Almost a year ago, I wrote a blog called Walking By Faith Living in Atlanta explaining all my twists and turns since being in Atlanta. If you haven’t read that one you can read it here. I have other updates about my life since making a faith leap to Atlanta, GA if you’d like to read about those as well. Simply click here and here.
This blog will be a bit lengthy, but I pray you find the time to read every word and find hope in my story.
The journey to Atlanta has been anything but easy. I believe the last time I wrote you, I expressed that I had just quit my full time job, was making a decent amount of money from web design and life seemed to be pretty smooth minus a few kinks in my money. After all, I was still learning how to manage my money as an entrepreneur. I was excited I didn’t have to work a regular full time job anymore and it could just be me, Jesus and this business. That was a year ago.
I began to receive all this money from the business and I just knew it was God. I knew God was blessing my business and allowing me to fulfill my dream to work full time from home. But that dream quickly got interrupted by life. Being honest, one of my worst fears is to be in a place where I cannot pay my bills. It always has been a big fear of mine. I guess it was because growing up, I seen my mother go in and out of jobs after the divorce. I didn’t want that for my story…especially after just moving to Atlanta alone to serve the Lord.
But eventually, it happened. The client list went from high to low and the courage that I had in the beginning began to sink. I didn’t quite understand why the Lord would tell me to start a business if it was going to fail. I pushed so much just to make ends meet that I ended up burning myself out. I took on way too many clients that I couldn’t even finish within a respectful amount of time. I just fought and fought and fought until eventually everything financially started to spiral out of control.
I went into a very dark place during this time. Although the Lord allowed me to be apart of the worship team during this time, my heart felt so heavy. I felt dead spiritually and hopeless financially. My phone continuously rang throughout the day from bill collectors. I hate to admit it, but I hung up on most of them because of the embarrassment of the amount I owed them by not paying each month. I had plans to pay the bills, however each time I would reach to pay one, something else would come up. I reached a point where I just gave up which wasn’t wise at all.
Months went by and I was still in a position where there wasn’t enough money coming in to cover my expenses, I felt absolutely drained from clients and just feeling like I wasn’t walking fully in my purpose. I felt so much pain during this time…it was almost like me moving to Atlanta was a mistake. My parents questioned my decision to move to Atlanta and created a wedge between my family and I. Since I’ve been in Atlanta, I have moved five different times. I couldn’t find a stable place to be due to my financial state. Seeing everyone with their homes, apartments was tough to say the least.
In May of 2016 I moved into a new place. I was still maintaining my business and things had gotten a little better money wise, but things were still a bit rocky. While living in that place, I visited one of my favorite churches during their night service and while I was there worshipping, the Lord spoke this:
“I have not called you to do web design. I have called you to do two things, I’ve called you to worship and write.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately wrote in the note section of my phone, took a seat and listened as He spoke. He told me that whenever I made the decision to go with web design without carefully seeking Him (Ephesians 5:10) it took me off course of what I was supposed to be doing in Atlanta. Ouch.
I cried out to Him for weeks and weeks. I wanted to be freed from that season so bad. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing web design and at this point I just wanted out of this financial bind. You see, I never thought I would be in a position where I was facing so much turmoil in my finances.
But in the midst of pain and hardship, something shifted where I began to feel hope again. During this time, I actually took a brief break from the worship team, and got on my face and truly learned to worship the LORD…even in hardship. I don’t think I’ve EVER prayed, fasted and cried out to the LORD so much in my life.
It was during this time, God began to speak to me about the promises that He wanted to give to me. It was during this time, where I leaned in to hear His voice. It was during this time where my worship leader/mentor pushed me to lead more. So thankful for her. It was during this time when I was invited to help lead worship at the Sunday session of the Pinky Promise Conference. A conference I used to only visit when I was in town years ago. It was during this time I got to lead along people I had only watched online in worship. And it was during this time where I felt like I was being molded into the woman God wanted me to be. It was hard for me to accept that God would use me like this. I’m used to playing it safe and never stepping out with leading, so to lead worship and write consistently was literally all God working inside of me. A new found bravery was birthed in me.
So, I laced up my shoes and finished all my client projects, shut down my business websites and started to pursue what HE had for me. I’ll let you know first hand that this was not a fun process at all. It was a lot of cleaning up, some apologies sent out, etc. But I knew through all of this, God was revealing Himself to me. He was revealing my calling through this. I had to end my assignments in the last season to enter the new one.
Though this season has been rough, I finally grasped what the Lord was speaking to me the whole time…He simply wanted me to worship and write. That’s it and oh how my heart is so content with doing it. I thought my purpose had to look a certain way. I got all caught up in the way it should look that I completely overlooked the very thing I was supposed to be doing. I thought I was moving in the way He wanted me to go in, but it’s not about how it looks. It’s not about trying to match someone else’s faith story. It’s not even about entrepreneurship, it’s about His glory. It’s about how God can use you right where you are.
If I could do it over again, I would have kept my normal full time job and worked as unto the Lord while still writing and worshipping. It pleases the Lord when we obey and walk in purpose right where He has us. In fact I’m doing that now. No, things aren’t perfect. I only work part time at my current job and I’m believing God for another full time job to open soon. I also had to leave the place I was staying in and move in with church family out of obedience. I consider it a great honor because the family I am staying with is so loving and kind. SO thankful they are here with me during this transition. I believe the Lord is about to do something special in my life and I couldn’t be tied to a lease. The Lord knows what’s best for us.
As of right now, I feel so much freedom. I am enjoying the simplicity of this season. Writing again, worshipping and just being fully present.
I’ll leave you with this: There is an invitation for those who are walking through trials to fight and worship. The enemy would love nothing more than to wipe you out. He desires for you to take your eyes off of Jesus who IS our Prince of Peace. We never ever have to be afraid because of who GOD is. He’s our great restorer (Deuteronomy 30:3-4 MSG) our Shepard (Psalms 23) and our hope (Psalms 39:7) And when it looks like your life is being flipped upside down, we can have the assurance of GOD sustaining us through it all. We can have an expectancy for what’s to come and actually be excited for all that God has for us. His plans are good.
I know things may be really hard right now and I can’t imagine the burden you’re carrying, but when we follow Jesus one step at a time…He guides us into the places He wants us to be. And it’s always good places. The best thing that could’ve happen to me is going through this year of financial hardship because it taught me about WHO God is. I mentioned that my worst fear was never having enough to cover my bills and yes, that did happen. But The LORD took that fear and allowed me to face it so that I could KNOW HE is my provider, my hope, my Price of Peace and help in the time of need.
What a good, good Father