Don’t you just love true stories of God’s supernatural intervention in the ordinary lives of His people? I do. I could share many, but today I’m going to share just one.
The Paralysis of Analysis
I’m an analyzer. More accurately, I’m an OVER-analyzer. I like to have all my ducks in a row before I take the plunge. It can be useful… you know what they say about preparation. But it can also be paralyzing. (Perfectionism, anyone?)
I’d been praying about and researching what it would look like to become a freelancer for several months. I’m currently an employee with two different companies for whom I do all manner of digital marketing. I thoroughly enjoy it, but I’ve really been desiring to be able to work from home more.
But being my own boss scared me.
Seeking God for Direction
Two weeks ago, I was praying about how overwhelming it seemed to me. I asked God to give me confirmation and direction. My prayer went something like this:
“God, You know how much I want to do this, but I’m totally overwhelmed by it. Marketing is such a broad thing. I don’t feel qualified to consider myself a professional, and yet I absolutely love what I do. Others tell me to do it. I’m encouraged and excited. But I have no direction. I don’t know what to do first. I don’t know what areas I would focus on. I don’t know how I would get clients. I need a website, but I don’t even know what I’d call it!”
Clarity & A Leap of Faith
I prayed that way for a while. Then I got a sudden moment of clarity. Yes, marketing is broad, but what I do best, and what comes most naturally to me is writing.
I felt He wanted me to take a step of faith and buy the domain name janawrites.com. Sure enough, it was available. I did that on a Tuesday night.
God’s Gracious, Glorious Confirmation
Wednesday – the very next day – I received a message from one of my bosses, connecting me with a total stranger who had seen my work. He was wondering if I’d be available to do the same type of work for him – FREELANCE.
Can God get more direct than that?!
I had specifically prayed about not knowing how I’d get clients. It was one of the unknowns that held me back. God, in His matchless grace, provided my first client without effort from me. And immediately I felt humbled by His patience with me and His gentle way of nudging me beyond my comfort zone. He is pushing me farther than I’ve ever gone, but He’s also gone before me, preparing the way.
So, it’s official. I’m now a creative freelancer. God knew I’d probably pray and research till the cows came home if He didn’t step in and give me no choice. I’m so grateful for His patience and grace with me. And for His faithfulness and provision.
The Grand Maestro
I have always marveled at how God orchestrates details. When things like this happen, I like to look back over the course of time and think about all the little details He had to put in place to make things happen just the way He wanted.
If you look at a piece of orchestra music, it can be overwhelming. There’s a staff for each instrument, making it a daunting piece to follow for the untrained eye. Thousands of notes.
But there is order. There is structure. It is a plan written out on paper. The composer knows where each note should be and which instrument should play each part.
Before we can hear the beauty of it, there must first be a collection of musicians who have practiced and honed their skills. There were many wrong notes. Many mistakes. And the first time that orchestra plays the piece together, it’s imperfect.
But the conductor knows every note of that piece of music and he knows when to direct each player to play and when each should be silent. As long as all eyes are on the conductor, following his direction, that musical performance will be magnificent.
In my own story, I can actually see God’s orchestration at work in my life, leading me to this new adventure, all the way back in elementary school! I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pencil, having filled dozens and dozens of notebooks over the years.
I vividly remember a class in social studies about marketing and advertising. I was completely fascinated by it. Since that time – probably 25-30 years ago – I’ve had a natural inclination to analyze advertising and marketing strategies as I came across them.
My first blog started as a hobby back in 2007, so I have years of experience with blog writing.
The job I’ve had for the last 8 years started as data entry. I didn’t expect it to ever become anything else. But my role has evolved over the years. I began blog writing for my boss about 5 years ago, and things have progressed from there. With budget limitations dampening our rebranding plans, my boss hired me to do it all – redesigning every piece of marketing we use – from print materials to our website.
My second job was strictly for blog writing and email campaigns. I took it because we needed the income and it was something I could do from home.
That job is what led to my first freelance client.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us that, “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
If you look at the back side of a tapestry, it looks messy. There are loose ends and knots and a jumble of threads. But the masterpiece, the part we are supposed to see, looks exquisite.
This is a picture of our lives. My story today is a happy one and it’s an exciting new development. But there are so many knots and loose threads that are beneath it all. I choose not to focus on the struggles with unemployment over the years, the timing of things that prevented me from getting further education, the limitations of chronic illness, the struggles with discontentment about having to work outside the home.
Those were real, but they, too, were a part of God’s plan. His hand was at work through all of it, lining things up, setting things in place for His grand design.
And He’s not finished yet! I have no clue what this new season will look like. I don’t know what His plans are for my freelance venture. But I know His plan is for my good, and for His glory.
What’s Your Story?
Do you have a story that illustrates God’s incredible orchestration of the details of your life? Feel free to share in the comments. To God be the glory!