WALK {WELL}

water-walking faith

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Have you ever wondered what Peter must have been experiencing as he was stepping out of the boat to begin his infamous water-walk? I think sometimes we forget the disciples were just everyday men, people like each of us. What must those moments have been like for Peter? I imagine that as he picked up and put down each foot, his emotions did a weightless dance of terror, peace, disbelief and amazement! I believe that’s the faith-walking experience all God’s children have when we let go of the natural to walk out into the unknown and place our confidence (and our little hand) squarely within the Master’s grasp. That’s definitely been what the past 3 years have felt like as I embarked on 2 very different faith journeys, one to start a giving business and the other to start a family.

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Back in 2010, I was in my 7th year as a commercial real estate attorney. A difficult, demanding profession, especially if you knew, as I did, that it wasn’t my calling. Around that time, my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family. We were so excited! Babies were raining down within our circle of friends and family. We had no doubt we’d get pregnant quickly. And we did…but then the worst happened. We lost the baby within the first trimester. It was completely devastating and we both struggled to understand. I don’t believe that God sends storms to hurt us, but to make us stronger and often to get our attention. In those moments of sorrow, He definitely had my undivided attention. I prayed, “Lord, what are you telling me?” Soon thereafter, I had an amazingly vivid dream: I was standing on the corner at the intersection of an incredibly busy street. Think NYC. Taxis and trucks were zipping by. I then heard a voice speak to me, “ Walking in faith with Me will feel like crossing the street of a busy intersection.” I remember wondering out loud, buy neurontin “What?” and immediately I felt an urge to cross the street. I felt that I HAD to go, right then. Even though the cars hadn’t stopped whizzing by and it looked treacherous to cross, I just knew I was supposed to go. While my mind screamed, “No!! What are you doing??!!”, I stepped off the curb and started the journey to the other side. The cars kept zipping but nothing touched me. I was completely safe. It felt like I was weightless, floating to the other side while surrounded by a protective shield.  I’ve never had a dream that vivid or that powerful before and I haven’t since. I’m confident that I had the dream to prepare me for the life-altering and difficult faith tests that unfolded over the next 3 years.

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As I pressed in closer to God during that time of grief, He put on my heart that it was time to trust Him with my purpose and career. Our recent loss had renewed my understanding of how precious life is and that tomorrow isn’t promised. If I was going to fulfill God’s purpose, I needed to start like, yesterday! I spent a year journaling, praying and soul-searching. order prednisone online canada “If I could do anything in the world, what would it be?” I had always loved entrepreneurship, but I wanted my business to be about more than the bottom line. I wanted my business to help people. I decided I would start a for-profit company that chose to give. I began with the simple concept of giving and I built a charitable jewelry company around that core. I’d done some research on the direct sales industry and became a fan of its ability to empower women. I folded in the direct sales model into Socialite Pink, where the host of one of our Trunk Shows could also choose a charity to support with the sale proceeds. I had never made a piece of jewelry in my life! So I took classes and watched YouTube videos. I went part-time at my law firm job and then a few months later had my launch party in my living room! At my launch, I was hoping for a showing of $600 or so. I thought that would be AMAZING given that the titans in my industry space, ones that do $100Ms in annual sales, did launch parties of $2000. I actually ended up with over $2100 in sales! My husband came home with congratulatory roses and found me sitting in our living room staring off into space. I told him, “I think I know how Peter must have felt when he got out of the boat.” I understood in that moment that Peter wasn’t really walking on water; he was walking on top of Jesus’ word to “Come.” little-bird

His word made a safe place for each of Peter’s steps on top of those waves. I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going and not the slightest clue how to get there. All I had was a “Come.” The whole experience of stepping out on faith with this company felt like…floating while surrounded by a protective shield. Since the start of Socialite Pink, I’ve shifted our business model from direct sales to e-commerce. Inspiring and empowering women to live a giving lifestyle is still the heartbeat of this company. For every piece purchased, SP donates a necklace to a woman-overcomer, sparkle you, sparkle her! This shift has been a faith journey all by itself (a faith journey inside a faith journey!). I essentially started over. It’s been incredibly hard, to accept that you need to change directions and then to learn a new business model while still operating. I’ve had to learn the many layers and forms of what trusting Him really means, to let go of control and to simply endure.

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During the years that followed, my husband and I have continued trying to start a family. Very soon after the first loss and after the NYC dream, we experienced our second loss of a baby. I was determined not to be down. These tragedies had given me a much deeper appreciation for all the things God had given to me and I decided to focus on those blessings. So we went to church not a few days after the second loss. During the service, I exchanged pleasantries with a really nice woman sitting behind me with her husband and son. Nothing much, just a “Hi, how are you?” But I remember thinking repeatedly for the rest of the service, “I’m so glad she’s here! I’m just so glad they’re here!” I can’t say I’d had that kind of response to sitting near someone before. Then, toward the end of the service, I felt a soft tap. The woman leaned in and said, “I don’t know you, but God has a word for you.” I was going to be polite and listen, but, in all honesty, I didn’t really expect anything revelatory. She whispered in my ear, “God says He has seen your faithfulness. You have not been forgotten. Your multiplicative blessing is on the way. Your family shall be greatly expanded.” I just about collapsed on this poor 5’1″ woman as I broke into sobs.

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I’ve never seen that woman or her family again despite always looking for her. After that word, my husband and I experienced a 3rd loss. That was tough. So tough. We got the furthest along with the third pregnancy and it came after that miraculous word from the woman at church. There’s nothing so painful as an unfulfilled heart’s desire. It can cut deep, to the bone. I recall one afternoon prayer session following our third loss. I was actually believing God for the miracle of making the baby live again. I thought, “Well, isn’t He the same God as He was for Lazarus? Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever.” As I prayed, the heartbreak felt like a searing current running from my brows to my soles. In the midst of the tears, I felt like I needed to make a declaration, maybe for me more than for Him. I needed to hear myself say these words, to drive this stake into the ground. With voice trembling, I said, “But God, if You don’t do this for me, if You don’t give us back this baby…”  Now my whole body was shaking. It was taking all of the strength I had left to finish this statement. I felt like I was pulling strength from my toes. In a hoarse whisper, I firmly established God as Lord over this journey, over my heartache and over my hope: “If You don’t give us back this baby…I’ll still serve you.”

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I’m not sure which one has been harder, the faith walk for Socialite Pink or the faith walk for a family. They have been 2 very different experiences. Starting Socialite Pink has reminded me of when God told Abraham to start walking to a place that He’d show Abraham. With this faith journey, you don’t know the destination. You just put one foot down in front of the other and continue walking out the last thing He told you to do, trusting Him that the end of the journey will be His best for you, wherever it may lead you. In contrast, our faith walk for a family has developed another kind of faith muscle. When God tells you the end, like when He promised Abraham that he would be the father of nations, we know the destination, but we may have no idea when or how our trials and challenges will coalesce into that expected end. I know one thing: I’m a different person than I was at the start of both journeys. And I’ve always been up for an adventure! I think I’ll keep going on both. Can’t wait to see where walking in faith with Him leads me.

1 Comment on water-walking faith

  1. Stacy
    May 11, 2016 at 9:45 am (4 years ago)

    Oh my sweet Brooke what an amazing story. Thank you so much for being so open and sharing something to deeply personal. Your story gave me chills and hope and reminded me to have more faith like you and Peter. After reading it I went to prayer for you. Keep being faithful my sister your blessing are coming.

    Reply

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