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The Story God Has Written For Me (The Story Behind Blessing Trails)

Posted by Betsy Shughart on

While I might be tempted to say that I am going to tell you "my story," I know who has had a hand in it and I must acknowledge the Author of "my story."  So, I'm going to share with you the story God has written for me.

I am a former first grade teacher.  The desire to become a teacher came to me at a very young age.  I had a phenomenal first grade teacher who inspired me to go into teaching.  I taught first grade for almost five years when our precious baby girl Emma came into our lives.  We made the decision for me to become a stay at home mom.  Then a few years ago with both kids in school all day I began to feel like maybe I should go back to work, but I wanted to be available to the kids with their schedules, including summers off and unfortunately the desire to teach had faded.

Over the years at home I developed a love of cooking and baking.  I also received great joy in sharing the food I would make with others.  A few years ago a friend of mine was going to celebrate one of those nice round number birthdays, so I decided to surprise her at work with blueberry muffins.  I had such fun planning and carrying out her surprise.  I have always heard you should enjoy the job you do, just like I did when I was a first grade teacher.  I left my friend that day and the thought crossed my mind that I wish I could have a job that I could bring joy to the lives of others.  No, I didn't want to get paid for the good deeds I enjoyed doing for others, I did those because they brought me joy and that was enough.  I just wanted a job that would bring that same kind of feeling.  Believe it or not, that evening God placed the idea of Blessing Trails on my heart.

It took me awhile before I would even share this idea with my husband because it just seemed so far out of reach for me.  I had an education degree not a business degree.  I didn't know anything about starting or running a business!  I finally shared the idea with my husband and he has supported me from the start.  Even with his support, I started to be like Moses.  If you are not familiar with how Moses argued with God, you can read about it in Exodus Chapters 3 and 4.  I kept telling God I was not capable of starting a business and He kept speaking to me thorough sermons, Sunday school lessons, and songs.  God even sent Aaron to speak for Moses, well God sent me Mary.

I began to research starting a business and always felt overwhelmed.  God brought a new friend into my life at just the right time.  The Blessing Trails bags would need to have the name embroidered on them and I wasn't sure who to get to do that.  The first time I went to Mary's house she took me to her craft room to show me some things she enjoys doing and one of those things involved machine embroidery.  I stood in awe at how God opens the doors that need to be opened when they need to be opened.  I didn't tell her about my business idea right away because I was still "arguing" with God about it.

Next, I went from being like Moses to being like Jonah.  God told Jonah to go to Ninevah, but instead he boarded a boat to go to Tarshish.  I'm sure you know the rest of that story.  Well, God was telling me to start Blessing Trails and I saw an ad for a part time preschool director position and I said, "Hey that's in my field, I can do that!"  So that is what I did.  

Well, a month into the job I got shingles at age 40 and then a little while later found out that what was founded as a Christian organization was no longer running on those same values.  If I was going to work, I wanted to work somewhere that I could serve God and that wasn't happening there.  I knew what I had to do.  I left the preschool and went back to researching how to start a business.

Once again, I felt overwhelmed and was about to completely abandon the idea of starting a business when I finally shared my idea with Mary.  She helped me breathe new life into it and I finally decided to take small steps to move forward.  One of those first steps was to find a web designer.  Pixel and Hammer is a local web design company that was incredible to work with.  They have been a huge blessing and right from the start the confirmation from God that I needed that I was to move forward.

So, away we went figuring things out step by step and here we are open for business!  God has been truly amazing!  There have been many more times when He has opened and shut the right doors at the right time.  It has been a very long, frustrating at times journey to get to this point, but I know God is at work!  He does amazing things!  How is He working in your life?  What is He asking you to do?  Don't be like Moses, Jonah and ME, be obedient!

As for the story He's writing for me?  To be continued.....

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