After many years of making jewelry on the side, lots of small and large successes (and, failures, too), I made the decision to take it full time. But, it wasn’t without years of feeling this repetitive calling in my heart. You know, the one that nudges you along telling you, “You should pursue that. You’ve got something there. Go for it, girl.”
But, for years and years, I squelched that nudge with “That would be irresponsible. You don’t have the education or training to do that specific thing. You must be really high on yourself to think you could do that.” I mean, seriously, I could tell you a million reasons my little brain gave myself for not pursuing that continual calling in my heart.
That nudge was my calling, or, perhaps, one of my callings. But, it didn’t come with certainty that it would work out, or a manual on how to do it successfully or the promise for prosperity. It just came as a nudge that, at first gentle, became stronger.
I remember the exact day I thought, “I’m going to do this.” Then, I thought, “You are crazy.” So, I talked with my husband and my parents and my sister, and they all said, “Jill, what are you waiting on. Do it!” So, my next call was to my former Dallas Mavericks co-worker turned friend, sister and mighty prayer partner, Debra Nixon-Boles. I explained to her what I was on the verge of doing, and she said what she always says, “Sister, let’s pray.” She began the prayer and, as usual, I finished it so that I could thank God for Debra, or as I call her, “Debbie Deb” and lift her up, too.
After that prayer, I said to Debra, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches over me. The sparrow is beautiful but it’s also a symbol of hope for everyone. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could create a unique piece of jewelry that would appeal to my customers and benefit the women and children your organization, Women Called Moses, works to transition out of domestic violence, too.” And, friends, the next day I was sitting in a chair across the table from a goldsmith I barely knew trying to figure out how to create a charm with a sparrow on it.
The Sparrow Project, in my mind, was going to be a small, philanthropic piece of my business. But, in the mind of God, the one who was nudging me along to pursue a calling greater than I could have conceived, it was going to be bigger. Today, the Sparrow Project accounts for more than fifty percent of my business and has benefitted Women Called Moses through the thousands of dollars it’s raised thus far.
That sweet, handmade, sterling sparrow charm has become a tangible symbol of hope and has helped liberate domestic violence victims from life threatening circumstances. It’s created awareness through dialogue. And, it’s inspired all who know it’s meaning. We all need to be reminded that there’s nothing to fear. If God’s eye is on something as tiny as a sparrow, we can have peace knowing that He’s watching over us all, too.
For so long, I’d resisted that nudge, that calling. But, God was and continues to be persistent in using me and the Sparrow Project for His good. I pray His will over JL PARISH and the Sparrow Project every single day, and I thank Him for His divine guidance.
Sometimes, we stay in situations that seemingly serve us when God is nudging us to serve Him. We’re given talents and passions and hobbies for a reason. If we’re willing, they can be used for the greater good- to bring God glory. So, if you feel that nudge, pray about it. If you’re called to pursue it, pursue it. We serve an Ephesians 3:20 God who “is able to do more for us than we could ever hope or imagine.” Here’s to the unimaginable, to the gift that’s within you. We’re all waiting to be blessed by it. Be audacious and “go for it!” When you leap, God will appear.