Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "I wish my husband WOULD leave His job! He needs to be the provider over our family. He cannot just up and leave his job."
Well, I agree with you.
Here's my story.
It was October 2010 and we had been married for about three months. My husband had a nice paying job and I had a great job working from home doing HR at a Hedge Accounting Firm that was located in New York. Life was good. We had the house, our own parking spot at church, the 2 car garage, the white picket fence, stocked 401k's and all of that good stuff.
Until the Lord to my husband to leave his job. My husband got really quiet for about 2 weeks. I sensed that something was wrong with him but being a newlywed - I think I was more upset than anything. WHY WON'T HE TALK TO ME! I don't understand. IS he mad at me?? What did I do? Thankfully, I learned over time that he was thinking and internalizing. The Lord was dealing with him about leaving his job and starting to prepare him for full time ministry. We KNEW that the day was going to come where we were going to start a ministry but we didn't think it would happen so soon. So, I encouraged him. I told him that we walk by faith and if the grace is gone AND the Holy Spirit is LEADING you to do it. I submit to you babe. I truly believe that the Lord is our Provider, NOT you. Plus, I didn't want to be that nagging wife that shut down every idea and vision.
So, my husband goes to work and resigns. Wow. That's it. He has really quit his job and we don't have a whole lot of savings but I'm not going to tell anyone. I bet they are going to tell me that we are stupid, crazy and out of line for making a decision as such. I wasn't afraid or scared. I was actually excited. I believe that the Lord gave us this beautiful gift of faith that says, "hey, I came into the world with nothing' and if I die with nothing, I don't care either. As long as I spend eternity with Jesus - I'm good." So, let's do it! AND, I also BELIEVED in my husbands vision. I KNEW without a shadow of doubt that the Lord was going to use us to preach to millions of people. Even though, I didn't see it.
So, my husband says that we are going to move to Mississippi.
Mississippi? "Babe, I just moved here from New York City. I mean, do they at least have a whole foods? No whole foods? Welp, let's pack up and go! I support you and I believe in you." I love pretty hard- so at that point, I'm like, If you wanna move to Alaska, I'm going to get some snow boots and go with you because I pretty much love your face! :)
I was reminded of Genesis 12:1:
"The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you."
We didn't know that land or anything about it but we truly believed that God would show us.I remember driving down the highway and pulling up to our apartment that we booked ONLINE. We didn't even see it before hand and it was so small that we had to give away things that wouldn't fit inside. I still to this day miss my glass dining room set. (no judgement :)) So, we are all moved in and I look at my husband and think, well, I guess we are going to get started with this ministry thing that the Lord gave us. So, we quietly prayed and I continued to work from home at my job. I thank GOD for the favor that job gave me because the Lord USED that job to provide for our family. It wasn't "oh, I'm working and my husband isn't so I'm going to disrespect him." No, God told both ME and my husband that he was not supposed to get a 9-5. I knew it without a shadow of doubt. In moments where my hubby did get tired, depressed or down - the Holy spirit reminded us that we were where we were supposed to be. Did other people understand it? No. So, when I got questions like, "So, your husband left his job to go pray" from people that knew us - we boldly answered, YES."
See, if you understand the purpose and the power of prayer and studying your bible then you wouldn't think that it was a waste of time. "Well, studying your bible doesn't pay the bills." Well, obedience does. And, again, the Lord used my job during that season to cover everything so that we could do what the Lord called us to do. I would watch my husband study for 8-12 hours a day and then he would come back and teach me everything he would learn. I didn't know that the Lord was preparing him to be a Pastor. I would continue to study my word and stay in the bible as well. It's like the Holy Spirit had to teach us who He was all over again in this wilderness period.
We still had no friends nearby. Our old church family pretty much threw us away because they disagreed with us leaving. No family nearby. Just a 1 bedroom apartment, Jesus, each other, eating rice pretty much every night for dinner and a lot of deferred student loans. No wonder why we considered divorce our first year. We were fighting because we felt so alone! We were trying to become that "one flesh" and we were struggling financially, emotionally with so many other things. It was very much a wilderness period for us.
But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
We NEEDED it. Why?
Because the wilderness season doesn't last always. My husband taking the LEAD to leave his job to do what GOD told Him to do was the BEST thing that ever happened to our marriage and LIFE. Why? Because in Mississippi, is where The Gathering Oasis was started (our growing church that is now in Atlanta). In Mississippi, I started Pinky Promise. The organization that encourages women to honor God with their life and body. In Mississippi, we learned to trust God like never before for our DAILY bread. In Mississippi, we learned what true friendship really means. In Mississippi, we learned that we will NOT ever get divorced. We will work through each test and trial and fight FOR our marriage. In Mississippi, we learned that GOD alone is our Provider.
Sadly, too many of us are playing it safe and we've gotten into this routine. We are afraid to step out on faith and trust in the Lord. All the while, He's saying, go here - go there. Maybe, He's said that to you but you complained that there wasn't enough savings in the account. Or maybe, you've said - Lord, the only money I have is my 401k. We need that. Hey, in that season we had to cash out of our 401k. Hey, we were walking by faith and we were led to do so. Are you quenching what the Lord is trying to do in your husband? Most likely, your husband won't read this blog - but you will. So, between you and the Lord, has there been times where you've shut down ideas or visions that your husband has because you're worried about material things? I believe that God will use your marriage to solve a problem on this earth and I wonder if God has to raise up your children to do what you will not do?
I look back and I don't know how we payed our bills or how we even lived but it didn't matter. I truly trusted that the Lord was going to do what He said He would do. He provided. I'm telling you - when God tells you to do something, He provides what you need to accomplish it.
So what now? We are in Mississippi and we start to get speaking engagements. So, we would travel to Atlanta every weekend to fly out to a different place. It was getting to the point where we would be in Atlanta for a month here & there. I really sensed that the Lord was telling us to move back after being in MS for a year. But, I didn't want to get ahead of my husband or influence him. I felt like as my leader, He could hear the voice of the Lord as well and He can lead us BOTH back here. Two months later after me thinking that - my husband comes to me and says, "Babe, the Lord is leading us back to Atlanta." WHEW! Thank GOD. I missed Atlanta! And guess what? That day, we also found out that we were pregnant with Logan. Then, the next day - my job told me that they need me to move back to NYC OR I will lose my work-from home job. Talk about another huge test. THEN, on my last day of work - the transmission goes out in my truck. So, at this point, we had been saving for 6 months so I could leave my job and I had so much work that needed to be done on my truck that it wiped out most of my savings.
"LORD! I'm trying to be a good steward! WHY would you let this happen?" I have to use most of our savings to pay for this truck that is out of warranty!
"Oh Heather, you trusted in your savings account much more than you did in me."
Wait. Crap. He's right.
Matthew 6:24 tells us:
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Now - fast forward to three years later and almost 13 books written between me and my husband. A thriving church in Atlanta, GA. A non-profit called Pinky Promise with over 45,000 women. I own a boutique. We have apps. We travel the world and speak. And, we own several businesses on top of the above. We ASKED the Lord to give us wisdom to do what He's called us to do so we wouldn't have to go back to 9-5. We knew that our purpose was to preach the gospel of Jesus and to share Jesus Christ with this world. AND we knew that no job or business could distract us from that mission. And, even to this day - we don't charge a set free to preach. We tell the churches that book us to give as the Holy Spirit LEADS them to give in an honorarium. We wouldn't dare put a number on the gift that the Lord gave us to teach. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. And, thus why have multiple businesses so that we don't have to depend on the churches we speak at to pay our bills. God takes care of us. We have truly LEARNED to trust God for our daily bread and that doesn't change with multiple businesses.
Now, I'm not saying all of this to toot our horn by any means. I don't want to stand up like we are so righteous and that we had everything together because that's far from the truth. We were just a country couple that love Jesus and we desired to live for Him. I truly understand James when it says, "faith without works is dead."
We had the faith to step out but if we never packed up our home and moved - our faith would be dead. My husband would still be working his "safe" 9-5 and we would never be doing what we are doing now.
We simply PAINTED our picture together. There was nothing "ready" made about our marriage. We had no connections, no hook ups, no investor, no great whatever. We literally had Jesus. WHICH IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. He made the heavens & the earth! Why do we trust in the created more than we do the Creator?? So, I ask you if you're single - do you write off men that are GOOD men but they don't have money in the bank? You may look at someone else's husband, like "why can't I find a good man?" Honey, you wouldn't have even considered him with your way of thinking! They worked OUT their marriage together and made it sweet & good. He was the janitor at that job and he tried to talk to you but you ignored him. Now, he's the CEO with a wife and kids and you're complaining about not having a good man! A good man is DEVELOPED. A good marriage takes WORK to develop and become an AMAZING marriage. MANY people want the final picture but don't realize the work that goes into it.
A few questions I had in my heart that may be asked while reading this blog:
1. Does this mean that every man needs to run and quit his job because he doesn't like it?
No. There is NO formula to this thing. It's called faith. It's called being led by the Holy Spirit. We KNEW that my husband was going to leave to go into ministry full time while we were courting so I wasn't surprised when it happened after we got married. He communicated to me where we were going and what we were doing.
2. What happened to the ministry in Mississippi?
Funny story - we actually started a church in a college classroom and then at a hotel and then in a auditorium. We were trying to start these things and we weren't ready. The church was supposed to START in Atlanta, GA. Not Mississippi. So, we eventually closed the church down and just did small bible studies there as the Lord continued to prune us.
3. My husband always has so many ideas. I'm afraid that we are going to go broke with his changing ideas.
Sounds to me like you have a visionary type husband. In these cases, learn to enjoy the ride. I know it makes you nervous and it's hard at times but laugh, enjoy the journey and be his HELP-MEET and ask the Lord to help you with not nagging him. Its easy to nag the visionary because he may not have a lot of proof in his past of being a great leader. Instead, constantly build him up and pray for him. The Lord has prepared you and MADE you to be a great helper to Him. See where you can help & jump in.
4. My parents aren't having that. I have to marry a rich man with a great job and I want to respect their wishes.
I understand. But, I'm reminded of: Matthew 10:37 "If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine." Meaning, whose voice is first in your heart? If God is leading you to marry someone and the reasons your parents don't want you with him is because he's not rich - then, that ain't biblical and it's not a good reason. If this is the case, me and my husband would have never gotten married. We barely had enough to pay for our wedding. So, God's leading is first - parents is second.
5. What if we've been broke for a long time and we are just plain tired?
Philippians 4:12 tells me that "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." I honestly feel like I went through the "money test" for about 9 years. I'm not even saying that we are "balling" now because we aren't but we definitely aren't where we used to be. I had to learn to be faithful with little before the Lord gave me more. I learned to GIVE when He led me. I know that giving is like .. whoa - the church is comin' for my money. I'm not just talking about giving to the church, but I also was giving to people in need that I knew needed it as HE led me. I was no longer attached to money. You can be greedy and broke and I wanted to make sure that the Lord was my God & not money. I was not to depend on paper but to depend on the Holy Spirit for ALL things.
So, cheers to being SUPPORTIVE of the leader you prayed for. He may not have what you think he needs now but if you married Him, you GET to believe in him. You GET to pray for him. You GET to fight together. You GET to paint your picture together. Does this mean that you're going to be rich or whatever else? Nah, it means that you're OBEDIENT to the Father and He says in 1 John when we LOVE Him, we obey HIM. This life is about being focused on ETERNITY. Not, this silly earth.
God loves you like crazy,
|Our wedding day! August 14, 2010|