Do you remember those Dum-Dum suckers that all us 80’s kids used to eat when we were little?
I LOVED those things! My mom kept a big bag of them that she’d pull out when I’d been especially good, and I’d excitedly hope to pick the BEST flavor! I was recently reminded of these tantalizing treats when I was at Ray Edwards’ Copywriting Academy Live event last week.
Not making the connection yet? Sit tight, and I won’t let you down . . .
So, my business has grown by leaps and bounds this year. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible clients and to write copy for true world-changers! I’m just coming off the end of writing for a launch that earned one client $50K, and I’m square in the middle of one that has the potential to do that or MORE! But aside from the money my clients are generating - the HELP that they’re providing to their own clients is what drives me to offer my copywriting services.
Let me just stop right here and say that IT IS ALL GOD! He’s the one who gave me the ability to write. He’s connected me with other amazing business owners, and He’s brought the BEST clients my way. I’m grateful every single day, and I’m ASTOUNDED at the growth and opportunities that He’s afforded me this year!
With great growth comes great responsibility, and I’ve truly felt the weight of that over the last month or two. It’s been a crossroads of sorts, where I had the opportunity to stick to my current level of success and just kind of coast a little bit, or truly INVEST and build my business to new heights!
I was offered ONE opportunity in particular that I knew would stretch me far beyond my comfort zone. Yet I also felt that it was put in my life by God and that He offered it to me at exactly the right time - His time. Yet I was still conflicted! This was something that would make sense to a few of my close colleagues, but would seem totally crazy to tons of friends and family. And I was having a hard time drowning out all the outside voices and honing in on God’s leading.
That’s the head space I was in when I drove to Franklin, Tennessee for Ray Edwards’ Copywriting Academy. I’ve followed Ray for a few years now. He’s one of the BEST copywriters in the world. AND he’s a man of faith. We have to pick our mentors carefully in the business world, and I’ve put a lot of thought into WHO aligns with my beliefs and also has skills that will help me move my own business forward. Ray definitely does.
At Ray’s conference, he gave us solid strategies for improving our copy. But he gave us so much more than that. He gave us a picture of loving people well. His beautiful wife and lovely mother were at the conference (and his son would have been, but for an unavoidable emergency). He cultivated a family atmosphere AMONG the attendees (I seriously left this conference with connections that will last a LIFETIME). He brought in EXCELLENT guest speakers (Hey Mike Kim! Hey Cliff Ravenscraft!). And he did something SO extraordinary: he acknowledged God and brought in the team from Heaven in Business to talk and pray with all of the attendees.
Now, Ray is totally respectful of the beliefs of others. He didn’t try to convert anyone. But he DID bathe his whole conference in prayer, and I can promise you that every single soul in that room felt the effects.
On the next to last day of the conference, I decided that I would ask one of the Heaven and Business team members to pray with me about the big decision I needed to make. I was SCARED! And I needed to hear God’s voice. I KNEW what I wanted to do - but I wanted to make sure that following my desire was actually in congruence with what God willed for me! Because ultimately, I’m here on this Earth for HIM! Anything I do in this lifetime should be focused on and centered around glorifying God, and any platform that is ever presented to me - I want it to honor God!
So, I walked up to Lisa Van Den Berg, one of the Heaven in Business team members, and told her what I was struggling with, and asked her to pray with me.
The first thing she said? “I’m not going to give you any advice.”
“What??!!” I thought! “You’re from Bethel Church - you’re supposed to have the DIRECT line to God!” Hahaha! I didn’t say it out loud, but that’s what I was thinking.
Lisa continued, “You’ve had enough human input. You need to talk to Jesus.”
I said earnestly, “But I’ve ASKED Him! And I just can’t tell what He wants me to do. I want this so badly, but more than that, I want to honor Him! And if He doesn’t want this for me, then I’ll leave it! I just can’t seem to hear His voice!’
Lisa continued, “I’m sensing that you’ve had a lot of people giving you their opinions. What if you just asked Jesus some relational questions? What if you just asked him how He FEELS about you in these moments . . . in the middle of this decision?”
It was revolutionary! I realized in that moment that I’d been treating God’s direction like a Pez dispenser. “God, should I do this?” I’d ask, and I’d be disappointed when I didn’t feel a clear answer. But what if I asked instead, just like I’d ask someone who cared deeply about me, “How do you FEEL about this?”
With this new perspective, I asked Jesus a series of questions. Lisa told me to let her know what picture came into my mind in response to the questions.
First question: “Jesus, how do you FEEL about me in the middle of this decision-making process?”
Image: I thought back on a time when my best friend Allison and I each got to choose a Dum-Dum from the bag of suckers. I was SO excited to get this treat and hoping I’d choose my favorite flavor. When I opened my Dum-Dum, though, it was sunken, deformed, and concave. I was devastated. Allison’s, on the other hand, was perfect! Glistening with sugary goodness!
I looked at Allison and said, “Mine’s not good. Will you trade with me?”
Her reply? “Of course! Here you go!”
She switched her perfect Dum-Dum for my deformed one without blinking an eye.
At this point in the prayer, I just start sobbing. It hits me that God is giving me this vision of how HE takes care of me! When I’m faced with a choice (and this is excluding any option that is immoral or illegal, of course), I can’t make a wrong choice! Because even if I make the “wrong” one, Jesus is right there to trade me the PERFECT one!
Lisa led me in asking Jesus a few more questions, and the soul-satisfaction that resulted from that conversation is much deeper than words could ever convey.
When you know Him, He’s always going to guide you! He longs for us to ask Him how He feels - because He’s ALWAYS got our best interests at heart!
The message I want to leave you with? When you trust Jesus with your life, you will ALWAYS HAVE THE PERFECT DUM-DUM!!!!!
He traded His safety for our souls; He was willing to DIE for us; and He’s victoriously protecting and preserving us still today!
I hope this encourages you! I sure do know that there are a lot of times when I FEEL like a Dum-Dum, and I was so reassured to get that reminder that I can’t make a wrong choice when I’m depending on God for my direction!
SO MUCH LOVE to you and yours!