PROSPERITY (Part 1)

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MY STORY OF DESTINY

PART 1


Originally Written: Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 Edited: Thursday, February, 23rd, 2018 From poverty to Prosperity Bills, Bills, Bills this was the tag line for a local attorney’s office that specializes in Bankruptcy. Every time I would see this commercial, I begin to think, “Hmmm, bankruptcy, perhaps this is the solution to my financial troubles”, however, something on the inside did not agree with that thought and as a result I never acted upon it, in layman’s terms God had another plan for my life. “A man’s heart plan his way but the Lord directs his steps” –Proverbs 16:9 The way I looked in this picture depicts how I was feeling about my financial struggles.

The way my life panned out is not the way I thought it would. I remember when I was in my apartment, and often times I would ask God why is my struggle so intense, what am I doing wrong, what did I miss, how do I fix it and the list goes on. God did not answer me then but through many situations and circumstances that followed I begin to realize that it was not my actions, it was my thinking. The spirit of poverty had taken root in me, it was passed down from my ancestors and it carried over generation after generation and it would continue to carry on until someone broke the curse. I did not recognize this spirit until I found myself going through the same money problems, year after year, week after week, living paycheck to paycheck, and thinking that I was handling things when in actuality I was digging myself deeper and deeper in the MY STORY OF DESTINY

hole. My mindset was as long as I could make ends meet I was good but I was far from good. After I did all I knew to do to fix the problem and all my efforts failed, I said to God, how can I break this chain of poverty off my life? Though, I had recognized it, I did not know how to overcome it. So I said to God lead and guide me and I will follow, this is what I sent up to Him from the bottom of my heart with the most sincerity and as my life as I knew it begin to unravel, I went through cycles of emotional, mental and spiritual transitioning, until I finally birthed out the spirt of entrepreneurship and begin to understand the true meaning of prosperity.

God’s Plan

Of course after this great revelation, things got worse before they got better. Ironically during the time I was seeking God about my PART 1


different money issues, I had a good job, made decent money, with great benefits and I was even allowed to work excessive overtime, yet I still did not seem to have enough or shall I say enough to do what I “wanted” and “needed” to do, at least in my mind I didn’t. And because of my mindset my wants outweighed my needs. The word “savings” was not in my vocabulary because guess what, “Tomorrow is not promised, live for today…” (This is true however I was manipulating concept to justify behavior) and this type of thinking resulted in me making irrational financial decisions. I wanted to eat out when I needed to pay bills or I wanted that outfit that was on sale knowing I had other financial obligations. I convinced myself that my spending habits was just fine and I justified my actions with such thoughts as “Well, I got to eat, I work so I deserve to treat myself” and in regards to the clothes I would think “It’s best to get now while on sale or it’s the only one and when I come back it will be gone or well I need this color” and last but not least, “it’s my size, the perfect fit” and so the viscous cycle continued. Since I thought I was okay, I thought the problem was in the job, so as time went on, the job became less fulfilling. I was more stressed and exhausted than ever before and I had no desire to fulfill the duties of my position, yet because the money was good, I didn’t make any efforts to seek new employment. I was good, so I thought! One day I got a phone call from my mom and she was telling me that a friend of hers was telling her about a job opportunity and she thought it would be something I was interested in and it was. It was more money, closer to home, something different and at that point in my life I needed a change, so I put in my two week notice. I felt somewhat liberated, I was happy that a new career path MY STORY OF DESTINY

had found me. Upon leaving, my soon to be former supervisor told me I could always come back, they would be glad to have me! So what was the harm in leaving, if the new job did not work out, guess what, my old job was waiting for me. I could always “go back!” My first day with the new company, immediately something did not set well in my spirit, yet the money was enticing. After working there about six months, I could no longer ignore that tug in my spirit; it was the Holy Spirit letting me know something was wrong and I needed to speak up. Finally I decided it was time to express my concerns, I followed the proper chain and I went through management about my concerns pertaining to the job duties/responsibilities and the business work ethics, in short, the issue was never resolved and my personal beliefs caused me to leave that job and I walked out with my head up, smiling, walking to my recently purchased SUV, with my cocky self, thinking…”Oh, I can just go back to my old job” No worries! As I was driving down the highway, a popular song back then came on the radio entitled “I Never Seen the Righteous Forsaken” by Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers and I was just a singing. Since I was active in my local church, I was going to call my Pastor and let him know that I was going back to my old job which would cause me to miss out on a lot of church services and events. I had my speech, per se, all prepared until I heard that small still voice say, “Don’t go back” Huh!?! I turned down the radio and I said God if that was you say it again and I heard the small still voice say, “Don’t go back”. I giggled to myself because I surely did not think God was telling me not to go back to a good paying job. (I couldn’t see it then but it wasn’t the job He was talking about not going back to, PART 1


it was the mindset associated with that job) A job that would sustain me and keep my bills a float; a job that would keep me from looking within to find this inner ability to create wealth. Of course I was stuck on the not going back part. Don’t go back, Ha! (Right here, this is the reason I had the wrong thinking I was looking to the job as my source and to sustain me but it clearly states in Psalms 55:22 to cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.) As I proceeded to go and tell my Pastor about me taking my old job back, conviction overtook me to the point that I could hardly drive my truck and I cried out, “Okay, God, I hear you, I’m not going back. I trust you.”

Breaking the Chains

There I was in my apartment, jobless and on the brink of losing either my apartment or my truck. I was out of work about 30 days, no savings, no back up plan and I had blew through my 401K. (See had I been smart MY STORY OF DESTINY

with my money when I was working that good paying job I would have had enough money in savings to cover my bills for at least 3 months if not longer…smh). I was frequently browsing the local newspaper and I ran across a job opening with a local company. I applied, got hired but guess what the pay was less than half of what I was use to making (talking about shooting yourself in the foot)…and I said to God, what are you doing to me? After getting my first paycheck, I quickly discovered that my old way of living was null and void, I could not splurge, I did not have extra money to eat out; I could not get the cute outfit or designer bag on sale or any new shoes! Well perhaps I should not have splurged and did all that I was doing when I had the extra money but I did. I could not see it or better yet did not want to see it, God was trying to teach me good stewardship, the true value of money even though I had to learn the hard way; I had to learn how to make money work for me instead of against me. There I was in the dark, literally, lights out, no food in the refrigerator, no money to put gas in my truck, no money period. I was sitting on my couch, having an emotional breakdown and after I got myself together, God spoke to me and said, “I have giving you the ability to create wealth”. And my response was “what ability?” It finally came down to two choices, either let go of my SUV or let go of my apartment and move back in with my mom. Moving back in with mom was not the answer so I let my truck go and I thumbed rides to work, church and everywhere else I needed to go a little over a year. I tell you those were the longest 13 months of my life. Ms. Independent having to ask for a ride here and a ride there. Imagine that. Though embarrassing, this was a very humbling experience because PART 1


prior to this happening, I felt that as long as I could handle life matters, I did not need or want help from anybody else. Now if I needed help, then I would ask maybe but if I did ask I expected those I asked to help but that didn’t always happen. Through all that had transitioned, my experiences were helping me to overcome the chains of a poverty mindset but I assure you the breaking process did not feel good to this ole’ flesh. The day finally arrived when I was able to get me a car to drive, I got the car but about a year after getting the car, I ended up having to move back in with my mom. My life had completely spiraled out of my control and that was God’s intent, to cause me to lose control so He could take control. To be honest after having to take a lower paying job, losing my truck and my apartment, I begin to allow doubt, defeat and disgust to set in and henceforth I begin to live a mediocre life, excepting my life as it was. I was no longer this confident, vibrant young woman, well on her way; I had failed in life, period. Here you had a well-educated woman with a four-year college degree, working a job whose educational requirements was a minimum a high school diploma, living in a cramped two bedroom apartment in a low-income neighborhood. By the way, this was my childhood neighborhood. I was right back at square one. So many emotions, I cannot explain, so many thoughts, great mental anguish, and spiritual weariness. I thought to myself how did I get here, this was not my intent or my plan. Not my intent but God’s and my adversary’s. The experience was twofold. God’s role in all of this was to get me to see what the problem was, change my thinking, birth out my ability to create wealth and obtain true prosperity. The devil’s role in all of this was to prevent me MY STORY OF DESTINY

from overcoming the spirit of poverty because once I broke free I would be able to obtain true prosperity. What the devil meant for my bad, God was turning it for my good (Genesis 50:20). So after readjusting to my new living arrangements I begin to make the best of the situation at hand and I begin to see God’s hand in it and my trust was restored and I knew why I had to go back to the place (physically and mentally) that caused me to grab hold to the concept of poverty. God wanted me to get to the root of the problem. You see most people associate the word “poverty” with low-income or government owned neighborhoods, which places them in the lower class of society. Yet, a person could live in a nice subdivision or expensive condo and be battling the spirit of poverty; same thinking just a different location. It could be a case of they have the “good” job and the money is there to accommodate their lifestyle, yet they find they never have enough or always need more, so now they are labeled as “workaholics” or it could be that they have “good credit” with bad spending habits and they are living off their credit cards, making it appear that they are living a prosperous life. Do you know anyone that has a beautiful home, luxury vehicle but they are always working and can never enjoy these things that they worked so hard to have. They never take time off, not even to take a vacation. Why, because they fear that if they do not work enough, they will lose the house, the car, etc. and want be able to pay that credit card bill. A poverty mentality keeps people in bondage to a manmade concept about prosperity. Owning nice material items does not mean a person is prosperous, perhaps wealthy. They have the money but not the right mindset. They have the good job, making enough money or an PART 1


inheritance or if lucky, a good investment that paid off, creating a substantial amount of money to cover up their bad habits. It is just like winning the lottery and then in three months or less, they broke! For three months, they are wealthy, yet in being prosperous, they would make the right decisions with the money and do right by the money and realize that just as quick as they got it, they can lose it. So instead of shopping, eating out, giving all relatives money, buying a house or car that takes just about all the money, it would be smart to perhaps make a wise investment in real estate properties or purchase some CD’s or mutual bonds. I mean do not quit the job, at least not at first, continue working for a while. Try to avoid living above your means after the lottery, continue to live a life as if lottery was never hit, gradually obtain some of the finer things in life and in the future the money needed will be there. And after all needs are taken care of, then use money to enjoy some of the wants. I stress, some, not all, let’s not put all of the eggs in one basket, no pun intended. And I’m preaching to myself, it applies to me too! Of course most of what I have stated revolves around financial prosperity. God wants us to prosper in all areas of our lives. Beloved, I pray that you prosper in all things and be in health, even as your soul prospers…3 John 1:2… this scripture is self-explanatory. God wants us emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and of course financially healthy and happy. As you can see this same concept of poverty applies straight across the board, the money is there but can’t seem to get along with anyone and it is always them, never you. The money is there but constantly dealing with feelings of depression, never having any joy because there is something missing. The money is MY STORY OF DESTINY

there but always having to spend money on something, expected expenses and unexpected, the money is there but you always broke, you get the picture. The money is there so why is there no true prosperity? I can’t answer for you but for me it was my thinking toward God and money. So I had to talk it over with Jesus and allow him to minister to my spirit, speak into my soul and encourage my heart. I do have a question for you, could you let the house go, the car, the job, etc. or would you hold on to these things thinking that having them defines prosperity, success and happiness? Would you trust another plan other than yours? Could you start all over again, especially if your path is leading you toward destruction? (Proverbs 14:12) Could it be that the way you are thinking is wrong causing you to develop poor money habits? In order to obtain true prosperity the chains of poverty must be broken off our life by changing our mindset or we may never walk in the principles of prosperity. As we often time hear from various religious leaders, it is what they call “Stinking Thinking!” Move from poverty and begin to seek God, seek counsel, seek advice or seek something because obviously your way is not working. Find out how to direct success into your life. Success in your relationships, careers, business endeavors, finances, and even ministry. You may be wondering how the spirit of poverty relates to ministry, how, glad you asked! Many Christians have the mentality that if they go to church or serve the Lord, then all their problems and issues will magically disappear or they think because they are giving money to the church that God will pay their bills, that’s not being wise. Yes it’s expected that Christians pay tithes and/or sow seeds and give a free will offering but God also gives us wisdom and PART 1


common sense. Sometimes people do things, especially when it comes to the church, and say God told them to do it or sometimes they do it on their own accord, when the truth of the matter is, it was their decision from the start and God had nothing to do with it, therefore, God will not necessarily pay the bill. Now they mad at God or the church because rent due and no money, lights due and no money, water due and …say it with me…NO MONEY. It is the mindset. A mindset that places limits on God. That is why His word says that we must renew our minds daily, be transformed in our thinking and change our attitude toward God. (Ephesians 4:23, Romans 12:2) And then we wonder why we keep facing the same mountain or running into the same brick wall. We have to open up our minds, hearts and spirits to doing it Gods way, a better way, embracing all his endless possibilities. We keep wanting to do things “our” way, henceforth, getting exhausted, becoming weary in well doing and being stressed. But guess what we can change if we want to and our circumstances don’t have to dictate our decisions. Yes, you can have your own business! Yes, the relationship can be restored. Yes, you can go back to school! No, it’s not too late, as long as you are breathing, there is still a chance.

MY STORY OF DESTINY

The Birthing Process Established in 2012, this ended up being my final logo during the basket phase of my business. Over a course of 7 years, I made changes trying to reinvent my ideas and concepts until I found my niche.

Baskets and Things by Neil was birthed out through a relationship with an old friend and a former co-worker. So my friend guy had a birthday coming up and I wanted to do something nice, something different so I decided to make him a gift basket. I begin making gift baskets for him during the holidays also, funny thing, this was a guy that was not into flowers, baskets and stuff like that so why in the world was I making him baskets. But when I gave them to him, he took them with what appeared to be joy and anticipated when he would get his next basket. Each time I got better and better and I found that such a great joy would come over me when I made one. I said to myself, this is it! I had tapped into something and I was ready to explore. A God giving ability to create wealth was making gift baskets. I was never crafty as a child and I wasn’t all that creative either so this was truly a new experience for me. On the other hand after going to college I found that I like to create marketing paraphernalia such as business cards, flyers, T-shirt designs etc. and my former co-worker would have me to create things for her new organization she was starting back then so there you have it, Baskets and Things and of course I had to make it more personal, make it my own so I added “by Neil”. Okay, now, it is all starting to make sense! I had my “Ah ha” moment! It started to appear that my struggle had not PART 1


been in vain, though I had to take some steps back, I was setback and then some but that was all part of God’s plan to help me birth out my business. (I like the sound of that “my business”) A plan to put my mind on the right path, a mind that led me to starting a business from scratch with an ability I did not know I had. My experiences are tied to so many other facets of my life and helped me find fulfillment in other areas but I will get into that another time. Not only do I know who I am in Christ, I know where I’m going, I know what I am to do while here on this earth, I know God’s will for my life, I have purpose and I am grabbing hold to it with both hands. The unsuccessful past relationships, career paths and bad financial decisions were the prerequisites to my destiny.

After all I went through and had to face back then, and still dealing with some of the effects now, after all was said and done, I found that the JOY of the Lord is my strength and my heart is still smiling. No more smiling on the outside and crying on the inside.

The Best Is Yet To Come From poverty to Prosperity is my experience, keyword “my” experience and my struggle that pave the way for my MY STORY OF DESTINY

success. No I didn’t make a bunch of money from my basket business but I overcame the spirit of poverty. It wasn’t about the money back then it was about my attitude toward God and money. In this article I discussed incidents that happened in my life and how God used them to get me to a place that I would follow His path and direction concerning my destiny. Through all my turmoil, Jesus Christ, was right there with me making intercessions on my behalf that I might fulfill the will of God (Romans 8:2627). If it had not been for my relationship with God, I would still be living a defeated life in my thinking, with my gifts and talents lying dormant. God was waiting for my mindset to change before He would allow financial prosperity, otherwise, it wouldn’t had lasted long. God knows when to release his blessings and when to hold them back. I now understand what true prosperity means. I have found that when you prosper spiritually everything else will fall into place (Matthew 6:33). My spiritual prosperity is what kept me on my face, seeking God for direction when my life was falling apart, when my money was funny, looking within and birthing out the seed of prosperity through entrepreneurship. It kept my mind focused when instability tried to sneak in; it kept my heart guarded when I wanted to give in to my struggles. It kept me from succumbing to defeat and choosing to hide behind my failures. It helped me realize, even though I failed, every day was a new opportunity to achieve greatness. Now I can say with assurance that I am the confident, vibrant, well-educated woman of God, whose well on her way. There is more to this story, this is just the beginning, however, I can’t tell it all in one article. Stay tuned… PART 1


Food for Thought: I do encourage you to take hold of some of the principles and concepts discussed in this article. I did not do any intense research or read books/articles on overcoming poverty or fulfilling true prosperity. Truth of the matter, I was not talking from what I heard, what I read or what somebody told me, I was talking from what I know. This was my experience. It’s not to persuade or convince you to believe in God like I do or cause you to leave a job that you hate. This is “my story” of destiny. Granted your experience may not be my experience and vice versa but I am sure you can find something to relate to or that will help you I hope.

-Cornelia Malloy aka “Miss Co” Owner/Founder of BT Neil Consulting

MY STORY OF DESTINY

PART 1