February 2020 has been a special and really reflective month for me. As well as being the month in which I celebrated my 30th birthday (15.02.20), the 24th February also marked 5 whole years since I registered my company, Pura Track! Wow, what a journey it has been! As I’ve been reflecting, I’ve really been able to see Abba’s hand, leading and guiding me. And although I expected to be a millionaire by now (based on what God showed me when I first registered my company in 2015), I am now able to see, recognise and appreciate how necessary the past 5 years have been for me and my development.
A little background
Jesus saved me in November 2006.
In October 2008, He told me to leave university.
I initially went part-time (partial obedience = disobedience), but by His grace, I fully obeyed in March 2009 beginning a new journey of faith.
After leaving university, I wrote a 6-week self-esteem programme with the Lord and He opened the door for me to acquire funding for the project.
So at 19 years old, my first paying job was as a self-employed social entrepreneur, delivering my programme in different schools, pupil referral units and youth projects. I did this for 3 years.
In September 2012, I started working part-time as a play leader in a primary school. I was married for 2 years by this point, so this job just provided me with a little extra personal change now that my funding had come to an end.
The Lord gave me Joseph like favour in this primary school. From September 2012 to July 2015, I went from lunchtime play-leader to teaching assistant, to lead play leader (and PPA PE teacher), to HLTA qualified status. I self-published 2 blatantly Christian children’s books during this time, and my headteacher allowed me to sell them at school. I was even able to choose my own hours and my deputy headteacher cried when I left the school.
In 2014, I experienced a very painful separation in my marriage. My husband and I had been together since March 2008 and married in April 2010. So, as well as the pain I was going through, being left to provide for myself was also very scary. Abba had to teach me to know Him as my personal provider.
Back to February 2015
So, though I was experiencing a lot of pain and turmoil in my marriage, Abba continued to lead my life. He had already promised that He would restore my marriage, and from September 2014, He had begun to speak to me extensively about my individual calling.
So, in February 2015, I registered Pura Track in obedience to Abba’s leading. Shortly after this, He told me that I was leaving the primary school I was working in and would qualify as a personal trainer. All of this was a HUGE shock to me, but I obeyed. To the average person, these instructions may not seem like they required a lot of faith, but they did. Being in a position where I was separated from my husband (who used to pay all the bills), and my present income at that time not even being equal to my expenses, I already had to trust Abba. But now He was asking me to trust on a whole new level! 1. Leave work, 2. Qualify as a personal trainer (which was expensive- but He provided me funding for again!), and, 3. He then told me to return to athletics (which only increased my expenditure!).
From October 2015, He really threw me into a whole new season.
I completed an intensive personal training course in September 2015 and qualified as a level 3 personal trainer. However, because the course was full time, I was not able to work at all that month. So, October came and bills came... and of course, I was unable to pay them. Thus began a whole new season for me.
LESSON 1: Humility
Since I’ve been saved, I have always had a deep passion to be a provider in the Body of Christ. I have also simultaneously always considered myself to be extremely good with money. I had never even seen my overdraft up until October 2015, so you can imagine how humbling this new season was for me. Abba had to quickly teach me not to have any pride or identity in my money management ability. He also had to humble me and teach me to ask for help, and to experience what it feels like to be on the receiving end. It takes a lot of humility to be the one in need - receiving. I had always wanted to be the one giving but had never considered what it could be like for the one in need. My flesh hates looking weak or needy, but that was the season I was in. I could have no pride in myself, and Abba was using this season to humble me.
LESSON 2: Serving other people’s visions
“And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own.” (Luke 16:12, KJV)
As you will have gathered from what I’ve shared so far, I’ve always been an entrepreneurial person. When Abba told me to leave my employment, I honestly thought I was going to thrive as an entrepreneur straight away. I mean, I had all the gifting and skillsets, didn’t I? But whenever I would try and do my own venture it would literally feel like running into a brick wall. I would do the same service for another person’s company, and everyone would love my work, and that person’s company would thrive through the work I did, but the moment I tried to do anything fitness/sports-related of my own... c r i c k e t s !
It was so frustrating for me for so long, until I finally just surrendered and realised that this was the season Abba had me in. He was calling me to faithfully serve other people’s visions. Again, it was very humbling, but it was also a huge chance to learn and develop. I never thrived financially during this time; I worked mostly as a freelance coach / physical activity instructor (I taught hundreds of children), I also continued to help others publish their books / develop their businesses/ministries (but hardly ever got paid - I sowed a lot of seeds!). My hourly coaching/instructing rates were good, but the difficulty was always getting enough hours. Nevertheless, throughout it all, I have never begged for bread and the Lord truly has provided all my needs, even if it hasn’t been in the way I would have wanted (i.e. the money in my hand/bank). I eventually grew to love the lifestyle Abba was cultivating for me though. He taught me that He is my provider, that He has innumerable ways of meeting my needs, and that He wants me to live a carefree life of love and liberty.
LESSON 3: Every vision needs structure
So, from October 2015, Abba had me freelancing, serving other people’s visions. But then, in October/ November 2018, I started to have this really uncomfortable feeling... it’s like the grace for my freelance season started to wear out. It took me a couple months to understand fully, but when the Lord told me that my season of working for others was over - I couldn’t believe it!
2019 was my first full year of fulltime entrepreneurship and it was - HARD! Lol. Once again I had thought that I would surely go into this and just thrive immediately, but it seemed there was a lot of restructuring Abba wanted to do before I could truly soar as a businesswoman. You see, from when I first registered the company, I had always had 4 key areas of service: business, fitness, publishing and sport. However, at the beginning I used to just lump everything together - there was no structure.
Over the past 5 years though, that is part of what Abba has been doing (without me realising it). He was slowly but surely revealing and developing me so that I could understand, implement and handle this structure and load in my company. In 2019, He helped me to differentiate the business & publishing consultancy aspect (Pura Track) from “Torema Thompson” my personal brand as an athlete, author and adviser. Throughout 2019, Abba also had me develop a structure for when, where and how I worked or did things within my business.
So, as I sit here and write, I am still yet to become a millionaire, but it is beyond evident that Abba has been the one orchestrating my journey up to this point. I trust Him that not only will He get my business and marriage to the place He has promised but more importantly, that He will also complete His work in me.
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I look forward to connecting with you online and in-person!
In His love always.