As I reflect back on 2018, I can see that it was full of challenges, required an abundance of faith and perseverance but ultimately ended in provision. It was undoubtedly a year of patience as well as a year I can confidently say was a year in which my faith grew in both depth and breadth.
We kicked off 2018 by announcing my decision to take a further step in obedience by leaving my job, of four and a half years, at Neiman Marcus in order to pursue Social Fiber on a full-time basis. It is strange to think that the trajectory of our lives and this business was drastically altered on that mundane and chilly January day. However, it didn’t take long for me to begin to see the fruits of this choice.
With my time dedicated to growing our business, we were able to launch 5 new products (3 shirts and 2 hoodies), participate in 3 markets/art festivals, attend a small business conference in Chicago and we were blessed to be featured in 2 different online magazine articles.
The decision to leave my job also had implications on our family and spiritual lives. I now had the freedom and flexibility with my time to pursue activities, out side of my job, that, before, would not have been possible. Fiorella and I got to go on a wonderful vacation all the way to Hong Kong and Thailand. While we have gone on vacations before, I realized how much the stress of my former job at home blocked me from fully enjoying the experience. I used to spend my time stressing about work, thinking about what would be left for me once I got back, and obsessing over whether we would make our flight or not (we always fly stand-by). I was finally able to relax, unwind, and spend quality time with my wife without distraction.
In June, we were blessed with the opportunity to go on a 14 day mission trip with our church to Germany. While I may never know the effect I did or did not have on the students, God used that time to grow and challenge me. I spent the two weeks leading a bible study for a group of 16 and 17 year old boys, shared my testimony and the journey God has brought us through with Social Fiber in front of the entire camp, and I prepared and shared a talk on guys night about obedience authority and respect.
This year provided several wins and fulfilled goals that I can look back on and be proud that I accomplished them. Although, what I am truly learning is that God’s blessings don’t only come in financial or material ways. Social Fiber may not be paying me a salary, and the growth seems to be slow and challenging but God has done an amazing work over this year. None of the blessings he provided would of been possible if it wasn’t for the foundation we laid when we decided to trust in Him and walk in obedience.