if you follow me on instagram, chances are you’re breaking it down at this very moment, celebrating the fact that i finally have a place to write out all of my thoughts + feelings. TRUE but i have a feeling that my infamously lengthy ig captions won’t be going away any time soon. but, hey. dance away! by the end of this, you’ll either think that a) i’m a complete lunatic or that b) God is PRETTY freakin’ cool. either way, welcome to blog post numero uno!
this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down. in the very best way.
for those of you who don’t know, i put in my two weeks at my serving job on new year’s eve, kicking the new year off in complete, blind faith. to be clear: my faith is not in salvaging eden, but in the God who assured me that he was holding this little dream of mine in the very palms of his hands.
leaving my job to pursue se full-time was a conversation that would come up frequently in my circle of friends, but it was always a very light-hearted conversation—at least on my end, ha! the conversation had been coming up more + more in the last couple months of 2017. on the last friday of the year, i was heading back to jacksonville from miami + had made plans to have breakfast with some of my closest friends before my drive back.
french toast + feelings were on the menu for the morning.
we ended up on the topic of insecurity: the rooted, overarching reason as to why i had yet to give the idea of a full-time entrepreneur a fair thought. i’ll be the first to admit to the major insecurities i have in owning a business. what if i fail? what if i build something sustainable and beautiful… only to realize that i hate it? what if i can’t afford groceries one week? let’s also be real about the fact that google searches are the only qualifications i have for anything business related. yet here i stand, a twenty-four-year old college graduate who dropped everything to start a calligraphy business. i’ve learned that if i live my life in the fear of “what if,” joy will always be just out of reach—close enough to touch, but far enough to live a lifetime completely robbed of it.
see, what i realized at breakfast in the company of good food and even better friends was this: the only person capable of holding me back is myself.
my friends freakin’ cheer me on like it’s their day job. my parents have my back blindly. my siblings think i’m a fountain of talent. but at the end of the day, what matters is what I think of MYSELF. i left breakfast feeling empowered & inspired to seek God specifically on what his will was: full-time or na? (side note: get yourself some friends who you can have honest, genuine—also fun—conversation with. it’s a game changer.)
fast forward through the five hour drive back to jacksonville + i’m at trader joe’s doing some grocery shopping before my little brother drove into town for the weekend. i worked an event that morning for a florist friend and made a pit stop at barnes + noble to peruse the aisles before i did my grocery shopping. it was cold that morning + i hadn’t eaten breakfast, so i grabbed a coffee at the cafe and bought a few good reads.
back to trader’s when i get a phone call from my best friend, amore (who was at breakfast the day before). she essentially says, "hey i know we’ve been talking about this a lot, but i really feel like God wants you to quit the restaurant and do salvaging eden full-time.” *ACTUAL SIGH* we get to talking + i’m shooting out all of these excuses when she finally stops me + asks, “jess, what is it that God would have to do for you to feel okay quitting your job?”
WELL, not to put God in a box or anything…
“i don’t know, man! that’s hard to say, but i guess i would say a bottom line. if i knew i would make x amount of money every month, then i could budget to make things work. but business isn't like that—i have no idea what i’m going to book one day to the next, let alone one month to the next. i really just need to know that i’ll make enough to cover my bills.”
cool. she totally understood and encouraged me to pray specifically about the financial part of the business + to ask that God would show me his provision. she also encouraged me to fast about it +, as all best friends do, volunteered to fast with me.
i promised to go home and pray about everything that evening.
when i got home, i had received the payment for working the event that morning and was pleasantly surprised to see that the amount almost covered all of my groceries. cool.
i got home, put the groceries away & took a little siesta (hi, my name is jess + i have a nap problem).
when i woke up, i’d received payment on a piece that i had done a few days ago. groceries covered. COOL!
not long after, i get an email from etsy about a super random order that had just been placed.
i started to get this weird feeling (aka this God feeling) so i sat at the edge of my bed for a minute + acknowledged his undeniable presence, “okay, God, i totally FEEL you right now, so i’m listening.”
i felt his spirit urge me to grab the receipts from everything that i had spent that day.
i tracked down the receipt from trader’s + from b+n (by some miracle because i NEVER keep receipts) and i thought back to that starbucks drink that i had bought. i had declined the offer for a receipt, but i did remember the coffee being $4 and change. i added the receipts (coffee, books, groceries).
$141 is what i had spent that day.
i feel where God is going with this and i’m thinking… there’s no freakin’ way.
i add up all of the payments i had received that day.
i received exactly what i had spent, to the dollar.
i immediately thought back to amore’s question earlier in the day, “what would God have to show you for you to feel like this is his will?” i wanted a bottom line. i needed to know that he was going to provide.
so God, in his goodness + sovereignty, chose not to delay + to reveal to me that VERY evening that he would provide my daily needs. i immediately knew that i needed to put in my two weeks during my next shift at the restaurant which happened to be on new years eve. God was calling me to step out in faith + now i had a choice: i could either let fear keep me from God’s best for my life or i could take him at his word + walk in obedience to him.
it wasn’t easy. i cried. i felt nauseous. i doubted and backpedaled.
don’t miss this: obedience is never easy.
but i fully believe that my small step of obedience is going to give way for more. great opportunities are often disguised in small acts of obedience. it’s the little things that determine the big things. jesus himself said so in luke 16:10.
“whoever can be trusted with little can also be trusted with much."
there are a million + one little details surrounding that day and 141 that absolutely BLOW MY MIND. but i’ll leave you with this: God is so real + he is so VERY involved in the smallest details of our lives. i don’t care what it is that you need guidance on, i can promise you that if you seek Him wholeheartedly, he’ll show you the way. + juuust in case you’re sitting around waiting for a sign to follow your dreams… THIS IS YOUR SIGN.
141 is your sign.
salvaging eden, His hands are all over you. i’ve surrendered you to him and i can’t WAIT to see what he does with you in 2018.
grace and peace to all of you beautiful souls.
big love + a huge hug!