No Matter What Your Beliefs... I'm sure that you've heard it all before but I'm here to tell you that God is AMAZING!! Whether or not you believe in Jesus as your savior or you have no beliefs in a "god" at all... I challenge you to deny that Christ has been at the center of my life with all that I have been through and how far I have come. If you've gotten this far in reading my testimony, something has obviously intrigued you enough to continue on. So please hear me out....
Many things have happened to me over the years that either I have put myself through or have allowed myself to be subjected to, so I have taken full responsibility for the mess which I called my life. But I'm not here to tell you all of the miracles that I have experienced, I want to tell you about the most recent miracle.... A little over 10 years ago I moved here to Temecula and was hired to work as a sales manager for a construction equipment company. Toward the end of my first year I was injured on a jobsite that ultimately disabled me unable to work or sometimes even walk. I had injured my spine and going through over a year of seeing different doctors, attempting ways to try and cure the injury and control the pain, nothing was working; I had tried every neuropathic pain medication known to man and refused to take any type of narcotic pain medications.
After three years of testing and hoping and praying I was finally diagnosed with a plethora of autoimmune diseases. To name a few, Lupus, Sjogren's, and Fibromylagia as well as moderate osteoarthritis and bone spurs on my neck and spine. My neuro-surgeon said he wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot pole because doing surgery on me "would be disastrous". It didn't sound very hopeful... There was and is no cure for any of it. The only hope that I had was trusting in God... I still went into a serious depression...
So many days that I could not walk and couldn't even get out of bed. I felt worthless and hopeless and felt like I was no good to anybody, and especially not to my family. In June of 2009 I often tried to go for short walks with my pups to get out for some fresh air....as we were walking one day I remember thinking that it was really inconvenient to be carrying my cell phone, my ID and my keys in one hand and a cane in the other. After several walks I started to realize that I needed something that was lightweight and of course "fashionable" that I could carry these little necessities in. I searched for a couple of months looking on all the designers sites as well as many other online accessory sites, looking for something other than a plain black leather belt pouch or a hot pink neoprene phone bag... to no avail!
Finally giving up on my search, one day I walked into my closet looking for something to cut up to make something that I could use. I found a little black patent leather drawstring bag. I cut it into a rectangle shaped piece of leather and stapled it together, tied a dog leash snap lock so that I could hang it on a belt loop or the strap of my dresses and voila! There I had it! Wherever I went I received many compliments and had friends asking me to make some for them in various fabrics and colors... they told their friends who told their friends and I was amazed at the response!
After a few weeks of this I started to think... This could be a business....I decided to take it a step further and took a dozen or so of these little bags that I had made over to a beautiful upscale boutique in town and presented them to the owner. She went crazy and insisted that I get this patented... She really scared me! I thought to myself "I really have to do something before this gets out". I didn't have the strength or energy to do this... How would this at all be possible? I prayed about it and prayed about it and thought to myself... I have no money, my husband lost his job and I had to battle with my long term disability every year to maintain my benefits.. How could I possibly do this? And well, there was also the fact that the President of the United States was on TV stating that we were on the brink of a depression... I thought I could never make it. I had my monthly disability check that was $4000...That was supposed to be used to pay the house payment, the car payment and the utilities that were due.
Should I do this? I looked up to the Lord and I said "Lord if this is your will...., I prayed that if I take this money and buy the things I need to make these bags and sell them to make back the money you have blessed me with and a little bit more to make more bags, please give me your blessing". In September 2009, I filed for my patent, started my company and sold about $5000 in the first month and then in November - December 2009 I sold $12,000; this was with no sales representatives or showrooms, only referrals and my family working for me and making my bags for me. In November of 2010 we sold almost $80,000 in just that month, with close to 400 boutiques all over the country and 6 showrooms/sales representatives.
I am supporting my family, no longer on disability and provide jobs for my family that were in need of work due to the loss of their jobs because of the failing economy. I am still in severe pain daily and yes there are days that I can't walk, and I have many sleepless nights...but you tell me how a broken woman like myself, in a severe state of depression emotionally, physically, financially and economically, can start a company from nothing and in one year be able to financially provide for my family as well as give others the ability to do so, without God at the center of it all.... I'll tell you how... Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
I am blessed beyond imagination and thankful for everyone and everything in my life. I want all to be inspired... No matter what your situation...Have faith and know that HE is GOD! And remember, no matter what your beliefs I respect and love you all!! xoxo Lisa B.