Self-employment is the dream for many people. “I want to be my own boss,” they say. And that’s a great dream, until work slows down or something stands between them and a job. Self-employment is hard. It means long hours, sometimes not being able to pay yourself adequately, and wondering where your next job will come from. Over the past few months, it has tested me and my husband in many ways. But you want to know something beautiful? It has also strengthened our faith. Isn’t it funny how God works? He uses things that stress us to draw us closer to Him and build our faith. Self-employment strengthened my faith, and I want to share that story with you.
Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money, but we always knew where the money was coming from. My dad was a high school teacher and football coach, which meant that he got a steady paycheck every month. After college, I entered into the teaching field, as well. While that’s not the highest paying job in the world, I knew that I would get paid on the 26th, every month, without fail. Then, I married my wonderful husband, a ranch hand and painter, and everything I knew about income changed.
After a few months of marriage, the school year ended, and I became a homemaker, which was exactly what both of us wanted. Suddenly, we were completely self-employed. Not only is Caleb a ranch hand and painter, but we also run a photography business, a film business, and a woodworking company. I run this little piece of the Internet, as well as working as an online transcriptionist. We are living the dream.
But I’ll just be honest; sometimes there isn’t work. In the winter, it’s hard for Caleb to find painting jobs. When it rains or snows, he can’t work on the ranch. Photography, film, and woodworking all have their up seasons and their down seasons. I can make a pretty consistent income off of transcriptions, but it pays for our groceries and that’s about it. We have our great months, with work every day and photo sessions on the weekends, but we also have our hard months, where our income simply doesn’t match our expenses.
In the midst of the hard months, it’s far too easy to question God, to ask, “What did we do wrong? Why isn’t there work? We’re here, and we’re willing.” But over the past few months, there are a few truths that God has revealed to me through our journey with self-employment. They’re truths that I needed to hear, because they’re truths that strengthened my faith and renewed my trust in God.
God Is Faithful
If there’s one thing that God has taught me over and over and over again these last few years, it is that He is faithful beyond words, beyond reason, and beyond doubt. That’s how I know it’s all gonna be okay. We know that at least for this season, self-employment is God’s path for our life, and Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations.” When we don’t have work and the money isn’t coming in, we seek God harder. We pray, we read, we study. We love God, we keep His commandments, and He is faithful to provide work. That’s who He is. Plain and simple.Self-employment has given God the opportunity to speak these truths to my heart. Click To Tweet
God Is Our Provider
My husband works extremely hard for our family, and I thank him every day for providing for us. But in the end, Caleb is not my provider. God is. Caleb can work like crazy, and he does, but he’s not in control. He either has work or he doesn’t, and when he doesn’t, we are especially reminded of this truth. We can’t do anything on our own. God alone provides for us. In Genesis 22, after almost having to sacrifice his son, Abraham names the mount on which he stands Jehovah-Jireh, meaning “The Lord will see to it. He will provide.” God is our provider, our Jehovah-Jireh. He will see to our needs, and He will provide for us. We trust Him.
God Wants Us To Seek Him
“Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:31-33
I would add to that, saying ‘Where shall we work?’ God knows that we need work, so that we can simply function as a family. It’s our most basic need. Here in Matthew, we are reassured that God knows that. But we are also reassured that that’s not what we should be seeking or pursuing. We are to seek God, to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, and then He will provide. This isn’t a ploy; God isn’t trying to trick us into seeking Him. But He knows our hearts, and He knows that we need Him far more than we need food, clothing, or work. He reminds us time and again to seek Him, and sometimes He uses unemployment to draw us back in. God’s heart is for us, and when we seek Him, He can reveal that to us.
The funny thing is, something happens every single time we seek God. You know what it is? He provides. He gives us work. He is faithful. God ties all these truths together in a nice little bundle of employment and presents them to us as a gift of His heart. I won’t say that self-employment is the easiest or most glamorous life. It’s a difficult journey. But the past few months have strengthened my faith so much that I wouldn’t have it any other way. God is so good, friends.Self-employment strengthened my faith, and I want to share that story with you. Click To Tweet
Now it’s your turn. Have you experienced the joys and trials of self-employment? What truths has God spoken to your heart?