Grateful Reflections On A Year
Friday was a year since I formally started working for Purposeful Living INC. After a few weeks of serious discernment, I had quit my job, cashed out my retirement, and come to PLINC to work full-time after being a Board Member since the beginning. I had a 7-month-old daughter and was pregnant again, so not having income was not an option for me. At the time that I made this decision, the organization had next to nothing coming in through monthly donations and the “sane” part of me was screaming that this was insane and I’d just have to find another job again (while pregnant) in a few months. Nevertheless, I felt God telling me that this was my boat and that He would take care of His organization and His daughter.
A week after I quit my job, PLINC held a one-year anniversary party and fundraiser. Our goal was to raise $30,000 in pledges for the year and we hoped that brought in enough cash to pay bills until our May fundraiser. We raised $35,000. We were told by those familiar with the nonprofit industry that this was an unbelievable success, especially for an organization that had been around for just a year! Nadine and I felt like it was God’s way of telling us, “Don’t worry. I have this. Everything will be ok.” I started officially on February 1 and we moved into an office space on March 1 (it’s basically a closet, but it’s something!).
Come April, our funds were almost gone and we were unsure that we could meet May’s bills. I had major anxiety about then being able to pay my own bills and about my abilities in the organization. Self-doubt crept into my mind telling me that it was pointless for me to be working here if I can’t even ensure we can pay bills month-to-month. Through a few unexpected generous donations, we squeaked through to our May fundraising breakfast! Between that and sponsorship payments for our September conference, we made it through the summer pretty easily (which was a relief because I had a baby in mid-July, so I was only working about half time until he started daycare at 6-weeks).
Our fall was quite stressful from an administration standpoint. We were mentally scrambling on how we would pay bills. I had an elaborate spreadsheet documenting every penny spent, trying to cut costs wherever we could. By a miracle, we scraped through for December’s bills. Unsure if we’d be able to make January’s expenses, Nadine and I discussed the reality of not paying ourselves so we could make sure we could cover all of our expenses for our Celebrate fundraiser/anniversary party. Again, as He has every step along the way, God provided for our needs. Sponsorship pledges and end-of-year donations came out of nowhere and we actually had a surplus going into the event!
It is quite clear that God’s hand is all over this organization and He is leading the way. We have had some incredible stressful times over the past year and it has been truly terrifying at times. However, there is a huge peace and reassurance in knowing that we are exactly where He has called us to be right now and that through Him, nothing is impossible. Even when we can’t see the whole picture, we obey and have faith because we trust that God has a bigger picture.
My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” I love that verse because it reminds me that we serve the God of possibilities. We serve the God of miracles. A year later, at this same Celebrate event, we had more than double the number of people from last year and we have raised our super scary, massive, seems-like-it’s-impossible $100,000 goal (with more annual pledges coming in every day!). Even though $100k seemed overwhelming, that was the number God put on our hearts and so we walked in faith. The confidence we had in God’s generosity shaped our entire mindset for this event. I am blown away by the number of people who are willing to make sacrifices in their families to support PLINC’s mission. I have no adequate words to express my gratitude and to praise God for His goodness.
Two years into the organization and we’ve been told over and over again that it’s unbelievable what’s happened so far. To those who feel that way: Keep watching. God has a lot more to come.