Starting the business, Serenity Village, was my sister’s idea. After speaking with my sister more at length and going over to St. Petersburg and visiting facilities, I began the journey… The Journey to Success.
I began writing the business plan. I would write and research, research and write, until nearly 3 or 4 in the morning. After nearly a year and half the business plan was ready. I had completed a 30 page business plan that included a 3-year pro forma, marketing plan and architectural rendering of the proposed facility on the proposed site.
I tried every possible avenue that I could conjure up to help raise the money but nothing came through. After exhausting every possible means of financing, we gave up on the project. But God…after not being able to follow-through with the initial plan, my sister came up with a brilliant idea – to buy a smaller existing facility in the St. Petersburg, FL area.
After some research, we visited a small 8 bed facility in Seminole, FL. Seminole is located near St. Petersburg, FL. After negotiating with the owner, we finalized the deal. My sister and I closed on the deal on December 21, 2002 in Clearwater, FL. After we closed, we went to Carrabas restaurant for lunch and back to her apartment.
Approximately 16 hours after we closed on the business, my baby sister was dead. Tammy died from respiratory arrest. She took an over dose of OxyContin.
I remember falling to my knees and exclaiming, “My baby’s dead.”
During her funeral services, I spoke about these three terms and what they meant to us.
By God’s grace and mercy and the revelation of the meaning of this terms, I have been able to receive the abundant blessings that God intended…I hope that you are blessed by them as well.
Patience: Let Patience have her perfect work so that you will perfect and entire; lacking nothing.
Wisdom: Wisdom is the principal thing therefore get wisdom. However in all thy getting, get an understanding.
Faith: Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
My “Journey to Success” required me to travel through the 3 “zones” of life. This journey draws many parallels to the Isralites in Egypt. The journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land paints a powerful perspective of three distinct zones people live in regarding God’s abundance. In one way or another, you are living in one of the three zones today:
- Egypt – The zone of “Never Enough.”
- Wilderness – The zone of “Barely Enough.”
- Canaan – The zone of “More Than Enough.”
The zones of “Egypt” and the “Wilderness” are safe zones for us. They represent the entitlement systems and the safety net provided by being employed by someone. However, these zones rob us our greatest moments and memories. Many people are so afraid of risk that they spend their entire lives in Egypt, the land of “Not Enough.”
A few are willing to get out of this zone and entire into the Wilderness, the zone of “Just Enough.”
But God wants more for you. He wants you to leave the wilderness and enter the Promised Land, the land of “More Than Enough.” It was by Faith, Patience and Wisdom that I left my safe zones and that is what is required of you if you want to enjoy God’s blessing to the fullest.
Excerpt from the book “STAND” a memoir by Gary Hartfield, coming soon to Amazon…
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