In the summer of 2001, I lived in the Catskill mountains for three months, working as a camp nurse. One day, I had some extra time and went to the Arts and Crafts lodge to look at the girls’ projects. It was then that I met a fascinating person, Matt, the Art Counselor. The young man shared his background and how he pursued a dream that left him estranged from his wealthy family. Matt was from California, a self-proclaimed hippie who was vegan, an activist, and did not use drugs or alcohol. Because of his long, sun-bleached blond hair, most people thought of him as a beach bum and avoided contact with someone they perceived as looking for a handout.
Matt invited me to sit down and continued sharing his story. As a young child, he began to draw landscapes and animals. Years later, one day at the beach, a beautiful young woman sat looking at the water with a sad expression, which prompted him to sketch the contrast of beauty and grief. Although hesitant, he walked over and handed her the picture. Because the drawing reflected the sadness of her soul, she encouraged him to pursue his talent. Matt shared that hearing her positive words was the catalyst to starting his own business.
Then the focus turned to me, “If I had money to start a business what would it be?” I laughed, stating that would not be possible. But Matt was persistent. He told me to think about something that I was very good at and develop my talent into a business. It took me a minute to look beyond my creative abilities, and finally, I mentioned that I had tutored several of my classmates while in nursing school. And that was the motivation to begin my educational tutoring business for nursing students and nursing program graduates struggling with their classes and those who failed the licensure exam.
God has given each of us spiritual and natural gifts that remain unexplored for various reasons. Meeting Matt was an eye-opening experience. He insisted that discovering my purpose would add a new dimension to my life. All of us have dreams because God gave us the ability to dream. One of the significant obstacles in pursuing our goals is that we share them with the wrong people who discourage us with toxic words.
Yes, it was hard work to learn how to develop a business and marketing plan. The research revealed many tutoring competitors. How could I compete with the established tutors? That question almost stopped me from moving forward. But I prayed for guidance, and God answered my prayer. All of the tutoring companies were in brick-and-mortar locations. My niche was that I would travel to the clients at the closest bookstore or library and include the mileage in the contractual fee. I also tutored virtually via the Messenger app. After twelve years of successfully helping others to become Registered Nurses, I fulfilled my goal to give back to the nursing profession. Did I mention that I was in my mid-forties when I pursued my dream as an entrepreneur? I started my business with $500 and God’s blessing of approval. He said yes!
Our relationship with God has the potential for unlimited growth. The Lord says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, “Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name. Isaiah 65:1. God is available to us at any time of the day or night. We spend our time getting to know people for possible relationships, which may or may not work out. Please remember, we have a guaranteed relationship with God when we do our part because He can never fail us.
Whoever said, “Life is hard, and then you die” did not have a relationship with the Trinity Godhead, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. God did not create us to live empty, meaningless lives, nor is He the “Punisher” that Satan portrays Him to be. God created a beautiful world complete with vibrant colors, oceans, and natural wonders that should bring us to our knees in praise and worship. So, if we are created in God’s image, then He has blessed us with spiritual gifts and creative talents. Our lives will always involve struggle. But as long as we have breath, we can move forward, to build and to rebuild.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Present your plans to God in prayer. When our desires align with His plans, we see miracles unfold, and our dreams come to fruition. Talk to God first, and ask Him to direct you to the right people who will offer positive feedback and realistic direction to pursue your goals. You should do it!
Bible Study: Acts 16 tells us about Lydia, a wealthy woman from selling purple cloth. Remember that most women did not have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs in biblical times.
God, we admit that we are sharing our dreams and goals with everyone except you. Please reveal the path for our lives and bring the right people into our lives that we may achieve the plans you have for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.