Owning my own business can be very daunting at times, not to mention overwhelming. More often than not I am wondering if I made the right decision, or the right choice. Did I hire the right person? Will that really work for the business? Should I have hired that one instead of this one? Was that the right financial choice to make? Over and over again in my head I question the choices I have made, and find myself wondering if I made the right decision after all. That questioning always leads to worry. I find myself worrying that if I made the wrong decision, how is that going to impact the business? What is going to happen if the bottom falls out? How will all of these choices I have made today affect the bottom line? Owning my own business has improved my prayer life, to say the least!
When the Lord put me on this path a year ago, I was flying blind. I had never owned my own business and I had no clue what I was doing. But through prayer (lots and lots of prayer), and study of His word, step by step He has helped me through. There were ups and downs, but as this first year of business comes to a close I look back in awe and wonder at the work that God has done, not only with the business, but in me. Through it all He has never left my side. He has taught me to trust Him, to pray diligently about everything, and to pray constantly (about everything!). He has taught me how to seek out wisdom in His word, and guided my feet through some pretty slippery slopes. He has held my hand as, brick by brick, this business has become a success.
But here I am today, a year later, questioning some decisions that I have made. During my prayer time this morning I was reminded of Joseph. I was reminded of Joseph's dreams and his brother's treachery. Since Joseph was heavy on my mind I travelled back into the pages of Genesis and waited for the Lord to show me what it was He had for me today. (Just a little note about seeking wisdom- after you ask for it, go to His word, that's where you will find it. If you pray for wisdom, but never open your bible, then maybe you don't want wisdom after all.)
Joseph was favored by his father, Jacob, and that caused his brothers to hate him. But even at a young age, there was something about Joseph that was different. You could tell that he was destined for something more than just shepherding sheep. (Another side note- why do we as Christians think we are not destined for anything greater than church on Sunday, family on Monday and work on Tuesday?- Dreams are not ungodly. God can use dreams to accomplish great things!) God was showing Joseph though his dreams that He had a plan and a purpose for his life. There was something greater out there waiting for him. Joseph knew it, he knew it in the depths of his soul, and he wasn't afraid to share it. He shared it with his brothers and father, but none of them believed in him. His father hid what Joseph said in his heart, but to Joseph it probably felt like no one believed he could ever be anything other than Joseph, a boy who tagged along after his brothers.
Even though no one believes in you, don’t stop dreaming. The only one who truly matters is God. He believes in you. God alone knows the plans and the purposes that He has for your life. Don't let others lack of faith in you case you to lose faith in what God has brought you to. As we see in the history of Joseph, success is from the Lord, not from man.
"Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field."
Genesis 30:1-5 ESV
Genesis 30:1-5 ESV
"The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man"; what comfort these words bring to this troubled heart! Joseph was a man whose confidence was not in his ability but in the Lord's ability. When I started this business I had no clue what I was doing. I had ran companies for other's but had never started a company from the ground up. The companies that I had managed were already established. I had no clue what I was doing, but I was confident that if God had brought me to it, He would also bring me through it.
If God has given you a dream, a vision of the path that He has prepared for you, trust Him to walk with you every step of the way. You are going to face tough decisions, you are going to make mistakes (I have made many!) but God is with you, and He will prosper your way.
Your success will also be a testimony to the abundant grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When people ask me how I got into the pet care business I tell them it was the Lord's doing, because it was. It was His voice that gave me the vision for this path that I am on. It was His purpose and His plan for my life; all I had to do was walk in it. (Ephesians 2:10) Joseph's life was a testimony to the people in Potiphar's house, and to Potiphar. Joseph was a walking testimony not because of what he said, but because of the success that followed him wherever he went. Everything he did was successful and prosperous. It was not what Joseph preached that made Potiphar know that God was true and real, it was how Joseph lived his life and Potiphar and everyone in the house could see the hand of God upon him. God was with Joseph and it was clear to everyone around him because God prospered him in everything he did.
If you are starting a business, a ministry, starting over, or just wanting to have success in your life, look at Joseph's example. It is imperative that you understand that success and favor only come from the Lord. It is His will, His plan and His purposes that make us who we are. It is not because of my marketing skills or my advertising savvy (which I have none of, by the way) that this business is a success. What brings clients in is God. He is the One who brings favor upon us and adds to us daily. Every single month, even in the slow months when other pet care companies are struggling, we are increasing our profits and growing more and more, and I did nothing. All I did was trust in the path that God has set my feet on and left the success of it in His capable hands.
These decisions I have made and have to continue to make are a little scary. My name, my business, and everything the Lord has brought me through could all come to a tragic end if I chose the wrong path. But when I read the story of Joseph I am reminded again of God's divine rule and God's divine master plan that started me off in the first place. No matter what happens, no matter what today may bring, I am confident that He is with me and all that I have, all that I am and all that work for me will be blessed because the Lord's favor is upon me. Take comfort today in the decisions you face, know that the Lord is with you, and in Him you will be a great success. Amen?