2017 is done and 2018 holds a world of opportunity. I won’t sugar coat this one, 2017 was rough. In my heart, I know it was our year of character building and faith refining, yet in my head I have never wanted to throw my hands up in the air and walk away from something so much.
One Sunday, as our problems circled round and round in my head, I began asking God, what was the point, what were we even doing here?
I was questioning my husbands and my very existence in the business world, while contemplating how glorious I lives would be without the pressures we all know too well.
And then it hit me… the voice of God, like a light-bulb being switched on. He spoke clearly, with a sense of comfort, ‘I need you to walk through it to help others through’. And in a precise moment of clarity, my feet were back on the ground and I remembered what I was here for.
So, buckle up ladies as I share some raw truth. Here I will unpack two key areas we believe contributed to the valley we walked this pass year, and some of the strategies we used along the way. I share this with prayer that it will encourage you if/when you might also experience the same.
Firstly, we experienced significant business growth, but didn’t have the procedures and systems to support it. While the work was a great blessing, we didn’t steward it correctly. We couldn’t, we were treading water and riding the wave in the hope we’d wash up on the beach eventually.
Once we did, and our growth plateaued we had the opportunity to address the issues we had faced and create the systems we desperately needed. Thankfully we have seen improvements since implementing new strategies. But there is a long road still ahead.
Here we realised it was ‘game-on’. If we wanted to operate in business at a certain level, it was time for us to level up. We have since taken on formal study as well as worked with mentors to increase our own capacities. God has given us all we need to fulfil our assignment on earth, but we still have to get up and step out and learn or activate it.
Consider these points:
- Are there areas in your business you struggle, and you might need the support of a mentor or to do some study to better equip yourself?
- Do you have systems in place to support growth?
- Do you have the right team in place or the capacity to recruit the right team member when the time comes?
- If you are praying for increase, are you really ready for it?
Secondly, we stepped out this year into ministry opportunities. We launched our mission statement, ‘Cleaning for a Cause’, and started involving our team members in the missions work we as a business were part of. This was a powerful shift in our business, that certainly rattled the gates of hell.
Jeremy & I also had a number of opportunities this year to speak out about the goodness of God and His provision for us to start and operate this business. And it seemed like each time we spoke out… hells gates were rattled just a little more.
So along came the spiritual attacks.
We doubted ourselves, we doubted our abilities. Fear started to creep in. But we fought, and continue to fight hard. There are lots of things to do in the midst of a spiritual battle, but personally the most effective for me is Worship. Naturally I love to Worship. I love to sing so it comes easy for me. But there is something about worshiping in the midst of turmoil, it’s a statement to the enemy. That no matter what you throw at me, I will Worship God! I would worship everywhere. In the car, cooking dinner, in the shower. I would even get to work early, before everyone else, and worship in our office. Invite the presence of God in and mark that ground as His!
I am reminded of a scripture that seems to continue to pop up in our lives, James 1:2, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…
Joy to me at that time was through gritted teeth, worshipping made that joy just a little easier to find.
Consider these points:
- Am I under Spiritual attack or am I stepping out and can I expect some resistance from the enemy?
- How do I fight best? (Prayer, Worship, Fasting)
- Do I have a support network around me to hold me in prayer when times get tough? (if you don’t… that’s what CWIB are here for… please reach out!)
We still have plenty of work to do before we are on top of a mountain again. But we are working our way there. I am constantly reminded that you learn your greatest lessons in the valleys. These are the moments we will remember as we enter each new phase of our lives.
So, as I sit here on holidays reviewing the year that was, I want to encourage you to also look back at the year of 2017. Good, bad or indifferent, review it, celebrate it or learn from it. And then, when you’re ready, knuckle down and write out your goals for 2018. Take what you have learnt and apply it!
Wishing you all a very happy New Year!
To find out more about Emily Bell from Work Life Dream visit her Website Here >>