Pastor quoted me in his sermon last Sunday. It’s always nice to be able to add to the sermon. It’s not nice when you’re sitting in the front row and he says the exact same thing you were crying to your husband about that week. Nothing like wanting to crawl up in a ball under your chair and start bawling. 

Larry and I purchased a franchise about 3 years ago. We felt that the Lord was leading us to start a Coffee News franchise for several reasons. The main one being it would give us more time for ministry.

We jumped in with both feet and fell flat on our faces. Right after we started the Coffee News business the economy took a turn for the worse. People were not taking ads in the paper because they were afraid. Gas prices soared and driving around town was a big part of the business. 

We began living on credit. Lots of credit. After awhile I did not even think about slapping down the plastic to pay for something. We needed stuff so I just charged it. After 4 months of living on credit we were in trouble. 

We had some ads sold and we were both working hard to make the business work. But we were up to our eyeball in debt. Finally we got some loans and were able to make a dent. My parents helped us out a lot when they moved back from Florida.

This was a very difficult time for us and I am not very good at sharing with others how very hard it was. Call it what it was: Pride. I did not want not fail. After a long summer of me kicking against God for “doing” this to us I gave it over to Him and started learning what it meant to depend on God. I am still working on that lesson.

People were buying ads and it seemed like we were going to make it. We put the girls in school. I got a job, started couponing and finally we could cover all our bills. It was still hard, but after a couple of years of hard work things were going well. 

So this past Labor Day when Larry asked me what I thought about procuring all of Coffee News Downriver I immediately said NO. All I could think of was all the pain it had been to get the Dearborn one up and running. Ugh! was all I could think. I did not want to go through all that again. 

And yet here we are. We did decide to go ahead with the Downriver franchises. We are now the owners of 7 Franchises. Larry likes to say he is a Coffee News mogul.  

The week after we made the trade to get the franchises the stock market crashed. We have not sold an ad for 3 weeks. We figured we needed to sell about 25 ads to have things running smoothly. Larry has worked non-stop every day and he sold 9. 

Last week the stress came to a head when we figured how short we would be for the month. We had prayed about this. We had sought counsel. It seemed like it was the right thing to do. Why was God allowing this to happen again? 

And this is where the sermon from last Sunday comes in. I think I said something like, “We are doing all this for God. Why is He allowing us to suffer?” to Larry just two days before the sermon. And my husband gently corrected me that day. But I guess I needed reinforcement. How wrong I was to think that way! Who am I to think that I am in control? It has taken all week for me to come to terms with this pride and sin of mine. God can do what He pleases and He will take of me. It may not be in the way I would choose, but He is always good. 

Yesterday Larry sold an ad.  And he has another one lined up for today. 

God is good all the time.

2 responses to “Lessons

  1. Julie, I am sitting here crying my eyes out. I had no idea things had been that bad for you guys. Thank you for sharing your heart. I will be praying for you.

  2. THank you so much for being so transparent. I have had that happen before where the sermon seems to be so direct that it is as if the preacher was a fly on the wall in my life. You are so right…God is good ALL THE TIME!

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