Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns. We make plans, set goals, and dream of a future that aligns with our life goals and aspirations. But what happens when those plans unravel, leaving us feeling lost, disappointed, and uncertain?
Let me tell you my story. I touched a little bit on it in a previous blog post but here's a recap of the journey God has taken me on over the past few years.
When Plans Unravel
The Wisdom of God's Providence
It has always been my dream to own a fashion empire. When I had that dream it looked like me, with my own studio, making clothes that celebrated the beauty of God’s creation. Fashion has always been my thing. From the age of ten I knew I wanted to be a designer. What I didn’t know, was what God had planned for me all along.
I started my first fashion brand, Asikara, back in 2016, fresh out of uni, with no business training. God took me from where I was and provided me with ongoing, free business support which contributed to the entrepreneur I am today. From business programmes, to winning and being nominated for awards, to achieving business growth and establishing a firm foundation.
Embracing the Unpredictability of Life
In September of 2019, I started my second brand, Stay Lit Apparel. I never planned for it but quickly realised it was an extension of who I was. God was expanding my horizons and showing me how to combine my love for Him with my love for fashion and serving others.
As you all know Just a few short months later, covid hit. Both the brands I had been building hit brick walls. Everything I had ever known was hanging in the balance. What was going to happen next? How would I make money? Would my businesses survive?
Well it’s 2023 and both are still standing and here to tell the tale. With that said, the past three years have been some of the rockiest years of my life. Whilst navigating the pandemic I went through a season of depression, had to change from selling clothing to making masks to generate an income, lost confidence in my abilities and wrestled with God.
Finding Purpose in the Detours
When the commotion of the pandemic began to wear off, the damage it left behind became so evident. It was like starting from scratch, rebuilding all over again. I crumbled. One thing most people don’t realise is that the things small business owners did before the pandemic don’t always work post pandemic. I tried changing my products, I tried creating new ones, I tried lowering my prices and offering free shipping but nothing seemed to work.
Whilst watching one of my businesses, or shall I say babies, suffer in the background I saw the other one grow and soar to new heights. What if God had given me two brands because He knew that I needed both to survive?
Lessons in Dependency and Trusting God
Fast forward to the past year, I pushed harder than I ever had. I took ever course, class and piece of advice I could in order to get back to where I once was. But no matter how hard I tried I was getting more and more discouraged.
“God what am I supposed to do?” My life was falling apart at the seams. I didn’t know how to fix it and I had no idea what to do. That’s when I felt God asking me to surrender. That was the one thing I hadn’t done. I’d made all these changes trying to fix everything but not once had I asked God to show me what He was calling me to do.
I went searching for a sermon on guidance and direction but instead came across some sermon notes with the steps of surrender I outlined in another blog post. I prayerfully followed the steps and the answer was the opposite of what I thought it would be.
Instead of speeding up, slow down. Instead of working harder, take a break. Instead of holding on, let it go.
Walking in Faith Amidst Uncertainty
That is exactly what I did. I laid my businesses at God’s feet and gave them to God. In that exact moment I felt the most peace I have had all year. Once I laid my burdens down at Jesus’ feet I made space for God to work. In the space of just three short weeks i’ve been blessed beyond measure with opportunities that I would have never had if i’d have held onto my plan.
When plans unravel, it is natural to feel lost and disappointed. I can tell you this, if you trust in God’s direction He has the power to restore and rebuild your hope and give you more than your wildest dreams. He brings beauty out of ashes, turns setbacks into stepping stones and brightens the darkest paths. Anchor yourself in His promises and let Him lead.
What is God calling you to let go of? What do you need to surrender? Take some time out today to pray and ask God to show you.