I HAVE GOT to tell you an amazing God story today! Over the last few weeks, God has spoken to me in ways He never has before. It is a very rare occasion that I get to sit quietly. Silent. Praying with no distractions. Able to listen for God to speak to me.
So, let me go back in time a bit and share a long time dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to own my own small business. You know, the kind of place people can come into and you call them by their name and make them feel welcome. The kind of place that people could come in from nowhere and learn that there is a God. The kind of place where someone could come in and ask for prayer. The kind of place where my kids could have their first jobs.
For some time now, I have been sharing my heart with my husband. I felt like this was something in the future that God would allow us to do, but had no idea really what was in store. That’s where it always gets exciting. You never know God’s plans! You simple hang on for the ride.
Now, move in time to 3 1/2 weeks ago. Our family had hit some major mountains with lots going on. I always feel warfare when I know God is about to do big things in our lives. I had just been in a major wreck a few weeks prior and my suburban was totaled. Levi (my 2 1/2-year-old) and I were blessed to be able to walk away from the scene after a car ran a red light and hit us. God had his hand on everyone that day. So, here I was headed home from Wilkesboro, NC after getting my “new/used” car.
Levi was in the backseat sleeping and I enjoyed my quiet ride. There, in the silence, I felt an overwhelming need to focus on something Steve had told me that same week. He mentioned someone had a building they wanted to donate for a ministry. The thoughts of that building were spinning in my mind and I simply could not think of anything else. I thought that maybe God wanted me to take this dream of a small business and turn it into a ministry to fund mission’s projects.
I thought He was telling me to use this space and do something for Him. I felt as if the Lord was saying “do this now.” Of course, I had to act right then. I called Steve immediately and shared this. I said, “Steve, I really feel the Lord is telling me this!” I started working on the vision immediately. I called a few people in my church who are heavily involved in missions and shared my vision. I also phoned the man who offered the building. I wrote down everything that came to heart. I prayed over and over that God would swing this door wide open or slam it shut so I would know what to do.
Later that day, I received a call from the gentleman who offered the building. I was so excited sharing my heart, but then came the news. He couldn’t donate the building. He co-owned it and didn’t have the ability to do that. Somewhere along the line there was a miscommunication, but that was the answer I needed. Door shut.
This was a Wednesday night. I went to church not really feeling defeated, but sad it didn’t work out. I knew that God was speaking to me and I knew maybe this was a test to see if I would pursue what the Holy Spirit was telling me to act on. I went to class that night and sat there telling my friend that the plan didn’t pan out. As I was sharing the story, another friend came in and overheard the conversation.
What I didn’t know is that my husband had seen him on top of a building in Jefferson the week prior and had stopped to ask him about it at church. He said “Hey man! What were you doing on that roof?” Our friend Jon said, “you won’t believe what I’ve got to tell you!” He went on telling Steve that God woke him up in the night and gave him a vision of what he was supposed to do with a building for auction in town. He said he wrote down what he felt led to do, but at the same time wasn’t sure how in the world he would get this building since the biggest contractors were also bidding on this vacant building.
He said he put his bid in on the building like everyone else. Then, he got a call THAT DAY (Wednesday) and was told to “come pick up your keys.. you got it!” It was a miracle in itself that he won the building and now he knew what God led him to do.
Now… follow me back to that classroom at church that Wednesday night.
So, there I sat, telling Jon (the new building owner) what I felt God had placed on my heart that day. He then told me his story he had shared with my husband. He said “do you know what God wanted me to put in that small building? A café” I got goose bumps sharing with him my vision. We went right after church and looked at the space.
I looked around and my fleshly self said to me “you forgot something… you have no money!” After a while, Steve and I looked at each other so excited about the possibilities, but reality was the money was just not there. I said to Jon, “there is just one thing wrong with doing it this way… there is no money.” What Jon forgot to tell me at first was that there are grants available to help people start businesses. Just the idea of this was too much to handle. I simply could not sleep that night. Steve and I laid in bed dreaming of names and how we can use our own place as a ministry for this community.
I knew that no matter what, if God wanted it to happen He would make it happen. I knew that He would do it in such a way that you would KNOW that HE did this and not us on our own.
Fast forward to Christmas week…
I want to share with you everything God has done thus far:
– provided grant money we are applying for to help with start-up
– provided FREE dining tables and chairs that I get to pick up next week
I am praying over specific needs that are the most costly and I know that He will once again make it happen just like the rest.
I know this is such a long story to share, but I want one main thing to stand out more than anything. IF GOD WANTS IT TO HAPPEN, HE WILL MAKE A WAY! Can I get an AMEN?
I want to be His vessel. I want to be used by God. I must make myself available to Him and LISTEN when I feel the Holy Spirit beckoning me. Please pray for us in this new adventure. God is so good and even though I have NO CLUE as to what is coming, I know more than anything that He is faithful and good. So for now, we are just hanging on for the ride 🙂