It’s been a weird month here in my world. It started out with a book I was reading titled, Your Life… Well Spent. I intentionally read a chapter a day, wanting to slowly process and digest, as it discussed the balance of family, money, and legacy. From there I spent two weeks trying to internally process and felt like my brain was on a buffering mode that wouldn’t finish.
Let me back up and explain. Up until 2010 I had been in the workforce for over 10 years now full-time and raising our kids. My husband and I spent years fighting for the right balance, trying to make the best of money and time, but at the end of the week still left feeling like things weren’t quite settled in our hearts. We had moved a couple times, tried to keep a good budget, and were always on the lookout for a better job op. Frustrated that we weren’t anywhere we thought we’d be at this point, we slowly were resolving ourselves to the fact that we were just going to keep this sad little train going until maybe one day we got a lucky break.
Nothing is impossible with God. But when you struggle for so long you start getting discouraged. Why am I failing? Am I going the wrong way? Maybe I should stop trying. We started really fighting for a budget and paying off debt and within 4 months our Jetta broke down twice ($1,200 + $900), the water softener died ($1,500) and then the Jetta pooped for the 3rd time and we put $1,000 down on a new vehicle and financed the rest. We had nothing to our name in the bank. I remember yelling to a friend over the phone in tears, “This isn’t FAIR! We’re TRYING to do things right!” But it was never about me performing and earning a good life. It was about trusting my heavenly Father and his plans for me. We were living and making decisions based on what we thought were good Christian ideals, but we weren’t being true to the callings God had laid on our hearts for us.
I ran into a good friend at a coffee night who had his own business doing financial coaching. A couple weeks later my husband and I sat down with him and spent hours going over basic personal finance principles, our pent up frustrations, and then these goals and dreams we were giving up on. God is so good guys. The timing of everything has been incredible as I look back. That fall of 2010 God started fueling his hope in us, giving us new dreams. We felt God speaking to us;
Isaiah 43:19; “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
I started understanding that God was more concerned about my heart than my bank account. If he could grow me, then all of the rest of these things would sort themselves out over time. My husband and I started being honest with where we felt God was leading us. We realized that if it wasn’t about the money then I would stay home with my kids, so we started working on a budget that would make that happen. We listed our house for sale. I decided to do the financial coaching thing and quite my job. All things based on what we felt God tugging at our hearts for. So we prayed some prayers, crossed our fingers, and pulled the trigger on these decisions.
Joshua 1:9; “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
It wasn’t easy, and there were nights we would lay in bed talking about how we were hoping we were doing everything right. But we encountered a sense of peace we had never experienced before. Folks would look at all of the changes we were making, and the decisions we were making, and think we were crazy, but I could sense God changing us. Incredible things were starting to happen in US. This must be what it feels like to walk in God’s will! Even amidst the chaos outside of us, there was a steadiness forming within.
Good friends let us live in their finished basement for a couple of months while we looked for a place to rent. During that time I put in my notice at work and the night before my last day was when I got the call that my brother had gotten into a car accident and died. We put in an application for a house to rent on our way to his funeral. We got the house and moved in in April and thus began this new reality of trying to live out joy and blessing while processing grief and finding Jesus in my sorrow. Right when I stepped out to live out my dreams – I was hit with such a blow. For the first time in my life I experienced such a sense of grief, depression, and hopelessness so deep that I found myself wanting to let go and push away from everything and everyone.
God was so patient and faithful with me during that time. He didn’t rush me, but consistently pursued me, tugging at my heart to let him comfort me. The reality was that a nice Christian value system wasn’t going to be enough to get me out of this. I needed a real God, a real Savior, that could truly bring my heart back to life. Breath new life in me.
Ezekiel 36:26; “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
What was crazy was that while God was building a new foundation of hope in me, I was building my business and speaking hope and encouragement into others. It had to be legit and it forced me to testify to the goodness of God, to never give up. To keep fighting for those dreams even when it seems all hope is gone.
So now here I was, all these months later, learning to balance joy and sorrow and realizing how God equips both together. God has given me big dreams that includes you out there reading this. God is restoring his beloved back to himself. That’s you. That’s me. But before the work, the ministry, the social media… I have three beautiful little faces upstairs sleeping. They come first. God has called me to be their mother, and by design they’re pretty needy. They need their mama to hold them, teach them, feed them, be silly with them. I desperately want to be everything they need their mama to be. So if I build a huge business or ministry and only meet their physical needs… this is all going to be for naught. And thus the endless internal processing a month ago. How is this all going to work together?
Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I do know the dreams that God has promised me. I do know what he’s equipped me with and what he’s doing in me. I do know what my priorities are. It’s been a process and it will continue to be. So with my day planner as my BFF, I’ll be intentionally scheduling these things out, being strategic on time, money, and projects. I can be the cute little tortoise and do one thing (day) at a time, intentionally and with excellence, raise these beautiful children to know who’s they are and what they’re capable of. I can continue reaching out to you guys out there and my community to spur you on towards greatness and giving you inspiration on how to do that. I can teach and guide my team and business to grow and impact Michigan. It’s all going to happen guys and I am so incredibly excited for it all. But it’s going to be a process and I’m going to take my time to do it right and not forsake my family.
So be brave with me please. Please pray for me. I’m praying for you. Be bold. Hide God’s word in your heart. Memorize that scripture. It’s your armor and sword against the garbage the devil throws at you. We are sons and daughters. Princes and princesses of the Most High God. He’s got this. He’s got you.