Sometimes, our circumstances are so difficult that it seems impossible to keep going. But, I’ve learned that when you look to God—seeking His help, provision, and strength to make it from one day to the next—the impossible yields to something greater than you could’ve imagined.
A little over three ago, my husband and I moved from the Seattle area to Anderson, Indiana. Having just completed a three-year revision of World Empires, World Missions, World Wars, we felt like it was time to be geographically closer to our “work place”—the homeschool conventions where I spoke from year to year. If we were close enough to drive to conventions, we knew we would also be close enough to drive to support groups in a six-to-seven state region. That meant more year-round opportunities for speaking and displaying our products.
This has always been a major component of our business—and the main marketing effort for our products. So, this move to a central location was a great plan. . .until I got debilitatingly sick. Now, instead of greater exposure and increasing freedom to travel and speak, all I could do was sit quietly and try to recover my strength. And when convention season rolled around again, it became increasingly obvious that this was no longer going to work.
In April, 2015, after 27 seasons of convention speaking, knowing this was an absolute necessity for my health, I finally retired from speaking.
So, there we were, knowing only that we needed to transition our business from being physically present at conventions to being “visible” on the internet, but we didn’t have a clue how to do this. The future looked bleak, hard. . .impossible. All we could do—all I had the energy to do—was pray and seek God’s generous wisdom and help. (James 1:5 )
One month later, at a business meeting on social media, a professor from Anderson University (AU) introduced himself. Sam had overheard my questions about how to make a website “mobile-friendly,” and suggested that he had a team of university students who might be able to help. From that small beginning—and with the assistance of Sam’s team—things began to change for our company.
In October, we learned of a nationwide competition for marketing students called Enactus, which paired student teams with local businesses to help them with their marketing for a limited time. Sam had mentioned our company to the business professor overseeing the AU Enactus teams, and, as it turns out, they thought it would be a good fit for their competition.The AU Enactus team that worked with us was absolutely amazing! They listened to us, they learned about our market, they researched strategies, and then they presented a marketing plan which would help us attain our goals.
The biggest shock to me in their marketing plan was the idea of doing “vlogs” (video blogs). I had never even heard of this, much less how to make it happen! But, amazingly, students majoring in film at AU had all kinds of ideas for me, and on December 2, we started.
Within eight months of ending my “speaking career,” a new door had unexpectedly opened—one that meets every need we have:
- my travel time is now 10 minutes (rather than 10 hours),
- my monthly speaking time is 20 minutes (rather than 20 hours),
- my recovery time is measured in hours (rather than weeks),
- with the internet, our influence is growing beyond what we've seen in years.
We are convinced that it is God who has taken our “impossible” and transformed it into “immeasurably more” than we could ask or even imagine. (Eph 3:20) And we are utterly grateful!