"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11
When I started Mississippi Stitches in 2015, I assumed this side-gig would remain a side-gig until I retired from my "corporate" job. I enjoyed doing projects for a little extra money, and I had no desire to leave my nursing career. When I reopened my shop and focused only on home decor in 2018, I realized how much more I enjoyed running this business. As my business continued to grow in 2019, I couldn't shake the feeling that I wanted to see what more this shop can do.
My prayer has always been for direction. I think most of us prefer God reveal large flashing signs that point certain ways. Sometimes He answers with a big flashing sign, but other times He remains silent. A few years ago I was reading a book by John Ortberg, "All the Places to Go: How Will You Know?" If you haven't read this book, you should go pick it up now. This book has changed my perspective on decisions we make and how we choose to live. Ortberg thoroughly discusses this very perplexing issue. "What if God wanted me to choose door #1 but I chose door #2? Why couldn't He have made the choice plainer?" Ortberg asserts however that God's will is not which career we choose, or in which city we live, or who we marry, or which house we buy. God's primary will is that we are His image - "somebody with the character of Jesus." Moreover it's not necessarily which open door we choose that matters to God, it's how we enter that door and how we live out our lives after entering that matter most.
Because God's will may be for us to choose which door we enter, He rarely, if ever, presents to us the outcome of moving through that door. That would make the decision too easy, right? God knows if we do not make the decision to enter on our own and without His big flashy signs, our faith in Him will not grow. The silver lining of it all is that if we approach an open door with the right heart, God can make even the "wrong door" the perfect choice. Ortberg writes that "an open door is a beginning, an opportunity, but it has no guaranteed ending. It's not a sneak peek at the finish. If it is entered, it can be entered only by faith."
Since earlier this year, I have had this longing for more. This unsettled feeling has consumed me in my personal life and in regards to my career choices. I've prayed hard, asked for answers, begged for direction, and thrown my hands up in surrender. A few weeks ago I decided to "Go." As much as I fear changing paths and taking a leap, I know this decision is not impulsive and not without prayer. Even if the outcome is not what I am hoping it to be, I will not look back with regret.
I have decided to leave a job and place I loved. A place where I felt stable. A place where I felt comfortable. Instead, I have decided to enter a door where I cannot see the future. Where the risks are great. Where the path is unknown. But more so where I know my faith will grow.
My nursing career for at least the moment is taking a backseat to Mississippi Stitches. I have loved the community this pillow and home decor shop has created for me. I have loved the many other doors it has opened. And even more so, I have loved how it has allowed me to have the creative outlet I've longed for all my life. The future of this little pillow shop is unclear, but I am optimistic of what's to come. I hope you'll continue on this journey with me because your kindness and encouragement mean so much to me!
Over the next several weeks, I'll share some more goals I have for growing this shop. I'll reveal a few more short-term plans I have, and I hope you're as excited as I am to enter through this door and see what is to come. If you'll do me one small favor in the meantime, please tell your friends and family my pillow shop exists. I ask that you help me spread the word that my doors are open and that I want to help make your house a place you can call "home."