A client of mine, from my software business—let’s call her Brenda, though that’s not her real name once told me that dreams for her were now distant as she went to work one particular day. After years of service, she was facing her last day of employment. “Where did I go wrong?” she questioned over and over. With no job prospects in sight, she tried her hand at starting a business. Scraping up what little energy she had, she went to several agencies looking for answers on how to start a small business.
Confused by the information, she dove in, only to find her business idea was not ready enough to generate sustainable income. She spent all her time trying to fix the business only to become more and more overwhelmed. Day and night she toiled with only moderate results. She made some money, but her bills were more than her income.
“Why hasn’t anyone called me?” she cried out. Not only were customers few and far between, but the church she attended for years never once looked in on her. I assume she felt this way, but may have never expressed it to anyone. Knowing Brenda, she was only looking for advice, not a handout. Brenda is a single mom and a veteran who struggled to make ends meet. “Join a small group,” they said. But there was not one where she could discuss business problems. She felt like giving up.
I felt the same way. After losing a job at a Fortune 500 company, I spent years trying to figure out where GOD wanted me. My fear of losing everything made me jump into starting a business without thinking. I thought of the first thing I could do that would make money and worked day and night, trying to make the business work, while looking for a job.
I simply wanted some money. But GOD had a different plan. HE was strengthening me to see beyond money.
When I quieted down to listen to GOD, I was able to see I lacked surrender, I was full of fear and I was not following GOD as closely as I thought. I needed help and no one was around to provide the assistance I needed. I felt forgotten as many feel when they lose a job, or a loved one, or are divorced or face medical challenges.
But on the flip side, sometimes questions cause pain. When I was unemployed, people popped into my life to ask, “How are you doing?” I would say “Fine” to ward off the well-meaning, yet pain-filled questions like “Did you get a job?” or “How’s that business coming?” My clients told me they would receive questions like, “Did you find someone to date yet?” or “Do you think you can get a personal trainer to lose some weight?” or “Did you find an apartment after losing your home?” or the best one, “Have you prayed about this?”
Most of the time, the answer is “Yes” or “No” to these types of questions. The fact is many small business owners don’t know how to help people help them. Many feel forgotten by others in the community. The weight of starting or running a business for a forgotten person feels heavy and there may be a reason for their absenteeism in church or other meetings in the neighborhood and other civic arenas. They need a group where they can talk about JESUS while talking about their business issues.
There is hope for the forgotten.