Last summer I coached John over the phone from many states away. The process didn’t feel like a “home run” from my perspective. We reviewed the desires of his heart and worked through some boundaries. I remember trying to caution him on one dream that seemed far from the realm of possibility. John had failed three times in the restaurant business in the past, twice on his own and once in a franchise, and was selling insurance to keep his bills paid.
A few weeks after one of last sessions, he called and was excited about an opportunity to get into a franchise similar to his prior business, an idea that hadn’t come up in coaching. It was exactly “up his alley” and he knew how to do the research on their profitability. He invested the money he had made in the previous 2 years selling insurance, and bought into two franchises. From August until now, his life has been a little hectic. He bought a third franchise in November and, at the moment, he’s in the process of building and opening a fourth. His cash flow per month after expenses exceeds what he used to make in a year in his last failed restaurant. It’s easy to see the favor of God on this whole process that seemed providential.
We can call those breaks “luck,” but I want to suggest that a better model is the favor of God. In his heart John gave himself permission to dream again and to try in an area of previous failure. As you can imagine, he’s really excited. His ministry touches multiple store managers and soon to be over 100 employees, and he only has to decide how fast he wants to grow… not whether.
Here is John’s version of the story.
After I closed my previous restaurant in August 2010, amid a dark cloud of uncertainty and failure, I went back into insurance sales, in which I have always done well. I was soon offered a salaried position with full benefits, car allowance, computer, cell phone and an Ipad. After a year, I was making a small six figure income and was comfortable, but still had a restlessness in my soul. The children were all either in college or married with children. Everything for the future seemed to be set, but there was still a great uneasiness in my spirit. I find it very burdensome to walk the corporate walk and work for someone else. We lived very frugally on my wife’s income (she got a 2nd job after the last restaurant failure) and I put all the money I earned into the bank, and it had built up to an amount with which, realistically, I could do some things. The money in the bank was really burning into me. I just couldn’t fathom that it was wise to just keep it in the bank and not try to do something. In May of 2012 I decided to go through the coaching process with John Garfield; I had read his newletters and books for years, and felt a kindredness and was always encouraged by them. By the time the coaching process was finished, I was encouraged to believe that something would arise to line up with my heart desires. One day soon after, as I was driving through the interchange for I35W and I30 in Fort Worth, I felt that simple tug in my spirit and knew instantly that I was to call the franchise director of a franchise that I had looked at getting into a few years earlier, and ask him if there were any existing franchises for sale. I can take you to the exact spot where this happened. I called and the man told me that it was very interesting that I would call that day as 2 franchises had just come up for sale. Coincidence or providence? (The locations were 200 miles from my home in a town I had lived in for four years growing up. In fact one location was across the street from where I went to Jr. High School.) I could have brushed off that thought to call, but following through with it entailed no risk. Now giving up my nice comfy job and income for a situation that initially looked bleak in a business I had already failed in 3 times, that was the hard part. If I had not done the coaching with John G I don’t believe I would have given myself permission to pursue this opportunity. And, furthermore, I don’t think I would have given God permission to even speak to me about it. Interestingly enough, a month or so after I took over the restaurants I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to recall a dream from many, many years ago that I had forgotten. As I remembered the dream, I saw that in the dream the current day situation and exact pinpoint location across from my school appeared in the dream with all the details, even the leaves on the trees, exactly as it was that day in 2012. God writes with indelible ink!
The Father and me – Catching your break is similar to John’s experience. It’s not luck and it not all divine providence, either. Breakthroughs come to those who dream of them and plan for them. It’s not all our coaching or planning, either. God himself plays a miraculous role that we need. Apart from the Father, luck would be the only explanation left.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Prov 16:9 NIV
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Prov 19:21 NIV
We plan with diligence, probe our own hearts, and pay attention to confirmations and discern the open and closed doors. And then we try as hard as we can… also known as “work.” In the end, we are the first to acknowledge the grace and favor of God on our lives because His stamp is on our path. His intervention is unmistakable. Listen to these explanations:
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Ps 20:6-8 NIV
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zech 4:6 NIV
Three ingredients – Our dreams and destiny have three ingredients: wisdom, revelation and the eyes of your heart.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Eph 1:17-19 NIV
- The eyes of your heart – to experience our future, we have to see it with the eyes of our heart. We have to give ourselves permission to dream and yearn for what seems too good to be true. That’s where the will of God is… in our hearts; beyond all that we can ask or imagine. Creativity, motivation and initiative are birthed in the desires of our own heart. We have to want it!
- A Spirit of Revelation – the second confirmation is that our dream is also in our Father’s heart. We get the revelation that He desires it even more than we do, and that our dream plays a role in the Kingdom in ways we can’t even imagine.
- A Spirit of Wisdom – The third confirmation is that the dream is in the realm of possibility and practicality. Once we see what it is and get the green light, we can make it happen through the power of God that works in us. Again, a combination of work and miracles.
We can come up with ideas and plans, but real creativity and miracles happen when we engage our hearts with wisdom and revelation.
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