Have you ever wondered if your current job or career is really what you should be doing with your life? For many, this is a scary thought to have, especially if you feel like you’re already in your “dream job.” Tiffany Black experienced this feeling and shares with us today how she stepped out in faith and was abundantly rewarded for her bravery.
4word: A new year often inspires professionals to “shake things up” in their career, whether that’s a new job or a new industry. A similar urge is what led to you starting Prayer Packages. Tell us about what led you to leave your dream job and start your own company.
Tiffany: A dream job was certainly what I had. Straight out of college, I landed a corporate marketing career and climbed the proverbial ladder as fast as I could, in the field I’d studied and enjoyed. Then it was all disrupted by the simplest desire placed on my heart by God (might I add, this was right before I hit the glass ceiling I never saw coming – yes our God has that kind of perfect timing). My desire was to share the love of Jesus with atheists in my secular workplace, but in an authentic way that wasn’t forceful or offensive. Little did I know this desire would blossom into an opportunity to fulfill a widespread need.
You see, through Prayer Packages, we were able to find a way to bundle Christian gifts that authentically put the heart back into gift giving. And when we’re able to deliver something with God’s love behind it directly to those in need of prayer, encouragement, and inspiration, there’s this magical mutual spark that ignites within the recipient and the giver we never imagined would transpire.
4word: You and your team spent a whole year in prayer and planning for Prayer Packages. What are some obstacles you overcame during this time? How did you know when you were on the right track with something?
Tiffany: Being actively driven and bold, along with prayer, were all parts of a balanced three-legged stool we were planning. The ‘active leg’ of the stool meant for that for 365 days we spent every waking hour (plus more) outside of our paying jobs researching, picking people’s brains, and creating a detailed plan to achieve Prayer Packages’ launch. If you read Noah’s story in Genesis, he found God’s timing through action: after the floods, Noah released a bird every seven days to test for dry land.
The ‘bold leg’ meant we set the bar high in every way, with the mindset that anything with God behind it should radiate with excellence. If we had bold faith that He would guide our steps for His glory, then our faith would be rewarded. Again, in Genesis, Noah exemplifies bold faith by building an ark when people likely thought he was a yoo-hoo, but when he acted faithfully, God then (and only then) showed him exactly how to proceed.
The ‘prayer leg’ is where our obstacles and right track instances blossomed. To think that Noah spent an entire year almost stranded on the ark, I’d like to think not a day passed when Noah didn’t seek God’s plan through prayer. Here are a couple of our most memorable accounts of God guiding our Prayer Packages plan through prayer:
- Obstacle: Money. We all know it too well: money is most often a driving force for numerous boundaries we place on our lives. I was the breadwinner in our Husband / Wife household. So when I prayed for God to show me how to proceed with my corporate career, He told me repeatedly (at least seven times) I needed to give up my “dream job” and operate Prayer Packages full time with $0 pay, leaning on Him to provide for our family. I battled this obstacle for not only the first year of planning, but for two months into running Prayer Packages and keeping my full-time job. Oh how I was hoping I could do it my way, and not His. But after an exhausting two months working both roles, I finally gave in. Sitting out on our patio, crying the ugly cry to my husband (I am not a crier), confessing that everything I had worked so hard for the last ten years I was just going to throw out the window to follow God’s desire on my heart, and my husband was now going to be the breadwinner.
- Right Track: Shopping. What better way to talk to God than through shopping?! What I’d asked God was that He show me how we were going to wrap Prayer Packages in an exceptional way, but do so in a manner that was feasible. I told God I was going to get in my car, go down to Hobby Lobby, and walk around the store until He showed me exactly what we should use to wrap the gifts. I walked in, naturally veered right, and walked straight back to the wood aisle. Sitting there on the shelf was a thin wood veneer box that immediately caught my eye. I picked it up and spoke to God again saying, “OK, if I take this box home and it fits the Bible we already purchased to include in Prayer Packages, then it’s the one.” As I walked to the checkout I was stopped three times by different people that were oohing-and-ahing, asking me where did I get that and it was the coolest box they’d seen. When I arrived home and the Bible slid within the box like a perfectly crafted glove, I could only smile and thank God for leading us toward the right track. We now have all of our gift boxes manufactured to perfect size, with our logo, and they continue to be one of the most loved parts of every Prayer Package.
4word: What has been the response to Prayer Packages? Do you have any customer stories you can share?
Tiffany: Many heartwarming reviews have come in over the past year and a half saying things like “Best Gift Ever!!!”, “Filled with Love!!”, or “Perfect for someone dealing with grief.” The best response, though, has come from our original desire: to share the love of Jesus with non-believers in an authentic way. I told my husband from day one that I felt if we could bring just one person to Christ through a Prayer Package, our job was fulfilled. And on January 1, 2015, that testimonial arrived!
(Complete Testimonial received via email from Purchaser):
I sent an Inspiration Prayer Package to a friend battling addiction. The night she received it, I received a phone call from her. She was calling me to tell me how much and how timely the Prayer Package was for her. She was crying, joyful and appreciative crying, and wanted to be sure I knew how this is the best and most thoughtful gift she had EVER received. Her daughter was the one to answer the door when the package was delivered. Her daughter was excited to see what was inside and kept telling her mom to hurry and open the package. (Side note: the 20-something daughter has been questioning her faith and other things in her own life.)
Jen opened the package and first saw the “most beautiful card she has ever seen.” She began reading the card out loud. Before she could finish the card with the personal message, she looked over at her daughter. Her daughter was crying but continuing to encourage her to see what else was in the package. Next came the prayer token and the wristband which Jen immediately placed on her wrist. Jen’s daughter looked at her mom and said “Mom, God is real.”
Due to her addiction, Jen is taking some mandated classes with other addicts. She took her entire Prayer Package to her meeting that night because she wanted to share with everyone the message she had received. She specifically wanted to show her Prayer Package to a member of the group that made no secret of her non-belief in God. Jen shared the card, prayer token, and wristband with the group. Much to her surprise, the non-believing participant echoed the words of Jen’s daughter earlier in the day “God is real.”
I never thought when I sent this package to my friend that it might reach and touch others. As much of a blessing as the Prayer Package was to Jen, her bigger gift came from her daughter (struggling with her own faith) “God IS REAL.”
4word: What advice would you give to someone desiring to make a leap of faith with their career but not sure what to do or how to even know if it’s the right move?
Tiffany: My advice would be this: often the right move is something we never thought would be right, let alone even an option. But this is how God shows you it is His plan, His move, and a desire He has for your life. You will likely encounter many confusing and unclear things along the way that may seem like detours, but if you have bold faith, take daily action to actively seek His will for your life, and speak to Him often through prayer, you will eventually (in God’s timing) make the leap of faith He’s had planned for you all along.
4word: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Tiffany: An integral part of keeping God’s will for Prayer Packages is for us to continue giving back with all we receive. Not only do we give 10% of our proceeds to nonprofits, but we aspire in the near future for God to allow us to employ adults with special needs to fulfill all of our Prayer Packages as well. And one day, make our concept into something the whole world will find God’s love in.
Has Tiffany’s story inspired you to step out in faith and listen for God’s calling in your life? If you’re feeling like God wants something more for you, be brave and take the time to investigate what He wants you to do. Like Tiffany, you may be led down a new path leading to numerous blessings and the knowledge that you are completely in God’s will.
Please click here to receive these impactful blogs automatically to your inbox.
Being a fruit and Mexican food loving exercise addict comes naturally for Tiffany Black. Married to not only her best friend but a man of God who brought her to Christ. Tiffany’s days are filled with God, belly laughs, a wiener dog’s loyalty and cat’s sass.
Tiffany founded Prayer Packages in 2014, aiming to become the newest way to shop Bundled Christian inspired gifts. Our vision is to put prayers into action. Our mission: to deliver keepsake gifts and services that encourage and celebrate family and friends through the love of Christ.