If you are anything like me, your dream came into your life at a crazy time and turned your plans upside down in the best way. We are all moving towards a goal and mine was quitting my day job to do what I loved, run this business full time, and help support my family by it. Can you relate?
Step by step, God lead me to quit my job to pursue the MORE I was being called to pursue. So there I am trying to keep my head above water with a part-time job working for a family business and HBDC, burning the candle at both ends, and trying to MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN. It wasn't until recently that I realized how out-of-sync I was with Gods plan. I really thought we were parallel because it was working.
Not thriving, just working.
You see, my heart was on board, but my mind wasn't, and it's because of MONEY. There is a lot of truth to the phrase "Mo money mo problems" (said in my best rapper voice). Once I got paid a little from my business, and got a little taste of "success" it became the driving force of everything I did. Don't get me wrong, being smart with business expenses and doing your homework on profit margins is something that is totally necessary when your are in the entrepreneurial game. But where I got off track was when God was calling me to serve, build this business for Him, and use it to spread the gospel, when Instead I was focused on profits not people.
It wasn't until the beginning of this year (after my annual evaluation of where I wanted to take HBDC) that God let me in on a little secret. "I did not choose you for this to make money for yourself." My mind immediately was like, "WHAT? Did I understand that correctly? What's the point of owning and growing a business if it's not meant to help support my family financially?" But through my confusion filled prayers came so much clarity. I had been praying so hard for myself to find truly what makes me different. It's easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond where similar stories/missions keep multiplying. So, I felt lost in that. Why is my journey any different or even important when there are so many people doing it too?
The clarifying moment was God telling me to not pay my self from my business for 2016 and instead use that money to build his kingdom and do good in the world. I have been fortunate to have another job that is flexible (and that I also really enjoy) so I have no actual need to be full-time with HBDC and pay myself. It makes so much sense really. I have always felt inadequate in the presence of some fellow friend business owners. They work their tushies off and are rewarded in so many ways, different ways than I was. And I felt like I just didn't have the same goals or drive that they had to do what they were doing. And it is because I am on a completely different path.
Last year I stressed a lot about MONEY. Am I making enough to my own standards of success? Is my business growing? Why was this month slower? But when I felt God challenging my heart to ask my self very different questions, it occurred to me... What would I be able to do if what ever was holding me back wasn't holding me back? What could I accomplish if I chose not worry (or feel pressured) about paying off student loan debt with the money I made from selling journals, or if I used that money instead to give back? Imagine the amount of new ideas I could put into action if I wasn't so preoccupied with so many worldly limits and desires.
The answers? SO MUCH MORE.
I still felt unsure about it at first until I met with a friend for coffee and among other reassuring things she said to me, "Imagine how God will reward you and your business if you fully give it to Him? I mean like really, really give it to him. When you get to the gates of heaven, you won't be hearing God say, "Well done making money from those journals!" Instead if you follow his will he will say "I am so proud of you."
You guys. I don't know about you, but that makes me tear up. More than anything I want God to be proud of me. For sticking my neck out there, for taking risks and having faith, for giving to others in his name, and for doing things against the grain of social acceptance to honor him. It's a MAJOR challenge for me, but challenge accepted.
I admire so many of you who are following your dreams, starting businesses, and on the road to full time with those endeavors. I have SO MUCH RESPECT for you and your hard work. But that's not apart of my journey that God has laid out for me right now. And its important to remember that we are all answering different questions in our lives. Even if the path looks similar from across the way. Since accepting God's challenge, I have been able to pour my heart into new projects that I can't wait to share. They wouldn't be happening without the commitment to follow his lead. I'm not choosing to run my business differently, instead I am choosing to be grateful that God chose me for that responsibility.