That’s exactly how I felt 8 years ago when I was considering leaving a very secure job. My husband and I had just taken on a mortgage, and I did not know how we were going to pay our bills since both our salaries were needed to cover our expenses. But I was feeling very restless after working for 14 years at my church as a graphic designer (among many other things). Plus, I knew that God was calling me out. He was calling me to walk on water.
One day, when I was contemplating the move, He spoke very clearly to my heart and said that if I didn’t leave, I wouldn’t fulfill my destiny. At the time, this was the opposite of what was being preached from the pulpit, so you can just imagine how I felt! I was terribly afraid and unsure of the future. I was about to leave stability for something that had no guarantees. I needed a spotlight, but God was only shining a lamp on my path. My mind was full of questions … How were we going to pay the mortgage? Where was I going to get clients? What if I was about to make a huge mistake? Who would want to use my services? These were all valid questions, as I had never done professional freelancing work. I had done odd jobs for friends and family, but that wasn’t anything like running a commercial business. I didn’t know what it meant to be self-employed and all that it entailed.
Nevertheless, in spite of all the giants shouting in my face, I decided that it was better to take a step of faith than to live a life of regrets and ‘what ifs’. Trust me, the step felt more like a plunge than anything else. It was a big jump into the unknown depths of the sea. And I’m happy to report that I did not drown! My husband and I went out and bought a computer, and I managed to purchase the software I needed at a greatly reduced price.
One of my first clients was the husband of a friend who is a beauty therapist. I was thrilled to get some work. I had no idea what to charge, so I took some advice from a friend and did some research. Then other people began to hear that I had started a business and that I was available to work for them. Another client came on board and introduced me to a bunch of his clients, and I got even more work. Then I began working with a book printer who recommended my services to his clients. My pastors at the time also introduced me to some of their friends, and even more work came in. It was amazing! I did not have to spend money on advertising because people were doing the advertising for me. I had no website (that is still a work in progress, by the way), social media accounts or business cards. And yet, not one day in 8 years have I lacked work.
Of course, there have been periods that have been quieter, and to be honest, it was usually during those seasons that something was happening in my personal life, and I would not have been able to do much work anyway. For instance, when my precious mum-in-law went to be with the Lord, my business work seemed to be on the slow side, but the Lord knew that I would need the time to be able to support to my family, and so He made sure I had the space to be there for them. It was times like these that taught me to trust in God’s timing and not to be anxious when it seemed things were going too slow or not according to plan.
Since I took that plunge of faith, I have seen God come through for me every time. It was always a desire of mine to be a businesswoman, and that dream has been fulfilled. My business grew, and two years ago, it became necessary to take on another graphic designer. This year, I took on an office manager, and I have another friend who works with me as a copy editor. It’s getting to the point where I’m considering finding another designer as we have so much work to do (I’m definitely not complaining!).
The Last Twelve Years
In the past 8 years, I’ve not only started a business, but I’ve also had three children (all beautiful boys), I’ve completed a master’s degree in practical theology, and I’ve recently recorded and released an album called, The Last Twelve Years, as well as released a music video for my song, Deliverer. People are often amazed at how I manage to fit so much into my life, but truthfully, I have a phenomenal team of people around me and a very supportive husband (who works long hours but always finds the time to give me the help I need).
With every major life-changing decision I’ve made, there have definitely been giants in the land. I’ve had to overcome some real difficulties and some really painful challenges. I’ve often been tempted to give up, run away and hide. What stopped me? Firstly, knowing that I have a purpose to fulfill, and if I don’t run in my lane, it will be left empty. No one can be me and do what God has called me to do. Secondly, I don’t want to die with my dreams. There is a reason why God put these dreams in my heart, and I believe they’re for the greater good of everyone. Our dreams, though they make us come alive as individuals, are also for the benefit of others. For example, through my business, salaries are being paid and families are being supported. Thirdly, I’m setting an example for my sons. I want them to know they can achieve anything they want to in life. There is nothing beyond their reach, and as long as they give God His rightful place in their lives, they will be a benefit to humanity. Fourthly, and most importantly, I want to make my Heavenly Father proud. I know He is cheering me on, and I want to please and glorify Him in everything I do. At the end of the day, this is not really about me, but about Him through me.
The last 8 years have definitely not been easy. But the assurance of Jesus holding my hand as I walked on water has been a source of comfort and confidence. He has shown me that all things are possible with Him and that the giants are not so scary after all.
Loulita is a graphic designer, singer-songwriter and worship leader based in Bristol, UK. She started her design business 8 years ago (Loulita Gill Design) and her client base is both local and international. In 2015 she graduated from the University of Chester with a Masters Degree in Practical Theology. She recently released her debut album, The Last Twelve Years, which documents her spiritual journey from darkness to light, bondage to freedom and depression to hope. She is married to Joseph and they have three lovely boys, Emmanuel, Isaiah and Nathaniel.