I didn’t post last week. Instead, I celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends. I hope you did the same!
In my last post, I was telling the story of when I heard God “clear His throat”, calling me on the carpet for my attitude. I had been moaning and groaning and complaining … having a very un-Christlike attitude towards my coworkers and managers. (If any of you are reading this, it’s an ugly confession that I’m not proud of, but you know it to be true regardless if admitted or not).
“You are not living up to your name”, He said.
It was sobering moment, like having the mirror turned towards me so that I could see my own reflection … and I did not like what I saw!
“The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart.”
Instead of speaking out hope for the goodness of God to be seen in my life (in spite of temporary negative circumstances), I was speaking out words of failure and oppression and mean-spiritedness of the overflow of negativity that I had stored up in my heart as a result of being uncomfortable and frustrated by circumstances and the behavior of others.
So after apologizing to God (for being such a lousy representative of His character in the workplace), I committed to doing some repair work on my heart … because if my heart (mind and spirit) weren’t filled to the point of overflowing with the live-giving promises of God that are well able to turn around any situation I might ever face in life, then there was absolutely no hope of my ever speaking anything but fear and death and failure over my life. And I’d already experienced enough of that!
It was time to get to work planting new seed, so that I could look forward to a different kind of harvest!
Seeds of FAITH! Seeds of HOPE! Seeds of BLESSING! Seeds of JOY! Seeds of FORGIVENESS! Seeds of GENEROCITY! Seeds of KINDNESS! Seeds of FRIENDSHIP! Seeds of FAITHFULNESS!
It didn’t happen overnight, but God is so kind!! He will always make Himself easily found to those who sincerely seek Him. He graciously met me where I was, and as I fed myself on Scripture and scripture-based teachings to encourage my faith, not only did my attitude elevate but my circumstances began to change. And not in the way you might expect.
My Pastor had recently preached a message and in it asked “What gets you up in the morning? What keeps you up at night?” He encouraged us that the answers to these questions would help provide insight into the way God had wired us individually to serve God and serve others, and were often were indicators for the profession God had uniquely equipped us for.
I’d long been dreaming about becoming self-employed, so I prayerfully tried to answer those questions with hopes God would reveal a new career path for me. Knowing that I’m hard-wired to help other people, at first I thought to try offering coaching services for professional development on LinkedIn. I led a few workshops within my church, and started envisioning how I might transition that into a part time career.
In the meantime, pressure in the workplace was mounting – and it was evident that something had to give. I had been looking, and had a few positive interviews under my belt – but I was still waiting for a formal job offer.
Then came a women’s weekend event at my church, and my prayer and expectation was that God would give me instruction during the event on what to do. Do I stay (and risk being pushed out of the organization), or do I leave (even before I secured a new job). And in ways that only God can do, He spoke to me through multiple means that weekend (through whispers of the Spirit during worship, through conversations with women during the event, and from the podium from the guest speaker) and I was absolutely confident that He was inviting me to quit my job and take a leap of faith out into the deep waters of the unknown and trust Him to make the way for me.
So I did! The next Monday, I went in and gave my two weeks notice!
“What you ‘SEE’ is where you will go; change your vision, change your life!” ~Bill Winston
And He did! Before the two weeks had run out, He whispered to me to call one of my old managers and ask about representation. Honestly, I really didn’t understand the implications of that at the time … I was simply responding to an inner prompting by the Holy Spirit. I made the call, and within just a few days I had a verbal agreement to become an Independent Sales Rep for them. BOOM!
Which necessitated my incorporating under an LLC.
Me: “I can’t do this Lord. I’ve never owned my own company before. I don’t know anything about how to do this.”
The LORD: “Can you learn?”
And this is how HOPEWELL Companies LLC was born. It’s been 5 years since my first steps towards self-employment, and over 4.5 years since incorporating as a WOSB. What a journey of faith this as been!!
“Your words are the forerunner of the events that are to come.” ~Charles Capps
But back to the painting (completed piece below). Back to the garden spot. Back to the power of the seed sown to either bring life and blessing, or death and cursing into my life. I’ve been so busy trying to run my business, and blog, and lead small groups, and pursue a few personal interests that I’ve become a sloppy gardner. I gotten tired, and distracted, and have been burning the candle at both ends … and as my reward I’ve now got weed-seed growing in my garden.
Time to go back to the basics! Time to pluck out those nasty old seeds of fear and doubt and discouragement and fatigue … and instead plant Living Word-Seeds like PERSISTANCE OF FAITH, DILIGENCE, HOPE IN THE PROMISE, and LOVE.
“Faith is what keeps those dreams alive, even when it seems as though they are dead and buried. That is the very nature of seeds. They go underground. They disappear. And while it may seem like they are dead, they are not. They’re just germinating, beneath the surface.” ~Mark Batterson, Draw The Circle
Have you been tending your garden? Are you harvesting what you want (because you’ve been sowing what you want to reap), or have you been harvesting what you don’t want (because you’ve not been mindful to guard your heart and guard your mouth)?
It is out of the overflow of your heart that word-seeds are planted in the garden spot of your soul. What’s growing in your garden?
It would greatly bless me to hear from you. Please take a moment to comment, encourage, or ask a question below.
All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.