As part of our Advent series, Whom Angels Greet, we are sharing personal stories from Summit attendees who have seen God intercede. Just as the four people who were visited by angels before Christ’s birth, these stories show a distinct and pronounced interruption from the Lord into everyday life.
I thought I was perfectly content working full-time at a Christian non-profit—I was constantly around Christians, and you could say my daily work helped to fulfill the Great Commission, even though I was on the administrative end of things. I thought I could see myself working there forever. Where else do you get to pray with your coworkers and read the Word on the clock?
Halfway into my four and a half years at this organization, I realized I did need some additional income, and God opened a door for me to become a jeweler with a prominent jewelry company. It was a chance to work part-time and go into women’s homes to help them accessorize and get to play dress-up on my free weekends. I loved everything about it! I had a goal of doing two jewelry shows per month to help supplement my full-time income, and this also allowed me to support missions the way I felt called to. When I went on my first Venture Trip to Malawi with Summit and Children of the Nations, having my jewelry business on the side allowed me to participate in child sponsorship. I started sharing about my trip and missions at every jewelry show I held since that became a huge motivation to continue! It’s a biblically based company, so I’m definitely allowed to talk about God every time I stand up in front of women to do my interactive presentation.
In the process of trying to have a steady business so that I could support missions and supplement my income, I accidentally ended up working with the jewelry company full-time on top of my regular full-time job. This was obviously exhausting! After a few months of this, I realized how unsettled I was feeling as I drove to the office for work every day. I felt so much more alive when I would get to go into homes and encourage women and help them accessorize and feel beautiful. I was suddenly tired of being behind a desk and strictly being around Christians. I wanted my business to be a ministry tool as well as income. And the more I thought and prayed about it, the more I was drawn to doing jewelry. My schedule was filling up with jewelry shows and it was becoming increasingly hard to manage both jobs. But the Christian organization was still my comfort zone.
In the meantime, my Connect group was going through our third Jennie Allen study. While my co-leader and I had searched through studies before landing on this one with our group, I couldn’t put a name on the feeling I was having. But God kept bringing up this particular study, pointing out to me that the title of the book perfectly described the state of my heart. The study was called “Restless,” and I highly recommend it to anyone who can identify with that feeling! Each chapter walks through key components of our lives—spiritual gifts, passions, people God has put around us, places God has sent us, and even the different ways we’ve experienced suffering. With each week, my answers to the questions clearly brought me back to working with jewelry. My gifts, talents, joys, etc. were all wrapped up and used well in my job as a jeweler! Before I could even get to the final chapter that was supposed to tie together all of the components, my head was spinning with thoughts of perhaps leaving my full-time job to instead pursue my business full-time.
I felt crazy for thinking this, but God continued to confirm this is what He had for me, and He even blew my mind with the timeline! This was going to be a pretty quick life change, something I’ve never dealt with well in the past. But He covered me with more peace than I can even describe! This is what He wanted for me, and that gave me confidence to walk in it. So even now, eight and a half months after leaving my non-profit job, I still fully believe this is what God called me to. Managing a business can be challenging at times, but so rewarding. Each time I’m on my way to a jewelry show, I have hopes of selling jewelry and building a team of jewelers who want to do the same, but it’s so much more than that! I get to encourage women and tell them they’re beautiful and help give them a fun break from the busyness of life! I pray that the ladies can see God’s joy in me and that He will use me to be a special encourager or listening ear, whatever that particular lady needs on that particular night. What an honor!
I want to share the last line in the “Restless” study—you can see how I had no choice but to be obedient even when leaving my full-time job seemed completely crazy!
“We live once, and then we meet God. We want to live lives that matter for eternal things. We want to be a generation who followed with reckless abandon a God who was real to us…So let’s get after it.”