Having Done Everything, To Stand
“Joey, I don’t have any funds to pay you.” Joey faithfully creates many of our grief empowerment videos, digital and print graphics, as well as maintains our website at Widow Strong. It was September 1st, 2020, and I owed Joey a two-week payment starting from August 16th. Usually, enough funding comes in to pay for Joey to maintain our digital outreach platforms, but this time was different.
Preparing to break the news to Joey, I felt awful.
Self Sustainability Goal: We had been recording the audiobook version of 180 Your Life for Audible.com and planned to migrate our entire 12-month series of grief empowerment videos to Amazon Prime so that anyone with a Prime membership could easily access our clinically proven, Biblically-based, health and wellness, grief empowerment videos on their cell phone or laptop while also creating an income stream for Widow Strong.
Rebuild and Restore, the upcoming reality program on Pure Flix that exclusively serves widowed families, is launching in the US and Canada by January 2021, and partners with Widow Strong! Click Here to Watch the Rebuild and Restore Trailer!
We are so grateful to be in a position of:
- Growing services for widows and their children
- Providing grief empowerment strategies for those who support the grieving
- Growing our volunteer leadership team
By providing easy, affordable access to our 180 Your Life grief empowerment content through Amazon Prime and Audible we are able to:
- Facilitate Widow Strong chapter growth both nationally and internationally
- Facilitate Widow Strong chapter leadership education
- Educate and Encourage Widows, their families, and those who are grieving with clinically-proven health and wellness strategies for body, mind, and spirit.
- Create additional self-sustainability income streams for Widow Strong through Amazon Prime and Audible
Many small businesses and individuals were affected by the COVID shutdowns, and by April 2020, we lost a number of our small business recurring donors that financially support our Widow Strong programs. This was also a time of miraculous provision from God through additional donors that kept our doors open and even expanded our outreach programs!
Here’s a 4-Minute video that shares our Widow Strong 2020 Programs:
GOAL: Create Additional Income Streams to Support Widowed Programs
Starting mid-August, we have been working toward refining our digital and in-person strategic growth structure as well as create additional self-sustainable income streams for Widow Strong programs. Our goal is that our grief empowerment content is easily and affordably accessible and that our programs are financially supported. Our next step was to share our video content on Amazon Prime Video and audio content on Audible.
I shared with Joey that I did not know when I could pay him and offered that if he wanted to stop working with me that was understandable. We would have to stop these projects.
Instead, Joey decided to MAINTAIN HIS CURRENT WORK SCHEDULE! Joey works 32 hours a week, traveling to our office four days a week, and trusted God for his salary!
He worked for One month. No pay.
He worked for TWO months. No pay.
We were one week away from him working for the THIRD MONTH, marking a nearly 90-day period of Joey showing up to work on faith alone. We continued to pray together for God’s provision.
By October 30th, Joey and I submitted all the audio files for the 180 Your Life audiobook to Audible.com for their quality control review.
Starting on November 2nd, we were loading all the metadata and videos to Amazon Prime Video, but there was a problem we hadn’t anticipated. We needed $600 to pay for closed-captioning required by Amazon Prime Video.
Having Done Everything: To Stand
So Joey and I prayed and decided to do all we could: load all the footage and metadata onto Amazon Prime Video and wait for God to provide the $600 for the closed captioning costs.
I prayed from Monday, November 2nd through Friday, November 6th, 2020 for God to confirm that we were supposed to go in this direction. We needed to start submitting files for closed-captioning by Monday, November 9th to make an early December release date.
I asked God alone for the funds.
By Wednesday, November 4th, a widow that I had not personally met, reached out to me, and donated $200! We were on our way!
Then John Rutledge reached out to me that Friday, November 6th. He is the founder of the Miles for Bethany virtual 5K in honor of his amazingly talented and generous late-wife, Bethany Rutledge. A devoted wife and new mother of twin one-year-old boys, Bethany passed away unexpectedly on August 3, 2019.
Bethany is also the featured coach in our 180 Your Life health, hope, and healing grief empowerment books and videos.
The Miles for Bethany Virtual 5K took place on Saturday, October 31st, and the proceeds supported three nonprofits (the Kyle Pease Foundation, Lifeline Animal Project, and Widow Strong). John asked me to check how much individual donors via this 5K had given through our nonprofit donation portal.
When I checked, I gasped…and then literally wept tears of joy!
Through their generosity, God had provided ALL the remaining funds needed to launch the 180 Your Life audible book as well as the funds needed up to this point to launch our entire 180 Your Life grief empowerment videos on Amazon Prime, which included Joey’s back-pay of three months, AND the funds needed for the closed captioning!!
We will keep you posted! Here are the sneak-peak samples:
This experience reminds me of several promises in the Bible:
- Psalm 27:14
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
- Ephesians 6:13
“Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.”
- Exodus 14:1
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”
Tremendous THANKS to our current ministry individuals, volunteers, and partners who continue to serve our widowed community!
Many Thanks to Joey, for stepping out in faith with me to complete these goals!
Our Heartfelt THANKS to the Rutledge Family and the supporters of the Miles for Bethany 5K! You have made it possible for us to share Bethany’s health and wellness strategies through our 180 Your Life grief empowerment video series with a national and international audience for years to come!
As our community comes together, each giving as God leads, together we empower widows and their children with practical strategies of health, hope, and healing as James 1:27 calls us to do.
What a wonderful example of God’s faithfulness!
We all have challenges and these times can be very unsettling. I hope this account of God’s faithfulness encourages you to wait, stand, and hope!
As we enter the holiday season, please consider partnering with Widow Strong programs through your tax-deductible donation so that we may continue to fuel our upcoming online and in-person ministry outreach events during this sensitive time for widows and their children.
Gift Bags for Widows: $50 per bag
Sponsor a holiday meal gift card for a widowed family: $100
Sponsor a gift card for presents for a widow’s children: $50 per child
Sponsor a Monthly In-Person Widow Strong Social Gathering Event: $500 (2 sponsors needed per event)
Sponsor a widow in a 2021 Widow Strong retreat: $1000
If you would like to make a one-time or recurring tax-deductible donation to support Widow Strong programs and outreach, please click here. Thank you.
Founder, Widow Strong
Author, 180 Your Life