Yesterday was when it really hit me.
I drove up to the IA studio to drop something off, and there was a "For Rent" sign in the widow.
It has been an interesting journey. I never thought I would see the day that I actually had my own business established downtown with my best friend.
And once I had that dream, I never thought I would see the day that we closed it.
A verse that has been my heartbeat over the past few months is in Ecclesiastes 3... There is a time and purpose for everything. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God handed a successful business to Kristi and I during this season of life for His purposes. I know it, based on the fact that He blessed us so openly every step of the way.
IA has been a dream for both of us, in different ways. Running a business together has taught us more about life, about relationships, and about ourselves than anything else ever could. Now that I am starting to step away from it, it has become more and more evident just how much this business, and my partnership with Kristi, has taught me. I am coming out of this experience a more confident, passionate, responsible, and genuine person.
Kristi and I had many good times, and like any relationship, there was bound to be difficulty, especially given how different we both are. Imagine Artists was who it was because of our blended personalities and talents, and that equaled a beautiful thing, that under the best of circumstances, worked.
IA isn't closing because we didn't have a good thing going. Business was going well. If I had to tell you one reason why, I couldn't. It is the culmination of many years of laughter, goodness, sadness, tears, and hard work. All I can really say is that even now, I can already look back and see how God used this amazing time in our lives to shape us each into someone better, and that "someone better" in each of us will find our new journeys and touch others in more impactful ways because of how we affected one another.
Throughout this entire process, my personal testimony is that God has never shown Himself more clearly and dearly in my life. I am nothing but thankful.
He has appeared in my friends and my family. He has appeared in phone calls and notes and letters. He has appeared in encouraging words spoken to me daily by any given person, and He has appeared to me in the peace of my heart. He has given me a smile of joy each day, and an excitement and passion to carve out my new path of purpose for the future.
I have no idea how that looks at this point. All I desire to do now is to forge ahead with what I have, and be obedient.
So far, this has taken me to a free-lance part time position in graphic design at an ad agency in Pekin. When I'm not helping out there, I am currently wrapping up clients and projects with IA as I transition out, and having fun setting up a new photography venture for the future. More details to come in a little while.
I would like to close with saying that I truly love and cherish IA, and Kristi's partnership as a best friend and also a business owner. God has given me an amazing blessing from each... Makes me think of James 1. Every good gift comes from above... Thank you, Jesus, for knowing what I need and when I need it. Thanks for giving me the passion to pursue, the stamina to keep going, and the courage to conquer.
May His work be done... That He who has begun a good work in me can carry it out!
Love you all. Be back soon.