September 19, 2020
It was the fall of 2015, and I had just finished my 2 year commitment of co-leading a local mom's group. I had loved my time serving other mommas, and I was really enjoying being a full time stay at home mom with our three kids. Though it was a sweet time, I also felt like God was growing my heart for something else.
My husband Rick was working at a local oil and gas company. When we first married in 2002, he had spent years getting his Masters in Accounting, his CPA, and his CFA, and he had been in business types of roles ever since then.
Rick had worked his way to the top of the ladder, and found that it was pretty empty up there. Having a certain amount of money saved in the bank and great bonus checks were nice, but they did not provide the security he hoped for. He longed to do something different, where he could truly make a difference.
This was a season of unrest...we knew that God wanted us to do something different, but honestly, we had no idea what that was.
Around that time, I started praying a very bold prayer, and that was, "Lord, please open doors widely or close them loudly." I didn't know what God's will was for us, but I prayed that it would be so evident, so we could confidently walk through the right doors.
Early in 2016, Rick started to create what we now call our Surrender™ Crosses. They are handcrafted wooden crosses, made of reclaimed wood, and they have removable nails, so you can physically pierce your burdens to the cross. He created the first one for a gift for our pastor that was switching churches, and then gradually the word began to spread.
For months, Rick would work at his "real job" and then he would come home and work until the wee hours of the morning in the garage and make Surrender™ Crosses for our friends and family. During this time, I saw a real passion growing in Rick as God was giving him a bigger purpose. What's so interesting is that Rick had never worked with wood before, and yet God was equipping him as he continued to build the crosses.
While I loved seeing this newfound passion grow in Rick, and I was also excited to see a side income emerging, I knew that we could not keep up the pace of what we were doing. I continued to boldly pray that God would open those doors widely or shut the doors loudly.
On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 (about 6 months after I started this prayer), I called Rick one morning, and asked him, "What would it take for you to just quit your job, and us do this full time?" I'm type A and love to have things planned, so this was actually a pretty crazy question and very unlike me.
Rick started to chuckle and he told me that he had JUST been running numbers to see if it was even possible for us do that. Since it was the middle of the day, he told me we would talk more that night and I let him go.
That evening, when Rick came home from work, I could sense something was different. He sat down at the dinner table, and I knew. I looked at him and said, "You lost your job today, didn't you?" He looked up at me, nodded his head yes, and I began to laugh. God had answered my prayer in a VERY unexpected way. He had closed the doors to his old business and he opened the doors to our new business, RAD JOY.
Rick says that at the moment I laughed, he knew that RAD JOY was God's will. That was not my normal type of response, and he could sense the Holy Spirit working through me.
We started RAD JOY that night, and at that time, the only idea we had was a Surrender™ Cross. Friends and family members had doubts, I'm sure that many thought we were crazy, and I remember people advising us, "You can't really have a company with just one product."
And yet, that is where God was leading us, so we went forward in obedience. When God says go, we go! Even when things seem uncertain, even when we don't have all the answers. I think back to Moses leading the Israelites and how God parted the waters once Moses started walking through it. That's what faith is - the belief and assurance of things UNSEEN!
It wasn't easy, and in fact, it was outright terrifying. To live financially month by month was hard, but we also had to learn to "surrender" many other things. We had a big family fallout (that had never happened before), Rick got incredibly sick and ended up in ICU, I battled anxiety, and the list continued.
BUT, God was faithful and He provided! In May of this year, we celebrate 4 years of owning our businesstry (business + ministry) RAD JOY. Our mission is to create beautiful and purpose-filled products that help others radically deepen their faith and joyfully share it with others. Besides the Surrender™ Crosses, we sell RAD Boxes (to help you organize your quiet time materials), prayer cards (for young children, teens, adults, and married couples), and our annual prayer guide, Daily Joy™.
To be honest, we still have a lot of uncertainty... we know not what our future holds, but we take great comfort in knowing WHO is holding it!
I pray for each person as you read this - may you be encouraged to trust God to take that next step forward. No matter how scary it is, may He give you courage to boldly go where He is leading. May the Lord place desires on your hearts that match His will for you, and when He opens the doors widely, may you walk joyfully forward in obedience!!!
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