Gatherings are the heartbeat of Mary & Martha. When someone reaches out to host a party, they are full of joy, laughter, and time with the hostess’s friends. And as an Independent Consultant, I have a BLAST in those parties; honoring the Hostess, meeting her guests, sharing the mission of Mary & Martha are a highlight every time.
In February 2020, I had a full schedule of in-home Gatherings planned. After having 6 failed social media Gatherings, I was grateful and SO excited to be focused on in-person parties.
Then March 2020 hit. And everything shut down, including my full schedule of parties. An empty calendar. Transitioning to social media for selling. This wasn’t my forte or my plan. I was full of questions on what I was going to do.
But then came April 1st. And despite the most unusual month in lockdown and pivoting my business, I got a promotion in Mary & Martha. I was very confused on how that happened. Lord, what are you trying to show me? I’m listening.
I didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
Early April 2nd, rubbing my sleepy eyes awake, I went for my usual routine of starting the coffee and grabbing my Bible and journal. Wandering through the dark with my mind still waking up, I passed by an empty, acacia wood Faithfulness Tray, one of the many beautiful products Mary & Martha makes. I had been meaning to put some sort of Spring-like items into it for the changing season and reminded myself that I needed to knock that out. Noted.
With the coffee starting to brew, I settled in and opened my journal: 100 Days of Bible Promises. It was Day 7 and the devo was titled “Be Steadfast in Your Work.” As I processed the title, I realized I knew what steadfast was but wanted to know words just like it. Google brought up synonyms like loyal, committed, unwavering, faithful…
I continued to the devotional, where the verse highlighted for the day was Psalm 117:2, “For His unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.” Huh… The Lord’s faithfulness endures forever… Wait, I just saw that in my house!
I jumped to my feet and ran to the entryway where the barren Faithfulness Tray sat atop the china cabinet. I grabbed my phone flashlight and the engraved words on the side reflected back to me: “The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Psalm 117:2”.
I ran back to the devotional and the title sank in hard. Be Steadfast in Your Work. Tears streaming down my face, I had an overwhelming sense that God was saying, “Jill, continue what you are doing. People will be seeking hope, goodness, love, wholesome fun, and you must be faithful in your work.”
Throughout the next few days God continued to lead me to Scriptures that had to do with faithfulness and steadfastness. Just as Abraham had no idea where God was leading, He was faithful to the Lord and listened as God called him to go. That’s how I felt. I didn’t have all the answers, but He would give me the next sentence to say. I didn’t know what the future held, but He would show me the next step. Be steadfast and faithful, and I, God, will be the same as I’ve always been, steadfast and faithful.
And He was faithful. My business flourished, my ministry grew, and my reach became far greater than I could have done without His guidance.
During this growth, I happened to see a topic in the back of my Bible about acacia wood. Acacia trees flourish in barren regions, and the tabernacle and its furniture were made of acacia wood. I thought of my empty Faithfulness Tray made of acacia wood, now filled with decor. What was once barren is now flourishing. Where there was once confusion was replaced with trust. Because the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Is there an area of your life you feel is barren? Be steadfast. He is faithful to give you the next step. There is no error in where you are right now, you are meant to be here at this moment in time. God has purpose for you in your work, and He will flourish you in His timing!
Be encouraged dear ones, the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
JILL BRADSHAW is an Executive Team Leader for Mary & Martha and resides with her husband of 17 yrs, Ken, in Florida. She has 2 elementary schoolers, Ava & Reed, whom she was a stay-at-home mommy for until 3 yrs ago. In 2019 God reminded Jill she was an encourager, and to therefore encourage through Mary & Martha. Since then she and the Lord have built a ministry, full-time career/business & team of women who love to do the same.