When I was approached by Kacie to contribute my Surrender Story to this series, I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to share this part of my business journey. However, I found it difficult to sit down and actually share my story. I was always pushing the writing of this testimony off until tomorrow. Now, the end of February has rolled around and I know that Kacie has been patiently waiting for my completed draft.
Why did I find it so difficult to speak on surrender in my life? To be honest, surrendering to Him is a daily struggle for me. I know that the joy in surrendering to Jesus is available at any moment, but I’m so quick to not reach for it. Even though I know it sooo close, my human, error-prone way of thinking lead me to believe that I can also find joy if I give myself to other areas in my life.
I began this business at the beginning of 2014. My husband and I had just purchased a home in Porter, Indiana (near the Indiana Dunes), and I left my job in the western Suburbs of Chicago. For a while I enjoyed being a stay-at-home-wife. However, I felt a call and passion to do “something more,” whatever that was. I had been making candles from home for some time and decided that pursuing a candle making business would fulfill my desire “to do more.” At this point in my life, I was quite dry in my spiritual walk.
My Worldly thinking: “This business can provide fulfillment and success in my life, and that fulfillment and success will bring me and my loved ones happiness. It can pay the bills, connect me to the community, and give my life purpose.”
Here’s the bombshell that I ignored for a long time: My business is my idol.
God pulled me to this realization as I was becoming more steadfast in my walk + returning to Him. God used amazing women in my church family to remind me of the joy that is so easily accessible when we simply surrender to His will.
Here’s the next bombshell: I have to surrender my business to God.
Holy Spirit says: “This business (that won’t be around forever, by the way) can be used to love on others and ultimately bring people into a fulfilling, loving, grace-abiding relationship with me. And that includes you, my sister.”
Gosh, how wonderful is that? Surrendering DEFINITELY isn’t natural for my prideful self, and it might not come naturally for you either.
Just a few months ago, I started placing Romans 1:16 on the Antique Candle Works website and social media bios. I did this mainly because I needed it attached to this business, because I require a daily reminder to surrender this business to Him.
Second, this IS the gospel. The hope and thought that others will come to know my Father like I do brings more joy than I can ever experience if I go out looking for it myself.
Romans 1:16 reads, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. (HCSB)"
BRITTANY WHITENACK is the founder of Antique Candle Works and lives in Chesterton, Indiana. She and her husband Daniel are celebrating 5 years of marriage this year! Their "first born" is a Pug named Waylon; he is 3.5 years old. Follow the candle making journey with Antique Candle Works + Brittany on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!