Have you ever been so overcome with stress and frustration that it has left you paralyzed? This is where I found myself a few weeks ago–utterly paralyzed and unsure of what to do. This is not like me at all. Those who know me, know I don’t do idle. I am the doer, the list-maker, and list-completer. I make the plan and execute it. I am confident. Not this puffy-eyed, ugly cried-out mess of a woman who is left raw and feeling defeated.
Whoever said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” in my opinion is a liar. That person has never owned their own business. When you do what you love, you work harder than for any other job you’ll ever do. I absolutely love what I do. However, every business has its ups and downs, and this has been a season of way down. I had racked my brain, looked at PNL’s, analytics, you name it. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why and where things had gotten off track. The thought of having to seek employment elsewhere to free up my income to keep the business out of the red has left me saddened and feeling like a failure.
One night I cried out to God asking for an answer on what to do or, at the least, some encouragement. Do you know what I got as an answer? Nothing. Just the ramblings of my own brain. I cried myself to sleep that night. When I woke up the next day, I thought surely I can figure this out. I searched through scriptures and found a few that gave some comfort, but I was still left feeling paralyzed and unsure. I left my Bible to collect dust and went through the next few weeks in a quite crabby and cynical state.
Honestly, I was mad. I was mad at God for his lack of response as I thought I had tried to seek him and was given nothing to work with. One afternoon I discovered Disappointment With God, a book by Philip Yancey I had purchased and then left forgotten on a shelf. As I began reading the book, I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I felt comforted, then puzzled, encouraged, then enraged. For a full day I refused to pick up the book and was sure I never would again, but in the end, I did. My mood wasn’t completely lifted, but I did feel a little lighter.
“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Tonight, I suddenly felt led to thumb back through the book to look over my highlights and notes in the margins. One section stood out to me. Yancey explained that the Israelites lived with directives and signs from God, yet both did not serve to improve their lasting faith. He posed the question, “Why pursue God when he had already revealed himself so clearly?” In my hot pursuit to get what I wanted and felt entitled to (an answer from Him), I had grown impatient. I had stopped pursuing Him with the intensity that He desires. While I was never given the word of direction or comfort I asked for, I got more. I got silence and I had to pursue him with an intensity that I hadn’t done in a long time. I also discovered he was there all along. With that in mind, by pursuing and trusting in God, I can face whatever the future may bring in both my business and in life. I love my business and I’ll keep doing it, but I may have to do something else in addition to it. And that’s ok. Though things didn’t turn out as I’d hoped for, it isn’t a failure. It could lead to something much deeper.