FAITH NOT FEAR…

When I first wrote this journal entry, we were in so much turmoil.  Absolutely nothing in life felt stable or secure.  It was literally a daily battle to not let the fear take root in our lives, our daily mantra was “faith not fear“, which was quietly repeated so often each day we lost count.

We had come to the place that we knew our staging business was not going to recover, we could no longer hold onto the furnishings as we were paying thousands of dollars per month just for storage.  Therefore, the heartbreaking decision to sell off our inventory and watch a huge chunk of our business disappear began.

We had 6 indoor storage units that we rearranged into mini stores and started to advertise the pop up sales, we were very thankful to the storage company who partnered with us and allowed us to do this on site, which saved us a lot of moving & rental costs.

It was heartbreaking watching everything we had built, all our inventory being sold off for pennies to the dollar, yet we were absolutely certain that this was the direction we needed to go.  We recognized that along with the inventory going there was a strong risk of interpersonal relationships also being divided, as our kids, who had worked with us in the business, didn’t understand the financial constraint we were under and didn’t agree with our decision to sell it off.

With each piece of art, bedding, sofa or area rug that left that space, the loss of what ‘could have / should have been’, scraped at the open wounds on our hearts.  Then of course there were the occasional comments; “I’m so sorry you are going bankrupt, but can I get this for less… just added to the sadness and injustice that we were feeling.

I can tell you with 100% certainty, that I was not feeling victorious and could not feel God in this with us, we were feeling the weight of the world on our shoulders.  We knew the kids felt like we were giving up, and that they would also have to make unwanted changes, we knew we had bills to pay that could not be ignored, and we knew that we had to eliminate the mounting storage costs and make difficult but necessary decisions with the business.

Let me go back a few years so that its easier to understand how we got here…

We were living in oil rich Alberta Canada, our Staging & Design business was flourishing.  At the time we were always 1 of the top 3 companies in our region.  There were times that we would have over a dozen houses fully furnished for show & sale, we were at the top of our game.  Then 2015 came and with it, the economic hit on Alberta, which didn’t take long to ripple down to us. Almost overnight, we went from 12 houses furnished, bringing in a steady supply of rental money monthly, to zero, now with the furniture sitting in expensive heated indoor storage for protection. 

We believed it would be short lived and we would rebound, but 3 years later it was clear it was not coming back.  Now, I also have to be honest with the changes that were happening within me which undoubtedly playing into where we were on this day.  My whole life, I had dreamed of interior design;  I was natural at it and God had indeed gifted me.  My plan was to become a Somebody in the design world!

In the beginning of our business I was on track to becoming just that.  We even had a renovation side that erupted from  the design side, here both Mike and his son were working.  We were getting lots of work and becoming very well know.  But things started to shift inside of me…

I started to get real in my relationship with the Lord, I mean really real.  I started being honest with Him, and started seeking His way and His plan for my life.  As well, during these years, I was able to serve as a Chaplain on many natural disasters world wide and my eyes and heart were being opened to the things that broke His heart, I started asking God to break my heart with these things as well… and you know what, He did.

When I came back from deployments and would head back to work, I was caught in the disparity between my western life along with my misplaced priorities –  and the desire to make a real difference in someones life, to do something that actually mattered.  God started chipping away at my lifelong dreams, showing me the futility of my goals and in doing so, started opening my mind to understand that my so-called lifelong plan was not the plan He had for me.

Needless to say, for our kids, whom didn’t share our Faith, they certainly could not understand the concept of following God verses money, it didn’t take long before I was the bad guy and the sole reason we were now in this position of selling everything off.

This was an incredibly difficult time, knowing that you are being directed a different way, yet feeling all the attacks of the enemy try to get into my heart and mind.  During this time, I spent a lot of time reading in the book of Isaiah, I kind of felt like I could understand the turmoil he endured for his chosen path.

Even in the midst of this God was so good to us, we tallied up the totals at the end of the sales and we had exactly the funds needed to pay off the immediate pressing needs… not a dollar more but not a dollar less either.  We were starting to see Gods faithfulness even in the midst of the fiery trials we were under, and this was just the beginning of so many that He has provided for us, as we obediently chose to follow Him even when we didn’t understand and could not see the way.

Journal Entry:  #29

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your strength and power.  You have placed your Holy Spirit into us so that we do not walk through our deserts alone.  Forgive me Lord, for forgetting that, and taking my eyes off of You, and not trusting in Your strength.  

Forgive me God for minimizing your power – You created this world and everything in it by simply speaking it into existence.  And thanks to Jesus, your son, his death and resurrection, that power of You is also now in me.  

Let these words of Isaiah be my song as you bring us through this.  Imprint these words onto my heart and mind Lord, so that they become a part of me.  I believe Lord in your perfect timing, and that according to Your plan, You will save us. 

Trust is a choice and an ongoing process – I choose to trust in You and give You all my fears.  Lord God, help me to focus on your power rather than my human frailty.  You God, are my strength in all things including the difficult times we find ourselves in.  I believe that You will give us a song as You give us victory.  

Thank you Lord.  Once again, I submit to your authority as Lord over my life.  At present I cannot see what your purpose and plan is through this, but You have promised that in due time it will be made clear, and we will praise You for that.  

Thank you Father for your Ahava love , a love that is active and ongoing, create in me that same kind of love towards others.  Thank you for your provision for us, even those (or especially those) that we cannot yet see, but know you are working out for your purpose.

Teach me and help me to live in complete dependance on You Lord.  Trusting not in my own strength, which will never be enough, but trusting in the strength of Creator God, Yaweh.  

Allow me, even in these difficult times, to still be a light directing people towards You.  Lord, I don’t know how You will use me or how I can serve You at this time, Yet I know that You will.  I pray that You will help me become the woman I was created to be.  To use the God given abilities You have place within me for just a time as this.  

I willingly submit my plans…my desires… and my future, to You Lord.  Before I was in my mothers womb, You already had a plan for me.  Let me live out that plan Lord God, Forgive me for always trying to run my own life and do my own thing… as we know where that has gotten me.  

Help me to follow You, and leave the leading to You.  I can only imagine the beautiful story You will create, if I can just let You do your will IN me… and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that You will place your song in my heart.  Praise You Lord, Glory to God… 

In Jesus name ❤️ Amen.

My Final Thoughts & Encouragement:

The journal entry above was from just over 2 years ago, at the time I couldn’t see the path through the forest.  Now as I write this we are on the other side, I can look back and see so very clearly where God was in the midst of those trials. I can see His hand shaping and chipping away at the things in us that were not within His plans.

In these past two years, we have continually prayed for God to show us His way, to lead us on His path.  We prayed for Mike to be able to come off of the construction tools and that God would provide something else for him.  We prayed that we could serve the Lord together, and continued to submit our lives to Him and His authority.

Now here we sit, living in the result of those prayers.  Were they answered the way I would expect, I would say definitely not.  Yet God in His infinite wisdom has opened a door for us where He is using All of our God given talents and abilities, serving Him together, and Mike is finally off the tools and his carpenter body is being given time to heal.

I can honestly tell you, I have no idea what tomorrow brings and where He will take us next, but I can say with absolute confidence;  His ways… His plans… His path, is much better… more trustworthy… and more fulfilling than anything we could have dreamed up on our own.

If you find yourself in a place of turmoil, maybe God is pulling you out of a place of your planning into a place of His.  Yield to the master;  turn to Word of God and let Him speak into your situation.  Trust that His ways are always better than ours.

Maybe even meet up with the prophet Isaiah and listen to the words that God placed upon his heart. “Look, I am about to do something new, even now it is coming, Do you not see it?  Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”    Isaiah 43:19

Blessing ❤️ Janet.Journey4Jesus

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{ If this benefited you in any way, I’d love to hear from you and I would be thrilled if you would share or invite more people to be encouraged. }

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