Sunday, May 8, 2016

You know, it’s funny how God works. One minute He can give you a vision and the next He'll smile down at you and say, “This is where you’re going and what I have in store for you, but not yet.”

For the first few hours, the excitement of the vision God had placed on my heart completely blurred the fact that I would need funding for it. You see, the taste of the future glimpse that God had given me for this ministry sparked immense and immediate joy within. When I finally took a second to calm down from all the excitement, I started realizing the logistics of it all. And then I started praying…praying for the way to properly pursue and ultimately arrive to the destination of the vision He had so sweetly gifted me with. Our conversation went a little like this:

Me- “God, I’m ready! How do I get to this place your vision has shown me? Can I have another vision that provides for me the route to get to the vision you just showed me?

God- “Be patient. You’re not ready, but you’ll see.”

After our little conversation I found myself impatient, frustrated and confused. Why couldn't He just show me the way to the way? (What a question, am I right?) Let’s be real for a second here: Everything costs money and we all know that money doesn't grow on trees. To be downright honest, I didn’t have the appropriate funding for what God was calling me to. This is where the root of my frustration lied.

As it turns out, God was right (again, funny how that works). I wasn’t ready because I was wrong. You see, it wasn’t funding or an additional vision that would lay out the way to God's ultimate vision for Daughter of Delight that I was lacking…it was t r u e and t o t a l trust. My excitement in the glimpse He had shared with me overpowered my trust and therefore resulted in more doubt than it did anything. He wasn’t calling me to come up with the money and logistics of it all on my own. He was calling me to plunge deeper than I ever have into my trust in His good Kingdom plan and my part in it…a plan greater than anything I could ever come up with. Ultimately, He was calling me to learn how to embrace the right here and now with the not yet, but you'll get there in mind.

So for the next 365+ days after our chat, the Lord and I embarked on a wilderness journey of learning how to trust in Him as I walked down a blurred path, full of highs here and lows there, to what I knew would be waiting for me at the end of it. As I held my Daddy’s hand and embraced the season that lied ahead, I had no idea that trusting in the unknown of the wilderness experience would become a prevalent theme throughout this specific year of my life altogether.

If I learned anything from this season it’s that God is working even when we can’t physically see Him. He is so behind the scenes active in ways that we cannot see or fully comprehend simply because He loves to go before us. The Lord loves for us to arrive at certain stages in our lives and have an all of the sudden realization regarding just how active He was in leading up to that very moment. God loves these special "You can always trust Me, My child" kind of encounters. And so do I.

Looking back on how the Lord made the Daughter of Delight shirts a reality makes me stop in the middle of my tracks and just breathe deep breaths of gratitude for my Creator. It’s all about trust, my friends. I can't say it enough. 

True and total trust.

Fast forward a year from this conversation with God and you’ll find me face to face with the answer to my prayers. Fast forward a year from this conversation and you’ll see me tilting my head to the sky with an open smile saying, “Thanks Daddy”. Now, take a step into the reality of this day and you’ll find me ready.

I won’t get into all the details behind how the Lord went before me and orchestrated the sweetness of this story (I could write a novel), but I will share two large slices of information with you that I want you to be aware of.

1.) I went to a children’s ministry conference back in January of this year (I am a full-time children's minister). At this conference, I met a sweet couple that owned a t-shirt design business. I had randomly considered selling t-shirts a few weeks beforehand, but didn’t know where to start so I pushed the thought aside. However, when this conversation took place I realized it was one of the special ways God would start to fund this ministry. During our conversation, I shared my Daughter of Delight story with them. I became convicted that our conversation was a green light for me to move forward in selling Daughter of Delight tees, so we exchanged contact information and, soon enough, a design was in place and ready to go. This conversation was the blossom of a seed that had been planted long before God decided to give me a glimpse of it. 

2.) I joined a small group that a friend of mine was leading a few months ago that consisted of women my age. Turns out, one of the girls I connected with most was a professional photographer. Not only that, but when she heard my heart for women’s ministry and the story behind Daughter of Delight, she made herself available to me for if I ever needed anything done that required photography. I shared with her about the shirts and she gifted me with a $600-700 photography session for FREE. She and her husband Alec are not only incredibly generous, but beyond precious as well. You can read more about them + their story here:

What I really want you to be aware of is the fact that I saved nearly $1,000 in the behind the scenes planning of all of this. That’s a lot of zeroes. 

Thanks Daddy.

As I sit here a year later looking back on how God revealed to me the beauty in the whole “I’ve got this in store for you, but this is just a taste for now” ordeal, I’m realizing that it was His way of encouraging me to keep moving. Yes, things take time. But there is nothing more special than seeing His vision start to play out before you as you place your trust in the ticking of His timing. This last year of my life has been full of lessons learned and lots of growth as a result. 

True and total trust, yall. True and total trust.

Tomorrow at 12 PM CST, the Daughter of Delight shirts will go on sale. 110% of all shirt and donation funds received will go straight toward special projects. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that the team and I will be starting with switching web platforms and creating small group curriculum guides to empower and encourage the Daughter of Delight community to start small groups of their own! These are just two of the many things that have been made possible thanks to the One who has made a way. 

Our prayer for these shirts is that 1) they will serve as a constant reminder of just how delighted in you are by our sweet Daddy, 2) you become a fearless walking testimony to the Gospel and all the things God is doing in the heart of this ministry and 3) you become bold extenders of His great, great love in every ordained conversation you encounter as you wear these shirts. 

We invite each of you to join us in prayer over these shirts and for the ways God will use them to make His name known. How exciting it is that we get to play such a special role in God's story as His image bearers!

Finally, thank you for supporting Daughter of Delight and for journeying with us to His ultimate vision for this ministry. We are truly thankful that you are part of the Daughter of Delight family and can't wait to see you rocking these tees!

Serving with you, 
Emily Lauren Townsend
Daughter of Delight Founder 


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