From Devastation to Inspiration: Journey of a Christian Mompreneur
- Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Have you ever felt like a fraud? As if everyone sees something in you that isn’t truly there?
For many years, I felt this way about my business. Sure, I was successful by the traditional definition. I had managed to earn a six-figure income working part-time as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. I was blessed for 15 years with a business that provided me the income and flexibility I desired during my early years of motherhood. Friends and colleagues often commented that I had “the best of both worlds.” But I didn’t feel successful.
Don’t misunderstand me; I was extremely grateful for the lifestyle my business allowed me to create for my family. But as my children grew from babies to toddlers to school-age, my business did not experience growth. And my professional life was stagnant. In fact, I found myself working on the same projects I had been doing for nearly ten years. I took on assignments I was overqualified for or uninterested in simply because it was easier than making a change. I worked on autopilot, just going through the motions from one day to the next. Yes, I was thankful to have the work. But I was comfortable. I was anything but inspired.
I knew in my heart that I was not doing the work that God called me to do. I was not using my gifts and talents to serve others in a way that was making a difference in the word. But, as a self-proclaimed control freak, I was perfectly content as long as my life was predictable. As long as everything was under control. My control.
I remember the day I realized that I was no longer in control—my own personal Black Friday. I wasn’t 100 percent certain, but the empty pit in my stomach told me my time had come. Call it intuition, but when my client requested a private meeting in person on a Friday afternoon in the midst of a recession, anxiety became my best friend. I barely slept that night, bargaining with the Lord as I tossed and turned in my bed.
When the sun finally peeked through the curtains, I was filled with a sense of urgency and panic. I recited a litany of my favorite prayers, too preoccupied to be mindful of the words, yet finding comfort in the familiar sound of the words. It was difficult to focus that day. As the meeting drew near, my mind wandered from the job and the anxiety mounted. I doodled in my journal, asking the Lord for strength and comfort, writing my new mantra, “I will accept what is to come with grace and dignity.”
“Due to budget cuts, your contract cannot be renewed,” my client said. My qualms were confirmed as I watched the door close on this 15-year client. So much for grace and dignity—my immediate response was tears and devastation. I spent the weekend in the depths of self-pity and panic.
Eventually I opened my heart to the possibility of turning my business over to the Lord. I placed my concerns in his hands and asked – begged – him to lead me to success as He intends for me. I wrote one of my favorite scriptures in my journal as a reminder of God’s plan to bring me success:
“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future(Jeremiah 29:11).”
My transformation as an entrepreneur didn’t happen overnight. I didn’t receive a sign from the heavens telling me what to do next. There was no visit from an angel in a dream. But I felt the gentle hand of the Lord every day as I made small decisions that kept me on the path he laid out for me to follow.
My Lord was there for me when I was offered more than one job. He held my hand as I wrestled with each decision, unsure if I should choose a steady income over an unsure future. He opened doors for me that enabled me to pay the mortgage without abandoning my entrepreneurial journey. He did what he promises his children he will do – He provided for me.
Then, the Lord called me to lead. He called me to step into my fullest potential as a writer, a marketing expert and a Christian. It’s not as if I heard his voice telling me to go forth and lead. But he sent his messengers and opened my mind to receiving their words. He sent mentors to inspire me to fulfill my life’s purpose. He sent the love of my husband to support me. He sent colleagues to encourage me, clients to praise me, and strangers to lift me up. And he sent the seeds to plant and nourish so that The Christian Mompreneur would bloom in his glory.
When I first stepped into my brand as The Christian Mompreneur, I received interesting feedback. My corporate friends said things like, “How cute!” as if a mompreneur is not to be taken seriously. And others were horrified that I would embrace my faith in such a public way and connect it with my business. But here’s the thing— my Christian faith is the foundation for every decision I make – as a mom and an entrepreneur. I don’t want to hide it, apologize for it or separate it from my work. And through my work with other Christian moms in business, I’ve discovered that I am not alone.
So The Christian Mompreneur reflects my priorities of faith, family and business. In embracing my role as The Christian Mompreneur, I am fulfilling my call to empower and inspire moms who are running a successful business that enables them to serve others and follow God’s plan. And there’s nothing that feels fraudulent about that!
Theresa Ceniccola's story appears in the newly released book Inspired Women Succeed. Inspired Women Succeed is a collection of the inspirational success stories of 40 Christian women. For more information on Inspired Women Succeed, click here.
Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching.
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