If you would have told me five years ago that I would own my own apparel company and be designing clothing for high impact causes, I would have been very confused and doubtful, but my entire being would have screamed YES, I want THAT!
How limiting my thoughts would have been. Maybe that’s why it took five more years for my mind and my heart to be ready for the life I am now living. This is a brief recounting of my path to purpose, with a rough list of turns I had to make to “pivot” toward my big D (the dream). The first turn I didn’t have much control over, the one I just shared; timing. I am daily astounded, grateful and humbled by the perfection with which God has taken every part of my personhood and professional background and pieced together what I know is my destiny. I didn’t have a five year plan. I did have some patience and a great degree of trust in Divine timing. How the big change happened, is not the process I would have penned. It was not easy and it didn’t hike my ego. There was no denying that when the clock struck “go” and the hour was “change”, I had a choice to make. I could stay and struggle or let go and trust. I chose to let go, trusting that the keeper of my clock, was keeping perfect time.
Desperation for Destiny
I didn’t have a team of investors (or even one) to infuse capital into a dream. I didn’t have a business strategist or a life coach to help me carefully craft the career I wanted based on a thorough assessment of my talents and experience. What I had after ending a seven year career, was nothing I could pay someone to teach, coach or invest in me. I had desperation. Not for something I could write in a business plan, but for something others could write about me after I’m gone. I wanted purpose, the right path… legacy. I wanted more than what my resume said I should be. I wasn’t desperate for a title or a promotion. My soul hungered for a career that reflected the most authentic parts of who I am. I was desperate for the very next professional role I held to be richly meaningful on every level. I wanted nothing less than exactly what I was created for.
Surrender to Service
From the day I asked God to “teach”, he cracked open my life book and began my education. As we all do at times, first comes the prayer, and then comes our attempt to help God answer our prayer. I came up with several good ideas about what I could do next. I really gave it my best shot. I was like a five year old in a tutu and high heels. One day I wanted to be a ballerina, the next day the President. I don’t have much stamina for angst, I never have, so I decided pretty quickly to just. Stop. It. Instead of being a tireless idea factory, I cleared that space in my mind for others. What felt right in my spirit was to “sow” into other (dream) fields, believing I would reap a harvest in my own. I fixed my mind and my heart on “listening” to opportunities to be a solution. I laid out my talents, skills, ideas and time like a buffet for whoever may be in need of what I had and the floodgates opened. It was as if heaven was saying, “YES! Welcome to the party… we were waiting to introduce you to some people.”
For several months in magnificent synchronicity, people I cared about, even people I hadn’t spoken with much in years- found their way into my life and they were all toting their dreams, clearly expressing their needs. I was asked to read/review/edit two books, I filled in as an administrative assistant/office manager for a month for an entrepreneur friend in need, I helped a friend gather her ideas and make a concrete plan that launched her business and I’ve used my time, talent and treasure to support a burgeoning non-profit that’s inspiring women toward their unique purpose.
Listening vs. Logic
It would make more sense and be easier to duplicate if I could say that I gradually gained clarity about my next big move. I didn’t. I had two goals: Help other people toward their dreams and listen very carefully to the “still small voice” of God. If I had allowed logic to take over, I would have job applied myself right out of my dream. I was watching a popular show on television one night and a successful woman entrepreneur was discussing her clothing company. Butterflies began to flutter. Ideas began to swirl. Unexplainable excitement swelled from within and crescendoed into sudden, unmistakable clarity. Instead of watching her, I saw myself in her. She didn’t have a fashion degree. She was a call rep with an idea, faith and stubborn determination. Suddenly all things felt possible. I’d loved fashion my entire life and I’ve been selling things since I could talk. I grabbed a notebook and started branding my company. It happened that fast. Three days later I got a solid Management offer from the only company I’d applied to in six months. It was a perfect salary, seven minute commute and matched my previous professional experience exactly. It would have been an easy hole in one. It’s a good thing I hate golf and love adventure. I stood at the crossroads of logic and listening and what my heart said was vastly different than what my mind told me. I turned down the job and turned up the heat. I had listened and gained vision, passion and guidance from God.
Rinse and Repeat
I couldn’t sleep. I dreamed about my business. I prayed about my business. I researched about my business. I was consumed with the vision I had for what I knew was right for me and yet I did not know that the vision was incomplete. I knew enough about what I was going to do, to take decisive steps toward it. As I stepped out toward my dream, I found that every lesson learned, bears repeating. I was at a large market/trade show. I was bursting with enthusiasm, ready to carefully choose inventory for my store. After six hours looking, I couldn’t find the size ranges I wanted. I naively thought that a lot of clothes would run in sizes 2-22. They do not. I heard a gentle nudging “don’t buy anything today… there is something more special for you”. Timing. I walked away, empty handed and contemplative. I became obsessed with understanding why God nudged me to leave with no purchase. Desperate for Destiny. I thought. I prayed more. I asked for guidance and to be a solution. Surrender to Service. I couldn’t stop thinking about the women that fashion seemed to be forgetting. I cleared my mind of the standard retail fashion guidelines I knew were successful. When I really listened to my heart, I was only satisfied with the idea of beautifully clothing women in sizes that the fashion industry ignored. Listening vs Logic. TheMoxieFox.com was born.
Instead of sharing courage as a step or an ingredient for success, I urge you to cloak yourself in it daily, you’ll need it. There have been stints on this journey that I’ve woken up for weeks on end out of breath, frankly scared of this ride I’m on. I can’t see around the corner and what I can see is just as nerve-racking as what I can’t. One morning I woke up and immediately following my new normal i.e. the feeling that I had jumped out of an airplane and was patiently waiting for someone else to open my parachute, came calm and then the thought “this is what it feels like to walk on the sea of God”. The awareness that I had stepped out of the proverbial boat and this is what it felt like to walk on water – scary, confusing, exhilarating, fun, dizzying and transformative, brought me infinite peace. I’m doing it. I’m living this life by faith and my feelings will take a back seat to my calling.
There isn’t room here to share all the ways this cycle has cleared my path and clarified my destiny. I can tell you that international partnerships have been born. A global company is featuring my business in a video blog. I’m designing clothing as a solution for a large non-profit that needs my niche. I’ve gotten free exposure I couldn’t have planned and I’m inspiring women entrepreneurs to embrace their dreams in ways I didn’t imagine I could.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13
My prayer is this: “Father, let the courage you’ve given me, against all odds, show the world the power of being with you”.
Bio for Christiana White: I simply love helping others fulfill potential. I’ve been many things, but the common thread is imparting value to others. My wonderful husband works in the oil field and I have three teenage sons, two of whom are musicians and one talented athlete. Professionally I’ve been a manager, sales trainer, business owner and speaker. Most recently, I’ve started an online retail store www.themoxiefox.com dedicated to curvy sizes for women, born out of a desire to provide women with curves, a beautiful shopping solution and a message of value. Christiana can be reached through email at [email protected]