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Above All My Expectations: Big Church Day Out 2022 (Part 2)

Have you ever been in a situation where the very thing you prayed for is coming to life right before your eyes and now you have no idea what to do about it? That was me. Oh, and if you haven't read part one of this Big Church Day Out blog be sure to click here and start at the beginning of the story. Let's pick up where we left off, God's faithfulness.


road trip, big church day out

After months of praying for the door to open, it was 4:30am on the very day I was going to drive 5 hours, (which ended up being 10,) to what felt like the other side of the world. Big Church Day Out was actually happening.


I don't know about you but the devil has a way of showing up in my life right when something great is about to happen.


First doubt; Are you sure you want to do this? There's no turning back once you leave the house. Then fear; You've never driven this distance before, let alone this car, you sure you can do it? Followed by anxiety; Have you got everything? Where's the food? Will it fit? Do you even have fuel? Can you afford this?


STOP! Please!


All I could do was pray. 'God, You brought me here, I'm afraid. I need You. I can't do this alone. Hold my hand, please don't leave me.'


holding God's hand

Being an online brand, meeting customers isn't something you get to do often. On the other hand, being an extrovert, its the very thing that keeps you active and motivated to keep pressing on. There was this battle in my mind. I'd never actually met or had the opportunity to meet the people who purchased my clothing. I had no idea what to expect but you know what they say, if you think the worst, the only way it up, right?


We spent the whole of what was left of our Thursday, setting up most of the stall and then finished steaming all the clothes early hours of the next morning. (How I got them all there, honestly that was a miracle in itself!) We opened the stall bright and early on Friday with a team prayer, asking God to bless us, the stall and most importantly the people He wanted us to meet.


prayer group

I nipped to the Portaloo, (as you do,) before customers started rolling in, only to come back to our first customer, not just waving her card ready to purchase a T-shirt, but actually wearing it! It was a genuine blur! I was so overwhelmed with joy because my biggest fear, (that no one would purchase anything,) was not my reality. Look at God!


Let me tell you, I had to start a thankfulness and gratitude note on my phone to write down and remember as much of the experience as I could, because there were just that many amazing things God did for us that weekend. Honestly, Friday was great, but Sabbath, a million times better!


big church day out festival

First of all, for whatever reason the person who was in the stall to the right of us couldn't make it to the event, what that meant for us however was more space plus a bonus table and chair. We rearranged our stall so the puzzles were on the table in the middle, we had a free books stand front and centre, the remaining clothes (not for sale) in the back corner and a hand sewn mat for people to chill out on and genuinely rest.


I engaged in some of the most wholesome conversations I've ever have in my life. I also prayed that we would sell out of clothes, (which we didn't,) but we did sell out of books. Even the ones that got completely soaked in the overnight rainstorm! The kindness of strangers, supplying me with snacks, a hug, encouragement, words of wisdom was uplifting and a powerful reminder of unity in Christ.


conversation

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..." Ephesians 3:20

God did so many things on that day, in the words of Jonathan McReynolds, I cannot tell it all! He exceeded my exceptions, the things I prayed for He didn't just answer, He blew those requests apart. So here's a snippet of my gratitude phone notes I told you about before. I hope you're inspired.


things I'm thankful for, stay lit apparel

Things I'm Thankful For

  • The application being approved. God made a way.

  • Me driving 10 hours and having the strength to complete the journey & safe travels.

  • Arriving in good time to not only set up stall but tent too.

  • All the stuff we needed fitting in the new car.

  • The first customer - actually wearing the clothes and being so confident she was taking them with her no matter what!

  • Every sale we made on Friday.

  • People's comments: 'Your products were the best out of all the other Christian clothing brands we saw today!'

  • People being so excited by the very thing God has called me do.

  • The person in the stall next to us not showing up, meaning we had a chair and also we had their table too for Sabbath.

  • Our Dad jokes making people laugh (if you know you know, check out our social media).

  • Selling out of all the free books.

  • People taking Sabbath pamphlets and also loving the Sabbath tees we were wearing at the time.

  • Making friends with the bucket hat crew from York, Luca and his family, our scavenger hunt winners, the girls that live in our city and so many more amazing people.

  • Meeting Riley Clemmons, Drakeford & Lin D.

  • Every child who came and entered the T shirt in the competition, their joy was infectious.

  • Every person we met.

  • Everyone who took a flyer.

  • The little boy who did a crossword.

  • The lady that gave me a huge, tight, squeeze-me hug.

  • The man who gave me an apple because I was hungry.

  • My amazing volunteers: Tino, Chelsee & Natalie.

  • The encouragement people gave me and the encouragement I was able to give people.

  • The atmosphere of praise I experienced throughout.

  • Friends and family that supported me both physically, in prayer and just with ideas. Couldn’t have done it without them.

  • The opportunity to spread the gospel in a new way and for the chance to be used.

  • For the group of guys that came back for a pile of WET free books because they had started reading the book and they wanted more to give to people.

  • To the guy who is going to read the book and repurpose the information into a set of studies for young people.

  • All the other vendor friends we made who were selling too.

The list goes one but don't let me bore you with all the details. I'm setting a challenge. Write your own thankful/gratitude/testimony list of the things you are grateful for right now. Keep it going. Remind yourself and others of what God is doing for you.

 

Join the conversation, post three things you are grateful for from your gratitude list in the comments below.

 

For inspirational quotes, ideas and Christian clothing follow us @staylitapparel.co on Facebook & Instagram


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Alina Belousova
Alina Belousova
Jul 12, 2022

Wow, praise the Lord, Laura. Your testimony has brought a tear to my eye. God has used you in an amazing way! It's so amazing that you can glorify him through even through your business. The things I am grateful for recently:

- Passing my driving and theory test on the first go - Celebrating 11th anniversary with Oskar - Making new friends this year :)

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