All I can say is that I shouldn't be surprised. It wasn't my plan, but it sure was His.
Ten years ago I began to dream of Sterling and Stone. I dreamed of conferences and retreats and communities. I have most of it built in my head. Save for the dramatic turn arounds God likes to throw in.
Unsplash photo by Berenice Martinez
Four years ago I started a business with the intent of building the above stated dream. I pursued it as an LLC because I'd already built and run a nonprofit and had hopes of somehow 'making some profit' in my business. Not a grand amount, just what I needed and I had a benevolence fund set up so that S&S could be a blessing to others.
Then, last week, I had a three hour-middle of the night-why don't I just make coffee-conversation with God. I was mad, honestly. I was hearing Him say to make Sterling and Stone a nonprofit. Now, hear me... I prayed about this decision for a VERY long time years ago and heard nothing/nada/zip about it. So I took imperfect action and began what is today an LLC. So when I say I was mad it was for two reasons.
One, because 'I ALREADY ASKED THIS QUESTION, LORD! AND YOU SAID NOTHING!'
Two, because running a nonprofit for 14 years has had some trauma associated with it and I've struggled to move into the idea of doing it all over again. I've tried to get my business off the ground for four years, laying a strong foundation, moving slowly, building with wisdom and prayer. All to find out that it's not the right path for me.
So here we are, ten years into the dream and I'm yet again asking God for a strong foundation, strong team, strong favor. And I do believe He will give it all.
And I'm writing to let you know that this is how to pivot. You can do your best to move forward, take the best course of action knowing it will be imperfect, assess and reassess, pray and fast, ask for help, be willing to be stretched... and yet after all of it you may hear these words:
"Go the other way, child."
If you do hear this, know that there's a reason for the timing. Know that He is watching and you have His full attention. And just say yes. It's not worth it to fight God's will and best way. His path will always be more fruitful.
I trust Him to show me the way forward, to pay the costs of the transition, to bring a team and donors, to lay the groundwork with supernatural favor. I trust Him to alleviate the fear and trauma associated with the sacrifice of the last two decades. This is the new thing, the old thing has passed. My company is experiencing a rebirth and it is the path I've chosen because it's the fruitful, hopeful, joyful path of the Lord.
I hope you'll come with me:)
I am currently still praying about what it means to add non-profit work to what I do. It feels so in my heart, yet I have not yet heard from the Lord about how to implement the changes. I have a few options. One is to add non-profit work to my business as an "arm", one is to start a separate non-profit work and the last is to completely change S&S into a non-profit altogether. I suppose you will find out eventually when I do! The reason I am airing all of this process is so that you can see it as I experience it because I believe that is the best way. Then you see my humanity, my frailty, my hope and trials, and the way that I must pray in order to discover the way I am to go. Bless you my friend. And pray for me:)