Take a look at the passage below.
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few.4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
Last year I was given a vision of opening my own online store for my faith based writings (Reflections Literary House). When the idea kind of dropped in my spirit, I wasn’t intimidated by sharing my literary works because I write all the time, I encourage others all the time and my passion is helping people. However, I was intimidated by running a business on my own and where to begin. Long story short, I started gathering information on what I would need to start a legit business, but I felt like I was going in circles rather than moving forward. (For those of you who have been on my blog before you may have notice the link for my boutique, however compared to a registered business the boutique is considered a hobby and what I was learning rather quickly this business was an entirely different beast.) After itching with stress for some time I finally began asking God "how am I supposed to do this? I feel like I'm wasting time? Nothing is making sense." A week later one of my mentors told me about an accelerated business program that goes through all the steps you need to take in launching your start up in 13 weeks…PERFECT TIMING RIGHT!? So, I enrolled without hesitation.
As the saying goes “It takes money to make money” and that phrase was constantly echoing in the back of my head for the months I was taking this class. Mainly because... I had no (extra) money hahaha. Every document, every registration, any step I needed to take to start my business required a payment. I felt myself begin to stress. I wasn’t working in cooperate America at the time and I only picked up gigs here and there. Well, the lord began to remind me of my gifts and talents and gave me strategy. I baked cakes, I sang, I was brought in to minister at other churches, I built things etc. Whatever I could do the lord opened the doors for me to be able to make the money I needed to have capitol to invest in myself. When I made known what I was trying to and was obedient in my asking the lord provided resources. By this time I started to realize a pattern and how my faith was being stretched.
There’s another saying “anything that can go wrong will go wrong in business”. For some reason I thought Murphy’s law would skip right over me because I planned well, but boy was I wrong. Fast forward, I’ve graduated and I wanted to have a business launch party, but my product wasn’t here and I had run out of money to put towards my business. Rather than write 20 pages of some of the hurdles I came up against I’ll do a brief break down of some of the most stressful ones.
- It took a month to get all the information correct for my banking to get set up because the state was months behind on processing documents for new businesses. After a month all my info was correct with the state and I was able to open my accounts and I was pre-approved for the card I needed right on time.
- I prayed about a launch date and was given 9/13/2019; shortly after I found out my product was behind on production and a hurricane was headed for Florida the week prior to the launch. So many people evacuated I wanted to cancel,but I was obedient. The hurricane went out into the ocean and I was able to get a few boxes by air just days before my event. Despite how many people evacuated I had an awesome turnout of guests to celebrate with me.
- Lastly, I had an issue with the shippers sending some material to replace damaged product from the first shipment; because of mistake they made, I was facing a $10k fine on the receiving end. This one was hard to surrender and not stress, but I gave it to God. The lord put the right people in place when I asked for help to get everything settled. Boxes received, no fine and new connection with an awesome shipping broker.
Just like the widow, I was faced with the reality that hey, I wasn’t going to be able to do this on my own, but my desire was to say yes to God. So faith in myself was pushed aside and my faith in God exponentially magnified. I had to humble myself and ask for help. For those that know me personally know that it’s in my character to get things done on my own because I don’t want to be let down or feel like a burden. God aligned me with people who chose to be a blessing and when I asked for their help they went above and beyond. At every turn there has been rather large obstacles, but every need in this journey has been met thus far. Even now I have some things that need to be ironed out, but because the Lord has been conditioning and expanding my faith since January 2019 (when I started this venture), I no longer default to stress, figuring it out on my own, or hiding because of pride; but I promptly look to the hills from where my help comes from. I encourage you to surrender every area of your life especially the things you try to keep secret, the things that seem you can never rise above. God can do it, it may be the end of your rope, but it’s never the end of His.
For a breakdown of the scripture reading click here. Every month I will post a brief study of scripture at ReflectionsLH.com