I spent a lot of years just getting back up again, after every time I’d been knocked down. I used to come out swinging. Now, I’ve learned a different way.
Somewhere in the summer of 1995 (sounds like a song,) I met a woman who worked at an Equal Opportunity Center in Troy, NY. In those days I attended Chamber of Commerce events and other gatherings, to network with others. At the time I was the Assistant Executive Director and Financial Manager (Controller) of a $2 million non-profit agency. They had five outreach programs, including a domestic violence shelter.
As we got to talking, the woman asked me to come and be a guest speaker to those going through the EOC programs. Sure! I put together a powerpoint presentation chronicling my journey up to that point. As a single mother of three children, with no child support, I had gone back to school at age 34 to earn my BS degree. I then packed up the family and moved us all so that I could attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and work on my MBA. Funds ran out and I ended up 3 courses short of completing it.
Some years later, here I was telling bits of the journey to young men and women also trying to climb up and out of poverty and hard circumstances. My son Brandon, was kind enough to come along and set up the computer for me to do the presentation. My how we’ve come so far technologically! I brought a prop of a “knock down dolly.” It was a “bop” bag that kids might use as a punching bag. It stood only about a foot high and had a picture of a woman on it. As I related my story, I showed them how I’d been “knocked down” time and time again, but kept getting back up. Funny, I no longer have it anymore – it’s long gone.
As I related the tale of going through 4 years of schooling, working 1-3 jobs and more, they listened. But, when I told them I went from $5 an hour to over $50,000 they stood up and cheered. In those days $50k wasn’t bad money, even though it wasn’t great. To them, $50,000 probably seemed like a million. Telling my story of perseverance helped them to see that if I could do this, so could they. We faced many of the same problems, yet I had made it through. With sheer will and determination, I just kept going. Through losses, sickness, an operation, being stalked by an ex-husband and more. Now, that was many years ago.
I went on to become a Controller of multimillion dollar corporations. I was one of 2 finalist candidates, chosen from over 400 resumes for the Assistant Controller of the YWCA, national headquarters on Broadway in New York City. At that time they had over 400 locations that they accounted for at their central headquarters. That would have been my responsibility. It was an exciting opportunity, however, I would not have seen my children hardly at all. I would have had to leave for work before they got up in the morning and arrive home after they’d gone to bed. That was unacceptable regardless of the prestige. I was also one of the two finalist candidates chosen to head up a newly established entrepreneurship center. They chose the other because I was white, (the woman they hired was Hispanic,) and was thereby discriminated against. They said so. No kidding. I can empathize with those who have experienced discrimination.Eventually, I went off into business full-time on my own. I had always been entrepreneurial. At first, I did the nuts and bolts accounting services for many types of small businesses. Later on, I went on to sell mid-range accounting software which took me many places across this nation and the world. I helped agencies cut waste, costs, and streamlined their accounting processes. I helped some cut their audit time and costs in half. I specialized in strategy and organizational skills. In those days, I was booking out at $125/hour plus all expenses door to door. Today, it would be double that. I did grant writing as well, helping Cornell University win over $4 million for a 7 state project that I designed. They had been working on a grant proposal for a 2 state project. I also designed and populated the databases to make it all work, and made contacts across the 7 states that enabled the project to work efficiently and effectively. And oh, did it bring the sharks out of the tank! (^^^) Jealousy was around me every where I went, and soon followed everything I did. We speak blessings or curses (one or the other – no middle ground) with our tongue. People were seething that I went from #125 as a new reseller of software to #6 in nine months. All because I created “win-win” situations. I made my first quarter million in sales in record time selling software and consulting services. Those who came against me? They stole my corporation name, clients and went on to build multi-national corporations which is where I was headed. It was a cut-throat situation, with ethics nowhere to be found. They’ll have to deal with God, because they were in effect, cursing me and my business endeavors. Be very, very careful of the thoughts and words you project. You will be held accountable by God one day. For various reasons it all came crashing down. Knock down dolly again. Only this time, it Was The Lord Who Picked me up. In 1999, He Woke me with a dream of standing in front of a pulpit preaching. “This is your spiritual mission in life.” “What???? That’s not on my list!” Suddenly, I found all the things I’d worked so hard for, all falling away. No longer in the business world, I was studying the Bible, praying, praising and seeking Him continually. In 2003, He Told me to leave the only home I’d ever owned and move to Nashville. WHAT? The move required me to leave my grown daughters, their husbands and grandchildren as well. I didn’t understand one bit of it, but I was obedient. Rivers of tears followed. Well, over time I discovered that every part of my life up until that point, was simply training for the things He Had Planned. And can you guess? After awhile I was no longer qualified to do that which I had invested so much time, energy and money in becoming. All was NOT lost. In fact, several times in various frustrations, I sent my resumes out. One company hired me on the spot. By the time I reached the front door, I saw this HUGE question mark in front of me. – as if it was all over me. I drove to a nearby church where I knew the pastor. He wasn’t in, but another came and prayed with me. Just a few minutes into prayer, The Lord SHOWED up! “I Am NOT The Author of confusion!,” He Said. “Stick to the PLAN I Gave to you!” No job. HE Became my full-time occupation. HE Became my “All in All.” Day by day, I ministered to The Lord, and He Ministered to me. I have notebooks filled with “dictation,” from Him, and He Graced me with somewhere between 150-200 book titles and more. Now, not just writings, but prophetic visions to be painted and drawn, songs and worship music written and sung, fabric artistry in clothing, embroidered garments, worship clothing, worship flags, and the robes I am to wear teaching and preaching, and more.
After 15 years of being Led by Him in this ministry, I can see how He’s Brought back not just the creative gifts and talents, but also all of the managerial skills and experience. All through this time, He’s Been Laying the foundations for an extraordinary ministry that will be run like a tight ship. He’s Laid out Plans for things I’ve never dreamed of that will help many across this world. He’s Given new approaches to missions work. He’s Taught me about His Awe, Wonder & Precision. He’s Taken me to Heaven many, many times. He’s Shown me how to forgive, and so much more. Through all the tears, fears, worries and doubts this was a journey not to be missed!
To date, there are 12 books in print, over 40 underway and over 100 more titles waiting to be worked on. Most of all, an AMAZING full-length motion picture for theaters is underway. These form the framework, or teachings of this ministry. However, instead of allowing me my entrepreneurial bent, for the past 5+ years, He’s Taught me to depend upon Him for my daily needs. Don’t think I didn’t try the entrepreneurial route. I started more than a dozen efforts entrepreneurially, but every one of them was stopped cold. I had to learn to trust and depend upon Him for everything. In truth, we depend upon God for our breath, heartbeat and functioning of our bodies and minds. Why not our physical and financial needs as well? The Israelites were Provided daily manna, water from a rock, and quail. They walked for 40 years without needing a change of clothes, new shoes or suffering sickness. In ever increasing numbers, today’s people are having to rely upon God. With all the disasters the world has faced, homes, possessions, loved ones and jobs have been lost. He IS their True Supply.
Luke 9:2-4 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. 4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
The day is coming at any time now, when He Will Provide the monies to advance the work of this ministry. Gauging by the size of these plans, it’s going to take a lot of money. The price of one soul? Immeasurable. The price tag for helping to usher in His Second Coming? It requires everything. He Is WORTH it! Nothing on earth could compare to the times I’ve been so privileged to have with Him.
One day, I had to decide which of my MBA books to keep, and which to get rid of. I realized that there is “God’s Plans,” and then their is “man’s plans.” Man uses less than 10% of their brain’s capacity. God Keeps 7 billion alive. No contest. He’s The Best Businessman ever! I’ll take His Choices for me. You guessed it. Thousands of dollars of books – gone!
Life is a dance. We get knocked down sometimes. If we stay down, we’ve already lost. While we are laying there, wallowing in misery (see my book “Princess Of The Pity Party,”) we need to give it all back to Him. We don’t breathe without Him. Our hearts don’t beat without Him. His Ideas for us far outweigh anything we could EVER imagine for ourselves. Try Him – you’ll find you love Him. So much, that you’ll want to be pleasing to Hm in every moment. He had to Take me out of everything the world had taught me, and Show me His Ways. I like His Ways much better.
When life knocks you down, maybe it’s time that person, place, thing or situation left your life. Maybe God’s Got a Better Idea. You’ll get back up again, but if you allow Him to Do the work in you He Wants to, you’ll find a fulfilling and happy life. This, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in. You can be poor, and happy. You can be rich, and miserable. In ALL cases, HE Is The Key that unlocks and opens every door. If He Takes something away, let it go. In the end you realize you only want what He Wants for you. Nothing else will work. If he Gives you a PROMISE, HOLD ON and Let Him Fulfill it in His Ways and His Timings. I guarantee that your journey will not make sense until you’re on the other side and look back and where He’s Brought you from. I can only tell you that you’ll be very grateful. I know I am. He Told me that about 12 years ago. He Was Right. Now I look forward to the dreams He’s Given with great expectations. He Will Make a Way where there is no way!
I’ll bet you’ve been knocked down a few times, too. You get back up, and boom! Down again. You wallow in tears for awhile, which does nothing but harm you and your dreams. Why not try a different approach? Why not lay your cares, disappointments, troubles, worries, fears, and lack at His Feet? Everything changes the moment you do this. Don’t go running back to take it back again. Seek His Advice in all things. Every day, all day long, I bring things before His Throne and seek His Guidance. There’s nothing He Doesn’t See, and nothing He Doesn’t Know. Remember, all earthly things will fall away. The only thing that remains is your relationship with Him. Speaking of which, during the writing of this piece, He once again Called me to come apart with Him for awhile. As I laid my head on the pillow, I was laying it on His Shoulder. We are responsible for proper use of our imagination. This is a correct use. He Ministered to me again, Lifting me up and Making me whole, Healing the things that still hurt. If you should ever get knocked down again, crawl, or run to Him! Don’t miss HIM!
Be Blessed of God!
Patty Thomas, Founder & CEO
The Miracles Of Jesus Ministry