I have a story to tell. It’s not a story that I was planning to share until our company Jag Journey, creators behind JagSuite digital marketing website solution, made its first million. However, this morning during my devotion, I had a conviction to share it now. Now if you’re not a Christian, you can choose to continue reading or decide to move along - it’s YOUR choice … and that itself is beautiful!
If you lost your job recently, I’ve been there. On June 3, 2018, I lost my job and the almost six figure income that came with it during a time when I was struggling with women-related health issues. Whatever your circumstance is right now during this global health pandemic, COVID-19, I know you’re stressed and worried. I’ve been there and although it may not seem like it, my story is a story of hope!
I lost my job just after our company, then called WinnComm, opened its first brick and mortar office. At first we were ok. Unemployment kicked in and our company was landing contracts. We had to choose what to pay as unemployment was less than half of my paycheck but for the most part, we were able to keep up with our overhead between our personal and business expenses.
Six months later unemployment ran out. Now mind you, I was looking for a full-time job and sending out 3-7 applications per week. Not only was it a requirement but it was my intention to find a new job. Nothing came. I have 20 years of experience in my field and I couldn’t land an interview, let alone a job. Our ability to maintain our personal overhead ceased. First, it was the credit cards and I watched as the collection calls increased and my credit score decreased. I’ve always had an amazing credit so this was difficult for me to watch. I turned off my ringer and I stopped checking my personal email.
We had to choose which bills to pay. Soon, we couldn’t pay our office rent and we had to move out of the office we were so proud of and that Jim, the mastermind and developer behind Jag and my faithful husband, remodeled with his own hands. It was a beautiful office! Then we couldn’t pay our mortgage. We borrowed money from family, sold our boat and utility trailers. We did whatever we had to do and the one thing we did was keep on paying our small developer team. We had to keep development going and they had families that depended on us and this was a huge responsibility and stress on our shoulders.
I woke up in a panic most mornings. I was losing hope so what did I do? I prayed. Thankfully, I have my faith and although it was weak as I didn’t fully trust God at the time, He and my family was all I had. I wasn’t sure we were going to be ok but Jim always reassured me that we would be ok, no matter what happened. He has been through much in his life! But I tried not to show him my stress but he knew. I just kept thinking to myself, why is this happening? You have to remember, the economy was booming. Companies were growing and everyone was hiring! Everything was thriving around us and I felt left out! Why couldn’t we get a piece of success that everyone else was experiencing? I was frustrated. I was embarrassed. I was scared to lose EVERYTHING. The only hope I had was in Jesus because He promised to take care of us! This is His Word! Now, our views of what that means looks very different as I have learned.
To help ease my anxiety, I started working as a food delivery driver and there were days I made $13 an hour and this didn’t include the wear-and-tear on my car but it was income! Now mind you, we never had zero income coming in. Our company did have monthly revenue (MRR) and did make sales, it just wasn’t enough to cover all of our expenses for both the business and personal. And since we were a new company with a new solution, sales didn’t happen all the time but I was thankful to God for the ones that we did have!
During this time, extended unemployment didn’t exist, there wasn’t any stimulus money or emergency lending for small businesses and unlike now, where there are lots of programs available to help. Plus, companies are extending payment dates and honestly, all these things are HUGE blessings! Take advantage of them even if you have to hold for hours on end. This will help you get through this time! We didn’t have any of this. I had to rely on God. I had to tell myself His time is perfect! I was on my knees begging! And just about the time when our house was about to enter the foreclosure process, we landed a contract with a huge local tech company that was brought to us by my friend. She is truly was a Godsend! Then we made several sales large enough to catch up on our mortgage. I truly was so thankful to God! Everytime I open our cupboards full of food, like now because of the quarantine, I say a prayer and thank God.
Then a few months later, my health goes awry due to anemia and woman-related issues that worsened. I became so weak that I called my surgeon crying on the phone begging to move up my surgery schedule. This was just this last November. Again, when I take my iron tablet, I am reminded to thank God for healing.
Now, although this may seem bleak, it’s not. Through all of this my relationship and trust with God has improved. I look forward to the time I spend with Him, reading His Word. I have learned to let go and live more for today. My priorities have changed. We have dedicated Jag Journey to God and Jim and I are its managers. We changed the name of WinnComm to Jag Journey because everyone knew us by our solution and not the company. In one of my daily devotions, I was prompted to have Jag stand for Just Allow God, so Jag Journey’s full name is Just Allow God Journey. And boy are we on a journey!
So during this pandemic and job loss, I want you to know there is hope in Jesus. He loves you and He will take care of you. And remember what I said, His picture and our picture of what that means is different. In January I started doing a devotional on most days. I wanted to hear God more and trust Him more and I’m so thankful that He led me to do this now that this coronavirus pandemic is here. I don’t know what is going to happen but I do know that God has our back. You and I will be ok if you have faith in Jesus and know He is the son of God who died on the cross for our sins and defeated death and rose again.
Maybe we experienced unemployment and all we went through before everyone else so that we could share our story and explain how we found hope through Jesus. I don’t know but I do feel led to tell you this story now and not wait as I had wanted to.
Our prayer is that you find hope in Jesus. If you want to reach out to me to ask questions or want us to pray for you, please email me at [email protected]. God bless you!