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Be True to who God Made you to be….
At the ripe old age of 45, I began searching for God’s will in my life. I desperately wanted to be the person he wanted me to be.
I looked at the job I had and I realized that I was pretending to be someone else.
I’m an introvert. Yep, I said it…..but to be successful in the business world I needed to be bolder get out on skinny branches, etc. You know all the corporatisms.
It took a lot out of me over the years.
Pretending every day and nobody saw through me.
I was so good that I made it to the top of the corporate world I was in. Executive Vice-President of Marketing.
Making more money than I ever dreamed possible. Had the big corner office, on the executive team, on the board of directors. Had everything going my way.
But on the inside I was tired.
It was exhausting being someone I didn’t want to be.
I cried every time I had to leave my daughters and my husband for a business trip.
Crying when something happened at the office that stressed me out (secretly in the bathroom of course).
God’s Always There When You Need Him…You Just Have To Listen
I was so miserable, and I didn’t know what to do.
I had joined a bible study at my church. This was a big deal for me. To go to something by myself and hang out with other women I didn’t know. I’m an introvert, remember.
But during this class, I found something I had been missing for years.
During my study, I built a relationship with God that I had long been missing out on. In this study, I learned that God was there for me, and if I asked and were faithful, he would work it all out for his
So I started to pray. Every single day during my quiet time, I would talk to God. I would tell him how I had gotten myself in this horrible mess. I felt trapped because, of course my husband and I had lived into my salary and had lots of debt. How was I going to get free of this noose around my neck? Could he please help me?
God Answers prayers
Five years into my prayers, God answered me and he answered BIG!!
In a way that there was no denying that it was him.
I got a call from a co-worker that my company was going to sell.
Something that we had been working on for a while but never thought would happen.
This enabled me to cash out and pay off all our debt. We also decided to move to a small town and live a more simple life.
I had a second chance to be the person that I really am.
Words can not express how truly thankful I am for what God did for me.
I ask daily for God’s plan for my life.
Because this time I wanted what he wanted for me.
One day shortly after leaving my job, I was driving in my small town looking for a store that sold used furniture. Deep inside I could hear God’s voice. Not audibly. I wish that I could hear him audibly. It would really help when I’m wondering if the ideas I get are from me or God. But I felt in my bones that it was God.
I’d been praying for guidance on what would have me do with my life. Having always loved interior design and having people tell me that I was good at it, I felt I was on to something. The voice said, ” open a used furniture store”….but that was it.
I kept asking God, are you sure? How can I help your kingdom by opening a furniture store?
Walk by Faith
You see, deep in my heart, I had always wanted to work in interior design. It’s the talent that God gifted me with, and I love it! In fact, I had started out in school in the interior design program.
I wish I had known then that I had to be true to who God had made me to be. He had put a creative streak in me that could not be denied.
With God. All Things are possible
After talking to trusted friends that I could get Godly counsel from, they encouraged me to trust that God would use me and that he had a plan.
So with my knees knocking together Neal and I started looking for a place for me to open a store. I was nervous and excited all at the same time.
The night before we were to sign the lease on the building we had found I could not sleep.
The devil was working overtime on me. How was I going to make this work?
What if I didn’t make enough money to pay the rent?
What if Neal couldn’t make enough money to feed us without my help?
The next morning, I got up and told Neal I needed to talk to him. That we shouldn’t sign the lease and that I had made a really bad mistake.
He just smiled at me and said, “It’s going to be fine”. You are going to rock. This is what you were meant to do and you are going to do it!
And so we did.
We signed the lease. We painted the inside of the store. The owner installed new carpet.
It wasn’t my dream space but it was what I could afford and so it would do.
We were about two weeks from opening. I was working hard trying to find furniture to sell. I didn’t have much money and Neal had no time to help me.
Again I started to panic.
How was I going to pull this off on my own? There was just no way.
So again I started to pray. Lord, how am I going to do this? Move furniture by myself? Do it all by myself? Much to my dismay, I didn’t hear an answer. So I kept trudging on.
Now I was a week from opening.
It was Sunday and we went to church. We didn’t know many people yet since we had just moved to town but a group of families asks us to join them for lunch.
One of the girls had been looking for a house. She had looked at everything in town and couldn’t find what she was looking for.
Another girl at the table, her name was Kay said, why don’t you try a fixer-upper? Then she said, “Christy, didn’t you guys just fix up a house? “Could we come to look at it today?” ” Of course”, I said yes.
I loved sharing my passion for design with anyone who would listen.
Later that afternoon, the girls came over to see the house. As we walked around, I kept feeling like Kay and I had a ton in common. She loved to decorate and we liked a lot of the same stuff.
Just as we were finishing up the tour I heard God’s voice again. This time he said, Ask Kay to be your partner in the store.
I kept swatting him off. I don’t even know her God.
She’s not going to want to join me.
But he wouldn’t give up.
Over and over again I kept hearing the same thing.
So finally I said, Kay, you should partner with me to open the store…. be my business partner.
Of course, she thought I was completely crazy.
So much so that she didn’t even answer me.
We finished up and they left. As they were pulling out of the drive Neal yelled for me.
Did I just hear you ask Kay to be your partner at the store?
Well? What did she say?
She didn’t answer me cause she thinks I’m crazy.
Then I told him how God had told me to ask her while we were walking around.
Was That you God?
The next morning after Neal had left to take the girls to school a message popped up on my phone.
I am not great at keeping up with Facebook but for some reason, I saw this one.
As I looked closer, I realized the message was from Kay.
She said that she had been up all night arguing with God.
That he gave her all kinds of ideas about the store and how we could make it a success and she kept telling him that it would be rude to tell me this but that he wouldn’t let her sleep until she agreed to talk to me.
Well, that almost took my knees out from under me.
Then I remembered how I had asked God for help with the store several weeks before.
Once again God had shown up big for me in a way that could only be him.
Kay and I agreed to meet for coffee the next day to discuss what had happened.
I was so excited! God had worked out every little detail for me once again.
The next day, Kay and I met for coffee.
As we sat and talked for hours, it was like we had known each other for years.
We were so excited about the vision of what could be.
I later took her by the building that I had already rented.
She loved it!!
By the time we were finished, she had agreed to talk to her husband and God to decide if this was really meant to be.
Kay called me the next morning.
I was nervous….
She had talked to her husband Trent and they both felt God telling them this was meant to be. She was ready to be partners.
I was excited, to say the least.
We got together that afternoon and started making plans.
Crazy as it sounds we were supposed to open in a week.
We worked around the clock to get the place put together. Got the Cottage on Main sign up on the building and put together all the paperwork that we needed.
On October 9, 2014, Cottage on Main opened its doors.
What a whirlwind it has been.
We brought in Annie Sloan chalk paint a year later, bought and moved into a new building the year after, and bought a condo and renovated it the next year. (read about it here)
Now that we have five years under our belt, we are ready to make another change. We will sell our building and close the store to see what new things God has in store for us.
My life has changed so much!
I’m no longer miserable in a job that I hate.
I have a best friend and business partner that loves and supports me, and I do the same for her.
God is good!
Never be afraid to see what God could have in store for you!