Throughout the history of me starting this blog back in 2017, I have had many opportunities to start new things whether it’s writing a book, planning the first ever T-Time event (read more about that here), or launching a membership group. When it comes to the process of starting something new, I have to admit that I’ve had unrealistic expectations of what that process really looks like. As a result, I want to share some of the lessons I’ve learned about the beauty of humble beginnings.
Do not Despise Small Beginnings
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,”Zechariah 4:10
I mean really take time to think about that. God rejoices to see us start whatever He’s called us to do and if He’s telling us not to despise small beginnings, then I think it’s safe to assume that it’s easy to do that.
This is definitely true for me.
We’ve all heard the famous phrase, “Don’t compare your chapter 1 with somebody else’s chapter 20.” Using this as a metaphor, let me explain how this typically affects someone like me.
Being a visionary, I tend to always see the full picture (chapter 20). Being a builder, I know how to think in steps (how to get from chapter 1 to chapter 20). But something that God has been trying to teach me is how to scale (knowing what chapter 1 looks like and being okay that it doesn’t look like chapter 20).
A Personal Story
For example, one of my goals in life is to be a best-selling author one day. I see myself writing full-time. When I was talking to a friend about how I plan on doing this (Enneagram 3 present and at your service), I thought it looked like writing blog posts each week and one day getting a major book deal.
And although it can all pan out that way and I can still make that something I’m believing God to do, my friend had to come get me out of the clouds and bring me back to reality. Our conversation went something like this:
Her: How do you think someone becomes a best-selling author?
Me: Uhhhh, they have a lot of readers?
Her: And how do you think somebody gets a lot of readers?
Me: By growing a large audience?
Her: And how do you think someone gets a large audience?
Me: *finally catching on* By perhaps starting with a small product.
You see, I wanted to go from where I am now to somehow magically becoming the best-selling author without finding ways to scale towards the vision. But everyone including you and me always has to start somewhere.
Scaling the Vision
Here’s another example. A friend and I were talking about how she wants to host a free 3-day conference one day. She sees the large stage design, the thousands of attendees, and heavy-hitter speakers. The only thing is, she’s never hosted a conference before.
Going back to the metaphor about chapters, her chapter 20 may be the free 3-day conference with the thousands of attendees and heavy-hitter speakers, but chapter 1 doesn’t look like that. Chapter 1 may be a 1-day conference with simple, yet beautiful decorations and 50 attendees.
Should this discourage her or worse paralyze her from hosting the first event? No, but the sad part is this is usually what happens to most people. The beautiful thing about purpose is you may be doing the same thing at chapter 1 that you are doing at chapter 20, but the scale of how it looks may be different. That’s why the Bible tells us not to despise small beginnings.
The truth is it’s easy to get discouraged when our chapter 1 doesn’t look like chapter 20 especially when all we really want is chapter 20. Trust me, been there and still there sometimes! This is when we have to be honest with ourselves and with God about how we feel. What I love about God is He understands how we feel, but He also uses these situations to mature and develop our character.
Our culture has a tendency to make us believe that we can rush process. Sometimes we want everything to happen instantly all at once when God wants us to walk with Him step by step.
For me, being a best-selling author with the limited resources I have can sound nearly impossible, but if I scale the vision back and take time to think about what I can do in this season, more times than not, God has probably revealed a more realistic step I can take (He has and I’m working on it).
That’s what we have to realize when it comes to walking in purpose. The plans that God has for us is to prosper us, give us hope, and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), but there’s a process to getting there that requires patience. So here are a couple of tips that can help you along the way.
Celebrate Small Wins
For every step that you take towards purpose, make sure you celebrate the small wins! Not only does this give you the motivation to keep going, but it also keeps you humble. Nothing is more satisfying than checking a goal or an accomplishment off of your to-do list.
Going back to my friend who wants to host a conference, she should celebrate the smaller conference with 50 attendees. She may not have reached the big vision of a 3-day conference yet, but the smaller conference is encouragement to her that God will finish what He started.
And the same goes for you! Let the small wins be a sign to you that God’s best is still yet to come.
You Have Everything You Need
I want to take a moment to speak to the person that feels too paralyzed or scared to get started because they don’t think they have what they need. The Bible says that we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). That means that in this moment right now, you have everything you need to get started.
No matter what resource you “think” you need whether it’s money, people, creativity, etc., God is a provider and He will always supply your needs. To me, I’ve had to learn that if I don’t have something yet, then I don’t need it yet. We serve a God who is able to do the impossible. We have to be careful putting Him in a box because we don’t have what we think we “need.”
Increase Your Expectation
When God calls you to do a thing, He’s not just looking for your surrendered willingness to do what He says, He’s looking for your expectation.
The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Sometimes you’re not going to see “it” whatever “it” is until an appointed time, but God wants to see your expectation anyway! So start expecting “it” to happen and when you don’t see it, keep looking!
When things don’t seem to be panning out…
When the finances look funny…
When the numbers are low…
When people are supportive but not invested…
EXPECT. EXPECT. EXPECT.
Faith doesn’t give up. Faith doesn’t quit pre-maturely.
Faith doesn’t start a pity party.
Faith doesn’t get discouraged.
Faith continues to believe and EXPECT no matter the circumstance.
Today, I declare an increased measure of faith over your life! The thing WILL come to pass.
I hope this post on the beauty of humble beginnings was helpful! I’d love to hear your thoughts. What was your biggest takeaway from today’s post? Tell me in the comments.
Hanha Parham is a Christian author and speaker. Her personal mission is to provide the millennial woman with fun and practical resources that help them confidently believe who God has called them to be. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, drinking iced chai lattes from Starbucks, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!