I, like many of you, can look around at where this life has taken me and be left utterly speechless. Each path I’ve taken or decision I’ve made is a page in a chapter that has become the story of my life. Unlike an actual book, the day-to-day conflicts or big decisions in my story can feel even more overwhelming because I can’t look ahead to see what happens next. I can’t jump ahead 2-3 pages or flip to the next chapter to ease the uncertainty I’m experiencing at any given time.
But I know the author of my story.
I need not fear what happens next, rather I cling to verses that remind me of God’s sovereignty. Like Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”, Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”, and Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Chapters close and new ones begin. We anticipate that they’ll happen, but we may not know exactly when and we won’t be certain about what they’ll bring.
I find myself turning the page right now because The Stamped Lily is closing.
This may come as a shock to you or, with my recent social media break, you won’t be surprised at all. Nevertheless, it’s time.
I’ve always said that I would keep running The Stamped Lily for as long as God allowed me to. That when I felt like God was closing this chapter in my life, I would have peace with the decision and I would be okay with it, and I am.
Both gratefulness and grief fill my soul as I watch this chapter end.
I am grateful beyond words to God for bringing this beautiful gift into my life and being so kind to allow me to do it for over six years. It is because of this gift that I was able to connect with you. The support you have shown me and The Stamped Lily over this season is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced in my life. You have shown me what a community looks like, what it can be, and I am certain that when God instructs us to bear with one another, it looks something like this. I am overwhelmed with appreciation for each of you.
However, I’m also sad. Each time I created a piece of jewelry and sent it out of this shop, a little part of me went with it. This business has always felt like so much more than a business. It felt as though you let me into your celebrations, your gifts of encouragement, your grief, and even your bunco table, each time you gifted someone else a piece of my jewelry. How can I be part of something so special and not be sad when it ends?
But I trust God.
There are still so many unanswered questions and I’m moving forward without the answers. More than anything else, I want to be obedient. This is an act of obedience. I’m laying down this business and walking away with treasured memories, beautiful friendships, and a chapter in my story that I will never, ever forget.
I know you’ll have questions and I know you’ll want more details. They’ll come.
For now, I want to say thank you. With every part of my soul. Thank you. It has been my incredible joy to serve you through The Stamped Lily. Thank you for showing me what it looks like to be in a community. Thank you for every word of encouragement. Thank you for loving others so well, and asking me to be part of it. You have made me feel blessed beyond measure.
As I close this chapter, uncertain of the next, I am practicing what I have always told you, God has far more planned for us than we can ever imagine, trust Him.