So many of us have dreams and gifts that we aren’t fulfilling. Well, I have had the pleasure of serving alongside one lady who has a faith-filled story to tell! The owner of From Gwen’s Heart scripture-inspired gifts answers my questions about how God led her through the transition from dreaming do doing.
1. How did you overcome the fear of stepping out on faith?
I am not sure I had to overcome any fears about stepping out! Actually I had to curb my enthusiasm because I was ready to leave my "9-5" a year before the Lord released me! It occurred to me that I had been writing scripture stones professing what faith is and was not activating my own. As my job became one with no defined role, I knew that the Lord was transitioning out of that environment into the one He had chosen for me. (My desk even got moved closer to the front door! :) Once confident that I was acting within God's will, I asked to be "let go" from the job. I do not want to say that I "quit" because that is not what happened. With cooperation from the owner, I was freed to walk in my purpose.
2. How long did you have the vision for your business before you acted on it?
The pre-vision was given to me in 2005. I facilitate a small group in the Singles Ministry and would always give the members an inexpensive gift when we met each month - never more than $1! I found some little baskets and decided to write a prayer request on 7 moonstones (the white ones) and put them in the baskets. About two weeks later EVERY woman came back and told me that they were rubbing their stones and praying and the words rubbed off! For a year and a half I did not attempt to do anything with the stones, although they were always foremost in my mind. One night at the end of 2006, the Lord told me to put His Word on rocks! My reaction was a ScoobyDoo "hunh?"! But I was obedient and acted on FAITH. Without knowing how I was going to market the stones, I came up with my own idea but the Holy Spirit told me to continue as if it were already done! In 2007, my church (Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship) held a showcase for anyone with a biblically-based business. And the rest is history. Talk about answered prayer!
3. What advice would you give to someone who's toying with a vision God has given them?
If you are absolutely sure that the vision is FROM God and that you are acting within His will, having been released from where you are BY Him, do not hesitate. If you THINK about it too long, every reason "in the world" why you CAN'T leave where you are to go where you have been called will deter you.
4. What did your friends/family say about you taking the entrepreneurial plunge? Was it scary?
All of my family and friends were very happy for me! I was looking for the naysayers but none came forward. My parents were extremely happy, knowing that this was what God had purposed for me. My greatest cheerleader is my brother who has owned his own business of the last 20 years. He is excited for me and has been a constant source of encouragement. There is also a small group of female entrepreneurs at the church who have come together to support one another.
5. How has God shown Himself faithful to you? Are there any particular verses you rest on with regard to your business?
God has shown Himself faithful in the fact that I am more able to manage my finances better as an "owner" than I could while working. He has paved the way, bringing business my way - without solicitation on my part - and opening doors that I know He alone opened. The verses that have sustained me before the "step" and during this time are: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." (Ps 23:1) and "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her would be accomplished. For with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:45,37) God said it ...I believe it ...that settles it!
6. Anything else you would like to say to encourage believers to follow the vision God has placed in their hearts is greatly appreciated.
There is freedom in working for and with Christ. If you are having any doubt about what you think you have been called to do, pray. God will answer in a way that you KNOW it is from Him. Once He confirms what you believe, ACT. Don't be the one who looks around 5 or 10 years from now and wonders what might have been. I pray that you will be blessed beyond your desires!