SERENDIPITY: A FULL STORY
Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events created by chance to result in a happy or beneficial way.
Before we start, let's replace two words in that definition: change "chance" to God and "happy" to Purposeful.
Ok, now here it goes...
You ever have something that just keeps coming up in your life? Maybe it's a dream, perhaps a person, or maybe an opportunity - but it's just something you can't get out of your heart or your path? Well, many people call that serendipity and what's beautiful about it is that its purpose is to produce something that will benefit you or make you happy. I call that God. I believe that's the Holy Spirit showing you signs and wonders of what God has for you in the future. This happened with my love story - I met my husband when we were teenagers at church and from that time to our adulthood, he was always someone that kept coming up in my life and showing up in different ways. For some seasons we were besties for others we were simply Facebook friends. But10 years after meeting, we got married and this September we'll be married 4 years!
So no, my husband is not the FULL Collective story, obviously - but the Holy Spirit kept putting him in my life in so many different ways. Even when sometimes I was intentionally removing him from my life or choosing to go a while without seeing him, somehow God would still find a way to bring him back into my life. I believe God does that a lot with his plans for us.
We live in a society that basically tells us what to do and what to think. So many folks say, "if you're in your 20s and you hate your job, you're just impatient". In the past 10 years (I'm 28, but have been working professionally for 10 years), I have worked at so many different organizations and have obtained a few degrees. So many people told me, "Girl, you're buggin', just stay at your job until you find your dream job", or "girl, you haven't been there long enough to really know whether or not you like it there", and my favorite - "that work instability doesn't look good on a resume, no one is going to hire you". Well, I happen to be blessed and highly favored. What does that mean? That means that God is good and what society says doesn't apply to His plans and His goodness. It means there hasn't been a season in my life in the past 10 years that I haven't had a job. I have left jobs without having another one on standby and still, God has provided opportunities. This is not to boast at all. This is actually to show the goodness and glory of God. This is to show you how God works in "serendipitous" ways. This is also to say that this is how FULL Collective was born.
A few months ago God placed it in my heart to transition out of 2 part-time jobs that I really loved. I had 2 part-time jobs because by trade I'm a social worker and an educator and wanted to fulfill both roles in 2 different ways. Such an ideal situation. This time, I didn't hate my jobs or think the organizations sucked. I had amazing powerful female bosses and loved the women and young girls I served. But God had bigger plans for me. I got offered a perfect position with the pay that I asked at another non-profit. The start day was a month after I was hired. The week before my start date, I told them I couldn't take the position. I felt God leading me to say no, even though I already had told them yes and I was TERRIFIED, but out of obedience and faith I told them "no" anyways. Little did I know that I would be getting an offer to work at my local church (today is actually my first day) and finally begin FULL Collective as a small-business.
But let's rewind, within the timeframe that I was offered that "perfect" job and given a start date for a month later, I felt lead to begin a bible study with my friend Sara. I love facilitating conversations, I love building up women, I love the word of God, so it made sense. Don't get me wrong, I was terrified but I did it. I decided saying "yes" to God was something worth doing regardless of how I thought it would turn out.
Turns out.....it was a great idea. Actually, it was a God idea. God's idea for me to start this Bible study is how FULL Collective came to be. God gave me the name FULL and the words "FREE - UNSHAKEABLE - LOVED - LADIES". But guess what? This is NOT where it all began. This has been 10 years of dreaming, thinking, planning, envisioning, traveling, exploring, connecting, discovering, and praying. In the past 10 years, I have gone to 25 countries and have worked for numerous organizations both in NYC and internationally and all of it was to prepare to me to be FULL.
We still have our bi-weekly Bible study that meets at my home and several other homes throughout NYC and it's with women from all over. All different kinds of cultural backgrounds, different socio-economic levels, different faith journeys, different relationship status', different everything. It's one of the most beautiful things I've witnessed in my life and it took a long time to get here but I'm so glad it did because my resume may look crazy (and legit too, stop playing!), and I've written more 2-week notice letters than anyone I know. But God has dreams for us that He places in our path little by little even when we try to escape it. It's not by chance, it's by God's will - and what a beautiful thing that is.
Most of the women that have signed up for a FULL Collective gathering, retreat, or bible study are women that I have met at some point in my path for the past 10 years. This was God's plan all along. He wanted me to build the community before I built THIS community. This is why it's so important for us to not always listen to people telling us to settle at certain jobs or situations (i.e. relationships, homes, etc.) - especially if we know our purpose and are ready to walk towards it. It was important for me to be patient and keep my vision alive. It was important for me to listen to God and make moves even when I was terrified. Perhaps that's something you can try if you haven't before.
So my dear FULL lady, I know it's hard to wait and I know it's also hard to step out in faith after waiting a long time - but I've got 2 things to say about that: