Today I stumbled upon an old, unseen blog post I wrote on the day I made a tough choice.
The actual story of the events in the months and year leading up to my decision to let go of a dream is a book all its own. For the purposes of this post, I’ll simply say that something shifted deep inside in late 2014, early 2015. I encountered God like never before through the Holy Spirit. As a result, it became clear that to go to the next level, I needed to be willing to lay aside everything.
That meant giving up my dreams in order to adopt the plans and purposes God had for me. In the short-term it seemed like a loss, but in the long-run, I gained so much more.
Looking back, I can say that when we decide to shift our life to line up with God’s purposes, it often requires us to let go of a dream before we can understand and grasp what’s better.
I knew God was asking me to lay aside the business I had at the time. Truth be told, I didn’t do it right away. It was a long process to get to the point where I could pull that trigger. The following account is the day that I stopped holding on and let it go…and it was really hard.
LETTING GO OF A DREAM
written in August 2015
“There is so much satisfaction when you see the visible and physical manifestation of your dreams take form. For the last 5 1/2 years I have put everything inside of me into building a boutique business. Nearly every morning I walk in my store and before turning on the lights, I look around, taking in the stillness of the morning light. The hard wood floors are still shiny, even after decades of shoppers. I have the most gorgeous chandelier that takes your breath away the moment you open the vintage wood and glass door and step over the creaky threshhold. Pretty dresses hang perfectly on the racks. It’s a lovely store. I’m always amazed how far I’ve come.
Building this busines wasn’t all on my own. My husband, family, friends pitched in countless hours of time, finances, and tools to help build my business from $500, an idea, and a jar of locally-made chocolate sauce into the beautiful chandeliers, turquoise skulls, hand-crafted cowgirl boots, leather bags, and cowhide rugs that now greet me every morning.
The showroom is so pretty and I find delight in discovering artisans of all kinds who create adorable outfits, leather accesories, and native-American jewelry. It’s an honor and joy to bring it all together into a beautiful place.
It’s funny to think that it all started humbly with my husband and I, along with my little son, setting up booths a local art shows to display locally-made products. We travelled in an RV, setting up and tearing down artwork, pottery, leather goods, and even local salsa and chocolate sauce. Our little family did this nearly every weekend for 2 years. Then, we grew the business enough to renovate and move into my first storefront in January of 2012.
And it hasn’t been easy since then.
Two wildfires, two floods, two name changes, and a physical location move later I feel like I’m finally at the cusp of a turning point in my business. My name is starting to be recognized. I’m building a solid, loyal customer base. And now it becomes clear I have to lay it all down.
I have struggled with this decision for over a year.
Today I woke up in an emotional breakdown because I knew, that I knew, the time had come to close the store. Honestly, I’ve spent the better part of the day blubbering about a bunch a self-defeating nonsense and sporting puffy eyes, lips, and cheeks, and there’s an annoying throb buried somewhere in my head that keeps threatening to explode at any moment.
Yet…after a firm mental decision to finally close this door, there’s been a soft peace. I’m still catching myself tearing up at moments because it feels like part of my identity is being ripped away and I have a gaping wound.
I did everything I could to hold on to my dream.
Ultimately, I had to loosen my fingers and release it. Not easy to do. I know that sometimes we have to release one thing in order to move forward in the next steps. To me, it’s hard not to think that I’m throwing away six years of sweat, tears, sleepless nights, money, time away from my family…for what? I have no idea (yet).
In the end, I know that my God is faithful. Hope and faith mean doing what you know in your heart is right even though you can’t see the next steps. Hope reminds me that there is a promise in the future I can look forward to and faith leads me when I am blind.
I wish I had some wine right now because 1) it’s been a pretty rough day and 2) I’d raise my glass to say “here’s to the future and to stepping out in faith knowing that something good is going to come out of this even though I can’t see ‘squat’!”
Toodles for now,
ON THE OTHER SIDE
I loved reading this entry I wrote in the heat of a painful moment and now I’m living in the fruit of the decision I made nearly five years ago. Even though it was a painful decision (and my family and I lost a boatload of moolah), it was the right one.
The business I have now marks no resemblance to my boutique days. Yet it was the my years as a boutique owner that laid the foundation of where I am now. All the late, late nights and struggling to learn on my own because I couldn’t afford to take courses or hire help meant that I received a sweet education and the tuition was my sweat and sleepless nights.
I love the new dream that God has planted in my heart – it’s so much better. But I would have never found it if I hadn’t stepped out in faith to let go of the old one.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8 NAS)