You know how sometimes you get this really good idea for something, and you know it’s just going to be great, and then it totally fails? That happened to me once. It was infuriating. It was also one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I know. Let me explain.
I might have actually mentioned this before about how I used to desperately want a website and what not. If you go way back to some of my earlier posts I went in depth about my whole journey to coming to blogging, but right now I want to focus on one part of this.
Related: "I Quit"
That time I worked with a web designer, and it didn’t work out. I’m going to talk about that - one of the worst and best things ever to happen to me.
God is working. I’ve always believed that. Even when we feel stuck, even when it feels like He’s totally not doing anything, and even when our plans horrifically fail. Especially when our plans horrifically fail. Those are the times where it may feel like God is totally against us, but that is not true. He’s actually protecting us and trying to get us back on track with His plans that are way better.
I challenge you to thank God for the next time one of your plans go wrong - He’s actually protecting you. Now, this is only the beginning of the post. If you’re totally looking at me with a blank face, thinking, “How in the dang heck am I supposed to be happy when something goes wrong? I just stubbed my toe - REJOICE! REJOICE…!?” That’s not exactly what I mean. Let me tell you my story.
We all have plans. We love making plans according to what we see best. It’s not bad to make plans, but we need to make sure it is God’s will. If we are not sure what His will is, we need to ask Him to make the right decision for us, like when I asked God to make the decision about if I got accepted onto a traveling basketball team I tried out for.
In the spring before the summer I started this blog, I wanted a website. From a young age, I developed a fascination with social media and websites and posting about my life and mission. Maybe I’m conceited, I don’t know. Anyway, I had a lot of money saved up at that point, and this was the point where nothing I could design for myself would satisfy me. So what is the next logical step? Hire somebody!
Problem is, I didn’t consult God about this. Nope. I didn’t even really have a defined purpose for the site except for the fact I wanted a website, dang it. I was desperate, and I just wanted to have my own site on the internet. I found a designer through a cute website I was looking at. Her portfolio had some sites I thought were very pretty, and she was also affordable. My parents let me do this, and she was all for it. I got put on a waiting list where I had to pay half of the money up front, and then I waited. Clear into late spring or early summer until it was finally my turn.
I was a mess. The waiting just made me overwhelmed with so many design possibilities, and nothing would ever satisfy me. I kept having different ideas, and it was super frustrating. Finally when my turn came, it started getting better. I picked my colors and fonts, and she had designed a super cute logo for me. This was also when I heard of Squarespace because she recommended it to me, and I loved their platform.
But things started to take a turn for the worse. She just stopped doing it. We were really nice about it and emailed her a few times, and she was nice back, but still nothing really happened. To this day I still can’t really figure out why it decided to bomb with me. She had many clients before me and received great testimonials. She’s had clients since me and gotten their work done. Of course, at the time, I thought just my luck. Looking back on it now, I think of what a huge blessing that was for it to fail and how God was really looking out for me. Let me explain still.
I was mad. I was sick of waiting. I wanted my website, and I wanted it NOW! Summer is always the season where many exciting things happen to me, and I wanted to start documenting them for gosh sake! Then I had an idea while I waited.
I would start a temporary blog. I wouldn’t keep it forever, only until my website was finished. I would use it strictly for updates and hey, I may as well throw my faith in there because we can’t forget about God. The design was just going to be simple - nothing over the top.
In the meantime, we got fed up with the whole website thing. We did a claim to get our money back (it was actually MINE…), and unfortunately I only got half of it back. The other half was from when we first began, and it was back too far to do a claim. My parents, as the very nice awesome people they are, gave me my other half of money, but that still stinked. However, if I had to make the same decisions over again, I would. I definitely would.
That temporary, updates only blog became a permanent, faith at the center instead of Ashlee and her conceited self blog, and obviously the design has got face lifted so many times it should be dead. The power of God, people.
I decided I didn’t need a website. God had other plans all along, and when I screwed up, He redirected me to this site here where I take way too many pictures, turn way too many things pink, and talk about Him a lot. I feel no shame in any of these!
What would have happened if the website did go through? I have a few guesses.
- I would have hated the design. I’m sure the designer would have done an amazing job, but I didn’t know what my brand was. You all have seen how long it took me to figure it out. I mean, dang it! If I would have hired a designer every time I needed a new design, I would have gone into debt as much as I would’ve if I bought all the Uggs I wanted. That is also equivalent to the amount of money somebody who just won the lottery got.
- I would have no idea where I was going. Let’s face it: I totally jumped the gun too early. Writing website? Seriously? I didn’t even have a finished book…
Bottom line: IT WOULD HAVE TOTALLY SUCKED. It’s been awesome watching God evolve my blog and just seeing where He takes it. I think this is a really good example for me personally of God always remaining faithful. He’s what this life is about, not me, and I want to share that here. This is something I’m definitely going to remember heading into the journey of trying to get my book published, and I actually need to remember that for everything in this life.
So I do thank God that the website failed because I honestly don’t know if Sparkles by Ashlee would exist today, and I know God is working through it. So yes, I do thank God. Even though I wanted that fifty dollars, and it wasn’t fair my parents had to sacrifice that… Even so, I still thank God. Sometimes we don’t see the outcome right away, but when you stop and be patient - when you stop and focus on God - you’ll see that He knows what He’s doing. He’s on your side, and He’s got your back. He will be faithful.