made my way to the back yard swing and sat in the flower garden talking to Jesus. This is blessing. Blessing that makes my heart well up and brings tears to my eyes.
Two years ago I was headed back to my teaching job leaving my 5 month old with a full time sitter for the first time and feeling so much anxiety it was hard to breathe. With my husband in school full time, I had no choice but to work after my son was born. The demands of being the main income provider, juggling work with a family and the needs of 15 special education students was weighing heavily. Thoughts swirled around in my mind to the point of chaos and I was physically exhausted from the stress and anxiety. I had no idea how I would “get by”. That was my goal. To maintain. To just get through each day.
John 10:10 says the enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy but Christ came that we would have abundant life. Abundant life isn’t just getting by. It’s not maintaining. Abundance does not equal mediocrity. An abundant life is fruitful, overflowing, full of hope, a well-spring of joy. I was not living an abundant life. From the outside all looked well; A house, a car, a husband, a beautiful baby boy and a big furry dog. On the inside I was full of fear, shame, regret, discouragement and this striving to please everyone else. Such a desire to please everyone that I kept my feelings to myself so not to be a burden. I was a hot mess to say the least.
6 weeks of pastoral counseling and discovering centering prayer helped me refocus my eyes on Jesus and away from my feelings which were growing to monstrous proportions the more I worried over them. Slowly and daily the more I focused on the Lord, the less fear I felt. I began to deal with the rot that was at the root of my feelings. The stressors in my life had triggered the anxiety but there were deep places of hurt that needed healing before I could move on. Time was a healing balm and rest was what I needed. I started spending time each day with the Lord. In quiet. Just focusing on his presence and listening. As I moved from fear to freedom I felt like there was more God had in store, I just didn’t know what.
8 months later God brought It Works into our lives. God brings the opportunity. It’s when you meet it with determination and perseverance that the possibilities are endless. We needed this. We needed it financially and I was desperate for a change. I discovered a product called Confianza. I had been against taking prescription medication for anxiety and liked the idea of something all natural. It was perfect for me. It calmed those swirling thoughts so I could fully focus on God’s presence. I felt like I could finally “be still” enough to know that He is God. I poured myself into time with the Lord every morning and poured all the energy he gave me into my family and this business. Within 3 months, I realized what we had our hands on and knew this could be my ticket home.
Less than 16 months after starting this business, I was able to call my principal and say, “I will not be returning this school year”. This is abundant life. Not because of the income, but because of what it brings. There is nothing greater than complete freedom! This is life lived outside the box and a greater potential to be led wherever God chooses. We no longer limit ourselves to the idea of one job, one location or one path. Anything is possible!
John 10:10 Psalm 46:10
I celebrated my one year anniversary with It Works on March 20, 2014 and while I am still completely amazed at the blessings God has brought to our lives through this business, I started feeling an urge to seek Him more with it. As it grows by leaps and bounds, I yearn to seek the Lord and find His perspective; his vision for my business. When I slowed down to really truly pray about this I just didn’t have the words. How do you pray for something that already feels like such an incredible blessing? How do you pray for something that’s all completely his doing? As I pondered this, one scripture kept coming to mind, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26. So I just sat. I sat at His feet and waited to hear. For days. And I wrote down every thought, image and idea that came to mind. This was my takeaway; this is the new vision for my business:
We are helping.
This is about friendships. This is whimsy.
We are not desperate and drained, like dogs seeking water. No, we are confident and strong. This is fun.
We have energy. We have strength.
We are quiet but mighty.
There is this peace that sparkles; it’s contagious.
This is not of me. Not of us, so that anyone could boast. This is a God thing.
Together, we turn it all gold. We’ve got beauty to share and blessings to spread.
As I begin a new month, with new goals, I am more confident than ever that God is doing big things here. I am so excited to see what He has in store.
I started this morning by praying over my business; this crazy business God dropped into my lap less than a year ago. I brought to Him my dreams, desires and aspirations. I told Him all I would love to see happen for the kingdom through this business. I want to help others through my writing, I want to advance through promotions and find strong leaders so I can pay off debt, have more time with my family and invest money into starting a ministry. I want to be part of something bigger than me; something greater than anything I could ever accomplish in my own strength. This morning as I sat in my bathroom sanctuary, I gave God all these ideas, hopes and dreams. I sensed his calling to trust beyond all logic and understanding, to be confident enough to take long strides with him. He reminded me I don’t need to tip-toe through this journey but at times he speaks in slow ways and I need to be patient . His love is tender. He takes all that I offer and weaves it into a tapestry; a well-planned design. I walk a path he set for me long ago with the passions and desires He placed in my heart spurring me on. As I look to Him, he guides me and becomes my only true source of strength. May every trial and failure, every success and victory be all for His glory!
Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 37:4, Proverbs 16:3