Monday, May 10, 2010
So, what happens when you say "no" to God? We found out the hard way.
Bruce had just told the Lord that he still wasn't ready to go into the ministry because his wife needed her chance to make it as an artist. See Wrong Direction Part 1 , and so we started down our own path, leaving the blessing of the Lord behind.
I didn't realize what had happened between Bruce and the Lord. I should have known, should have sensed it in my spirit, but I was so wrapped in my new career, and Bruce was not about to burst my bubble.
Instead we continued with our plans. We did some renovating, had some prints made from a few of my paintings, contacted suppliers for framing and art supplies, called my favorite artists to teach the various types of art lessons, and set up our gallery for my oil paintings and the creations of some of the best artists in the region.
We made plans to put up a big sign, but that's when we hit our first snag. We were on the Niagara Escarpment where nothing can happen without the approval of the Escarpment Commission. And the Escarpment Commission takes its own sweet time, especially when God is not on the other end of the line working for you. How do you attract customers without a sign?
We decided that we needed to go heavy on radio and newspaper adds. That was expensive but how else were we going to attract customers? I cut the cost down a bit by doing a weekly arts column in a regional paper, a monthly column in an arts magazine, and a monthly television report. All these helped expand my writing experience, but had a minimal effect on our sales.
We had contacted all the artists on my long list, hoping they would support us with their business. They were delighted to have a place to display their work and to shop "if they ran out of a few things between trips to Toronto." (three hours drive away)
Our prices were comparable with Toronto, our selection was great, our artists were talented, but our blessing from above was missing, and after a year of struggling, we had lost all our savings and our health, and were in debt beyond hope of recovering. Finally, we were ready to go the way God had planned for us.
And oh the blessings that were waiting for us when we yielded to His will!
The next blog, The Decision and the ones that follow will focus on those blessings.