We mourn broken friendships; broken relationships, and mourn a dream that did not become a reality. I am mourning a dream that did not materialize as I had envisioned.
A dream is born
Five years ago, I began making savings towards a dream that I have held close to my heart for the longest time. Early this year, I had made enough savings towards achieving that dream. The dream was to be a stay at home mum, but still be able to contribute towards the family income doing what I love. Any financial planner would tell you that before you leave employment you should have savings enough to sustain you for at least 6 months. I had surpassed the minimum requirement.
The planning phase
I had many ideas on how to actualize my dream and I had tested two of these ideas-blogging and network marketing. I enjoyed both, but by the time I left formal employment none of these two ideas had generated enough money to allow me stay at home with my son. Nonetheless, since my mind was already made up I decided to focus on making entrepreneurship a success.
Just before I exited the work force, I had a chat with a friend who was already doing entrepreneurship on the side. He suggested two business ideas that he thought would work. One was to operate a taxi and the other to own an online boutique. His wife had tried the latter and it had become a great success. In addition, the venture did not require a lot of capital. For some reason, I feared that I would not succeed operating a boutique. I opted for the former business idea.
I thought operating a taxi was easier because I did not have to drive it myself plus it assured me a daily income and therein laid the catch. I came to realize later, that it was more lucrative if I drove the taxi because I had control over what I made. To cut the long story short, after a few months, I realized the driver made more money than I did. I made the decision then that I had learned my lesson and it was time to move on to something that made business sense and especially something that I had control over.
My husband has always been the entrepreneur. Even before we got married he had already tried many ventures that, unfortunately, had not succeeded. He also quit employment few months after I had quit. When I began experiencing challenges with the driver, he was trying to establish his music school but he needed some capital to run a music camp to raise money to buy equipments for the school. Since we were both unemployed, we decided to use our car as security. After a few hectic weeks he secured the loan from a credit firm. What we did not know, is that this credit firm was registered as a credit entity but operated as a shylock.
The picturesque dream begins cracking
The turnout at the music camp was horrible. We had made the mistake of trusting someone with advertising who had assured us that she knew the location well and would have no problem getting students for the camp. My husband had heavily invested in the camp both emotionally and financially.
The ‘credit firm’ started demanding repayment within the first week. All explanations on why the debt could not be paid earlier fell on deaf ears. They began penalizing my husband for every day the debt what not paid. The percentages were ridiculous to say the least.
When the pressure became too much, we both caved in and decided to sell the car to settle the debt. We figured that we would have some surplus, invest elsewhere and keep our peace. That was not to be. The shylocks demanded every single cent that we made from the sale of the car. My husband was left traumatized from the ordeal.
Grieving the loss of a dream
When my husband narrated the ordeal, I went through the stages of mourning-I was angry, then sad and felt betrayed. I was angry because we had committed this dream to God. I remember praying to God that if the music camp was not to be a success he should deny my husband access to the loan. Why did God allow my husband to access the loan when he knew the camp would be a failure? Why did God allow us lose all our savings when we had committed our plans to him? Did God really care? How would we now meet our basic needs?
God’s ways are not our ways
The necessity to meet our basic needs pushed me to panic mode. I began frantically looking for opportunities online. On the very day I began the search I landed an opportunity that had been suggested that I was afraid to embrace. I took a leap of faith, picked the phone and made an order for 8 hand bags. The bags sold out within the first week and I knew this is what I wanted to do. Believe it or not, 9 years ago I had envisioned doing this exact business. I had a business plan all written up but I fed fear instead of faith and this venture did not come to pass at the time.
Hope for redemption
The temptation to go back to formal employment was immense, but I was determined to make it work as a stay at home mom. I know it will not be easy but the rewards will be immeasurable.
Anyone who has grieved knows that grieving is not an event. I wish it were; it could make life much better. Life is hard; I still grieve the loss of my dream on challenging days. I struggle with understanding why God allows some things to happen in our lives.
In the book of Job 19:25, Job says, “As for me, I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on earth.” We know from the story of Job that, indeed, God redeemed all that Job had lost in double measure.
Perhaps, “Sometimes God wants my connection to Him to be more important than my comprehension of Him and His ways.” Amena Brown. My encouragement to anyone going through any kind of loss is that God is a Redeemer.
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