About Me

Who is “Nae Noelle?”

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

I’m Nae, and there are a lot of things about me that people may not know. First, I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels that are resting in heaven. I am also a dog mom to 2 rowdy, lovable dogs. I am the CEO and Owner of Social League Inc, a social media marketing company, and Christ Adorned, an online Christian apparel store that aims to spread the gospel of Christ.

I’ve struggled for a long time to start this blog, despite much encouragement and being pushed to do so. I have a lot on my mind and a lot to share with all of you including how I became a successful entrepreneur at only 16 years old, becoming a young wife at 19 years old, and how I navigate life through all of its ups and downs.

I am excited to be opening up about my life with hopes of being an inspiration and providing encouragement to those who have endured, or are enduring, similar situations to mine.

Surviving the Holidays When You’ve Lost Someone

For most people, the holidays are a time to celebrate. It’s a time where you get to be with family that you may not normally see all the time, and it’s a time to make memories and share laughs. 

For others, it can be a reminder of loved ones they’ve lost. Whether it’s a mother, son, or cousin, it can be hard to get through the holidays when those loved ones are on our minds. 

I personally am someone who will be “surviving” the holidays. What should’ve been a wonderful time of the year, is now going to be the hardest times of my life. 2019 has been rough and I pray that nothing but good things are coming in our future. 

While I will be celebrating my birthday, I’ll also be mourning the loss of our daughter Aaliyah who was due on the same day. We should be sharing a birthday together, but sadly that is no longer our reality. God has called her home to be with Him. 

But it isn’t over. I refuse to let that steal my joy this holiday season, and you shouldn’t let your circumstances steal yours either. 

Here are some ways that you can survive the holidays after losing someone you love. 

First, the Joy of the Lord

Being one of God’s children means that we get to experience strength and joy in the Lord. He knows the troubles we face, and He also knows how to equip us to get through them. Though we have suffered, God still gives us the strength to carry through. With Him, we learn to find joy in the midst of our sorrows. 

One of my favorite scriptures about this comes from 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (CEV): “So when you accepted the message, you followed our example and the example of the Lord. You suffered, but the Holy Spirit made you glad.”

Another scripture that I lean on is John 16:22 (CEV). “You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel.” The KJV says “no one will take your joy from you.” 

When we lean on the Lord for peace and strength, He fulfills our every need. This holiday season, I am choosing love and joy. I’m choosing the redirect every negative, sad, helpless emotion that I’ve felt in 2019, into something positive. I gave my sorrows to the Lord and He restored me. 

I won’t say that the losses don’t affect me at all anymore. I am still human, and I still “feel.” But when I start to feel those emotions creeping back on me, I make sure to pray to God that He will give me peace beyond my own understanding (Phillipians 4:7). Without peace, there is no joy. 

This Season, Make Sure of These 5 Things: 

1. Surround yourself with people who support and love you

This is a given. This holiday season, make sure you’re around people who you know love and support you. 

Subsequently, if you just feel like being alone, that’s okay too! Don’t feel pressured to spend your time with people whom you don’t want to spend time with. Being alone sometimes is okay too. 

Don’t confuse being alone with isolating yourself, as there is a difference. Being alone can be healthy, but isolating yourself can cause more issues in the long run. 

2. Remove yourself from triggering situations

Don’t you ever feel like you HAVE to do something. Learn to say no. Don’t want to go somewhere? Say no. Don’t want to hang out with so and so? Then say no. One thing I’ve learned to do is to only go places and do things that are best for my emotional well being. No one else is going to be a bigger advocate for yourself. 

And remind yourself, if you need to, that it’s okay. Even if other people don’t understand, it is okay. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Advocate, unapologetically, for yourself. 

3. Take it day by day

Time really does heal all wounds. Though it may feel like wounds are being reopened during the holidays, don’t let it. Focus on today. Take it step by step, one foot in front of the other.

4. Be good to yourself

Lastly, if you’re feeling particularly down one day, make sure you do something for yourself. For the ladies, if you want to have a spa day, have one! Get your nails done, get your hair done, go shopping (and make sure you make a budget)! If you like painting, go out to a Michaels or Hobby Lobby and buy some new materials and supplies. 

5. Create new traditions in memory of your loved one(s).

That’s what we will be doing this year. I will not go into the details of what we will do, but we plan on doing something special in loving memory of Aaliyah. I never want to forget that I would’ve shared a birthday with my beautiful daughter. 

Make an effort to create a tradition that honors your loved one. Though it may hurt a little in retrospect, I promise you will feel so good about it in the end. Whether it’s just a Christmas tree ornament, a short poem read out loud with the family, or a small, at home ceremony, there are so many ways you can honor your loved ones.  

We will see them again some day! 

I have a lot of peace in knowing that I will see my babies again one day. The same goes for you and your loved ones! Though it feels like forever away, you will see your loved ones again. Right now, they are resting peacefully with the Lord and that’s okay! Though we miss them, it is not as if we won’t ever see them again. I find a lot of peace in this and I hope you do. 

I truly hope that you have a wonderful holiday, in spite of. Feel free to comment below if you ever need anyone to talk to. 

Honest Hour – What it’s really like being an entrepreneur

I think a lot of people misconceive what it’s like running businesses from home. Most people see running a business as a luxurious thing. We get to work from the comforts of home, choose our own hours (supposedly), and we get to be our own boss. We don’t have to answer to anyone.

I won’t lie, those things are a luxury that I am grateful for. I absolutely love working from home. It is one of the many rewarding aspects of running your own business. However, there are many challenges that come with being an entrepreneur that people don’t typically think about or realize. 

The Misconception

Often times, people think that our day consists of lounging around at home, watching TV, playing video games among other leisurely things. But that’s simply not the case. Our businesses are not successful and profitable because we sit at home and do nothing each day. We spend hours upon hours each day working to deliver what we promise our clients.

Working from home is great too, especially during the winter time when leaving the house in the freezing cold is the last thing I want to do. However, it usually means being confined to the house for many hours every day. 

We also don’t really get to choose our own hours. At least, not at first. To run a successful business you have to be willing to sacrifice the majority of your time. The saying is true about shedding blood, sweat, and tears. Mostly sweat and tears due to the daily stressors that result from running a business.

Overall, being my own boss is great. I don’t have anyone to answer to which is another luxury. But that can be, and is, a double edged sword. I am the only person holding myself accountable. If I slack off, there’s no one here to tell me that I am doing so. I have to keep myself in check which can be hard to do. Honestly, there are some times where I even go as far as justifying why it’s okay that I didn’t do much work one day, or why a client can wait until tomorrow to get a response. 

It’s Stressful, and Stress Takes a Toll

It’s to no one’s surprise that I’m a, would you call, “stresser outer?” Not really a word, but that describes what I am. I stress and I overthink. It’s something that I ask God to help me with each and every day. So naturally, running a business comes with it’s own amount of stress.

Stress takes a toll on the body, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve had migraines for almost as long as I can remember, and they used to start 5-7 days every week. I was completely miserable. They kept me up at night, stopped me from being able to enjoy doing things with friends and with my husband, and just overall caused me to have a lesser quality of life. I blame 50% of my headaches on stress, majority coming from running a business. 

I would also be so consumed in running my business that my spiritual walk with God would take a toll. I had to learn how to make room for God, especially since he was and is the source of my success.

It is important that you learn how to deal with stress, especially when you’re a business owner. Burnout is real, and can destroy your business. You don’t ever want to get so stressed out that you subconsciously give up on your business. Blog post coming soon about how I deal with stress. 

The Responsibility is Tough

For me, the hardest part about running my businesses is being the one that everyone relies on. Not only do the clients depend on me to deliver an amazing product and service, but even though both of my businesses are small, I also have a couple employees that depend on me to make this business work. They have families that depend on the income they receive from working for me. 

Running a business is a lot of responsibility. As I mentioned, it takes a lot of dependability, as well as persistence and determination. I don’t ever want to let anyone down, and there’s always the risk that you can and will. 

Please don’t be scared to start a business!

I wanted to make this blog post to bring awareness to what it’s really like to run a business. This is just the surface level. However, I don’t want to steer anyone away from starting a business. 

What I want to do is prepare you and shed light on some of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur. It is not easy and so no one should ever start a business with the mindset that it will be easy and successful overnight. It takes time and consistency. 

And if you are already an entrepreneur, don’t ever let anyone make you feel like your work is not important, or like you’re less than. Your job is not easy.

I see you, I hear you, I am you, and I am with you. 

Why I Pray For My Husband

Why I Pray For Him

One of the best things you can do for your husband, is pray for him.

In the bible, a husband is defined as a man in a legal marriage. When a man and a woman marry, they are bound together as one. (CEV) Genesis 2:24: “That’s why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person.”

Let’s first define what a husband is.

“House Band”

The term “husband” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words which mean “house band.” These words imply a rope, or strip of metal, that is used to bind houses together. Husbands usually take the brunt of everyday life in a marriage. They “hold it down.” They make sure that the house is always in order.

This role comes with a lot of stresses including ensuring order, being a leader, and knowing how to make decisions that are in the best interests of the family. He also sets the standard for the household. The household follows the house band.

God intended for a husband to love his wife unconditionally. The husband “binds” his household with love. He “binds” his household spiritually, constantly making decisions that are best for the family spiritually.

The stresses of every day life can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining for our husbands. This is why it’s important to lift them up in daily prayer.

How I Pray For Him

When I first begin to pray each day, I first thank God for the many things He has blessed us with. I make sure that I give ample amount of thanks to God for blessing me with a loving, caring husband. I thank Him for the relationship He has allowed us to build with each other. I feel that giving thanks for the man God has sent you is very important.

I pray that God would strengthen my husband, especially when he is feeling the opposite. God is our strength, and I pray this over my husband because I know that the role of being a leader and the amount of responsibility that comes with it can leave him feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

I pray that God would equip him with what’s needed to fight spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare is real. Attacks from the enemy are real. Our husbands need us to cover them in prayer them on a daily basis. Prayer needs to be proactive, and not just done when things start to go wrong. We should always be on the offensive.

I pray a protection prayer over him. I pray that God would protect him physically and spiritually. My favorite verses to pray for his protection are Psalm 59:1, Psalm 91, and Isaiah 41:10.

I pray for his peace. We can truly have joy only when we have God’s peace. My husband’s peace is not only important for himself, but for this household. For me personally, I can’t be happy if my husband is unhappy. If he’s not operating peacefully, I won’t operate peacefully. I pray every day that God would renew his strength and his peace. A verse I use to pray peace over him is Philippians 4:7 which says that God will give us a peace beyond our own understanding.

Lastly, I pray for unity, peace, and strength in our marriage. We aim to build a strong foundation in which we can build a family upon. We want our marriage to be unbreakable by outside forces. We a stronger together as one, and that’s what I frequently ask God to do in our marriage – to help us operate as one unit, especially as we begin to bring children into this world. We want to set an example for our future children.

Our home is a place of peace and refuge. My husband is a key factor in making sure we have a stable, loving, and peaceful household. We should always aim to keep our husband’s lifted up in prayer.

Being Married at 19

The biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken was marrying the love of my life, Sam, at just 19 years old. We fell in love in just 1 short month. And get this: We got married exactly 7 months after meeting the first time.

I’m not going to pretend that this has been an easy journey, because it hasn’t. If anything, it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I’m sure he will tell you the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, he is the love of my life. I wouldn’t want to spend my life with anyone else. I thank God every day that He sent me him. But all good things come with challenges.

We started our marriage with little to no money. We had a small, 700 sqft apartment. All of our furniture was free or from the ReStore, all of our pots, pans, and utensils were from the Goodwill, and etc. We had a rough winter as we only had 1 working vehicle, and it had no heat. So, we froze everywhere we went.

Even though we had no money, we had a lot of real love for each other. A lot of people probably thought that we wouldn’t last, but 2.5 years later we are still going strong.

Sam had to work 8-14 hour shifts after having a long, hard day at NCCU, trying to finish up his degree. The only time we really saw each other was if I decided to spend a full day at NCCU with him and wait for him to finish his classes. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t see him from 9AM until 3AM later that night.

Because my business at the time wasn’t working out for us monetarily, I spent most of my day at home trying to work on different business ideas. I would sleep some during the day with hopes of being able to stay awake to greet my husband with a hot dinner when he came home each night. I would find myself cooking at 1AM most nights which was okay.

All in all, our start was rough. But it was so worth it.

One of the biggest challenges was continuing to get to know each other, each and every day. We learned something new about each other every day. Good, bad, and ugly, every single day. I reiterate “every day” because it’s true. New things were constantly revealed about the both of us, to one another.

The one thing that was a constant, common ground for us was the love we had for each other. Even though we had a rough start, we pushed through all of the trials and it has been very rewarding.

With God in the center, it was made sure that we would be able to stick it out. We made it through the brunt of our marriage, and now we really get to enjoy each other. We still have a lot to learn about each other, but that’s what makes this relationship fun.

I’m not in any way encouraging anyone to get married at 19, after knowing each other for 7 months, but I’m not saying “don’t do it” either. Even if you think you’re ready, like we did, you’re probably not. No one can ever really “prepare” for marriage. You kinda just dive in and pray for the best! Lol.

Marriage takes work. It takes patience, understanding, and sometimes, compromise until both parties are happy. But it is so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade this love for anything.

Opening Up About Loss On Facebook

I wrote this post on 8/27/19 and shared it with all of my friends on Facebook, and figured I should also share it here on the blog. Thank you for reading.

My Truth About Loss – 8/27/19 

I want to note that this is not intended to be an attention seeking post. I just want to be open, honest, and share what we’ve been through this year. 

I’ve been debating for a long time, when and if I wanted to open up to my world about this. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’m talking about loss. Not talking about just any loss (not disrespecting any type of loss), but I’m talking about miscarriage and stillbirth, the losses of your very own children. 

Many don’t know this about me, but my husband and I have experienced now, 2 losses of our own babies. We had a loss in February 2019 at 6 weeks, and our most recent loss of our 18 week old (utero) baby girl Aaliyah on July 22nd 2019. Neither loss was short of devastating to not just us, but our immediate and extended family. 

The hardest part, for me, about losing our children (aside from of course losing our children), was the shame, embarrassment, and guilt I felt both times. I can just remember in February blaming myself for everything that I had done leading up to the loss.. Not eating enough, not drinking enough water, taking too much Tylenol (though deemed safe by the FDA and almost all certified OBGYNs), intimacy with my husband, and the list goes on. I pondered daily about things I could’ve done differently… “If I had just,” “Maybe if I had,” “I should’ve,” etc etc etc. 

I was devastated.. It had taken us 7 months to conceive and we finally did it, with the help of God of course. We were pregnant. I was due on October 12th 2019. From the second I saw those 2 pink lines, I started planning our entire lives around our baby-to-be. In 2 short weeks, all of the hopes and dreams I had begun having about our precious baby, were wiped clean away from me. We were stripped of ever being able to know that child. It was nothing short of devastating. I found myself falling into a deep depression.. I pushed everyone away. It was a darkness I had never known before.. Loss was nothing I had ever had to go through.

I won’t lie, my faith was shaken up. My faith that God had my best interests at heart vanished. I blamed him (though only temporarily) for what had happened. I couldn’t understand why he would let this happen to us.

Slowly but surely, my faith returned, we picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off, and started trying again. 

It didn’t take us long. On April 12th, I found myself staring at another positive pregnancy test. I was immediately terrified.. And I felt guilty that I had fallen pregnant so quick after the loss of our first sweet baby. Aaliyah was due on my own birthday, December 23rd. I was so happy to be sharing my birthday with her… again, planning our lives around the thought of having our first daughter. 

I had several bouts of bleeding throughout the first trimester. I had an ultrasound after each scare I had, and we were constantly reassured that our baby was growing and was perfectly healthy each time.

We didn’t tell anyone, but we had decided to find out the gender at 12 weeks through the NIPT testing, mostly to ease the anxiety I was having about something going wrong. I was believing God that everything was okay, but I’m only human and it’s natural for fear to creep up on us, even when our faith is strong. 

We found out we were having a beautiful baby girl.. I instantly fell in love with the idea even though I had always wanted a boy growing up. The first loss really stripped me from the naivety and luxury of wishing for one or the other. I was just so happy that we were having a healthy baby. To see her jumping around on each ultrasound was just such a blessing. I thanked God daily for blessing us with Aaliyah. She was exactly what we needed, especially after the loss of our first. 

Around 13 weeks, I started noticing my mucus plug falling out. I mentioned it to my OB, and they didn’t seem worried. They reassured me that “mucus is completely normal.” 

14 weeks came and I started noticing Braxton hicks. I was told this was also normal and that my body was just gearing up for the real thing. 

At 16 weeks, my water broke. 

At 18 weeks, on July 22nd, the cord dropped from my cervix. I was induced and gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl I’ve ever laid my eyes on. And just like that, it was all over. She was born still. No breath in her body, no heart beat. 

We lost her.

I won’t go through those details, but this is the most painful thing I either of us have ever had to go through. It’s been 5 weeks and I still am not 100% there. This was not “His plan.” This was something that we had to go through for a reason we may never know, but I know God never “plans” for couples to lose their children. And it’s not His fault. We don’t blame Him. He will get the glory from this though. 

I think the most embarrassing part of what happened, was my age. I’m 21 years old and already have lost 2 babies… not that it’s okay to lose a baby at any age, but I started this journey under the naive idea that this type of thing doesn’t happen to people my age, and that It surely wouldn’t happen to us, not once and most certainly not twice in a row. I’m supposed to be in my prime… supposed to be able to conceive easily, and go full term with a beautiful, healthy, living baby at the end of it all. I was so wrong and honestly embarrassment and shame don’t come close to describe the way I felt each time. 

The reason I’m opening up about this is because I know from the outside looking in, we appear to have it all. We have a great life! We have great families, we just bought our house, we have a successful business, and really the list goes on. We truly are blessed and we are grateful for all that we have. But we don’t have it all together. And something I wish I had when I experienced my first loss was someone I could relate to… someone else who had experienced a miscarriage that I was comfortable with, someone who could talk to me about how they dealt with it and how they were able to move forward. But I didn’t have that because people don’t open up about this type of loss. It’s taboo. Baby loss is scary and horrible… too horrible to speak up about often times. It wasn’t until later that I realized more women go through this than I thought 

Something I learned on this journey of losing our 2 babies, people don’t always show you what’s actually going on. That’s one that I’ve really struggled to understand. Why don’t people open up about their pregnancy/infant losses? Are they ashamed? Are they scared? Do they think it doesn’t matter? Regardless of their reasoning, I felt it was the right thing to do to share my story. 

Then I realized that I’m no different… I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know about my losses. I was so much more ashamed when we lost our sweet girl in July… I immediately wished we had told no one about her at 12 weeks. I wished we had waited until I was further along, and then I began to realize how incredibly selfish that thought was. Aaliyah deserves better than that… it was not her fault. She doesn’t deserve to be hidden and tucked away from the world. She is our baby, even if we don’t have her here with us physically. 

Both of our babies were very real regardless of how far along they were, and now they’ve both gone on to be with Jesus in heaven. As hard as it is, it’s selfish of me to wish it had been any other way. They are in the best possible place now, with or without me. I love them with every ounce of my being. I would’ve given my own life for both of them to be here. 

Though it has been hard for me to see, there is hope.. Even if I do have to remind myself of that multiple times a day, I know that God loves us and wants us to have children someday. When? I have no idea. But I can’t stop moving. Though he slay me, yet will it trust him. 

This was not meant to be a post for gaining sympathy, that’s the last thing I want. 

What I want to do here is bring awareness about child loss. Though it’s a grim subject, it happens to 1 in 4 women. Many women go through this and you may never even know it. I don’t want to hide anymore. Though we don’t have our happy ending yet, I know it’s coming and it’ll be sweeter than we could’ve possibly imagined. 

But for now, while we wait, I hope that I can help someone else who has gone through this. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It hurts, and it sucks, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. After a storm, a rainbow lies just ahead. 

If you’re reading this and you find yourself needing to talk to someone who’s been there, I’m here. My inbox is open. If there’s one thing I needed on this journey, was someone who had been there and could understand this type of loss and what I was going through. I want to be a support for anyone else that has been through this. No one should go through this alone. 

When you feel like you’ve lost it all – Story of Job

Disclaimer – I am most obviously not a preacher, and I am not a teacher. What I am is a Christian lady who has gone through some stuff. I am writing this with hopes of helping someone who has felt like they’ve lost it all, realize that God is still on your side.

In the past, I’ve felt like my life was literally over. As dramatic as it may sound, it didn’t seem dramatic to me. Anyone who has gone through the loss of a child, especially multiple times, will tell you that the feeling is like no other.

After the first loss, it took me some time to realize that it wasn’t necessarily God’s fault that it happened. I was finally getting back to my prayer life and reading my bible. Eventually, I came across the book of Job. I read the entire 40+ chapter book in just 3 days. Everything he was going through, every ounce of pain he felt, every complaint to God, I recognized and identified with.

You see, Job didn’t just lose his children though. He lost everything. He lost his business, he lost his farm animals, he lost his servants, he lost his health, and then, he lost his reputation.

One by one, the messengers came through and told Job that something terrible had happened. Each time it felt like the bad news was over, more bad news came. And that’s exactly how 2019 had felt for me. As soon as we thought things couldn’t be worse, they got worse. We got a lot of bad news this year. In February, our baby didn’t have a heartbeat. In July, my water broke prematurely. In October, our 3rd baby didn’t grow properly, likely due to a chromosomal issue. We never got to see or hear a heartbeat on that baby.

Business had a rocky start this year as well. Finances were hit hard when we were buying our house. We were so close to not being able to buy our house, but thankfully, God did come through.

Reading Job really humbled me. I’m not one to appreciate when someone compares my struggles to the struggles of another, but reading this did force me to take a step back and really look at how horrible things could’ve been for us. At the end of the day, I still have my husband and all of the other many things God has blessed us with.

There was one part in Job that really stuck with me. “Don’t talk like a fool! If we accept blessings from God, we must accept trouble as well.” This was in response to his wife telling him to curse God and die.

Job maintained his “integrity” as his wife called it. He never once fell out with or cursed God because he knew that God was still with him. Job teaches us that if we can accept the goodness of God and His blessings, then we must also accept that bad. Jesus suffered for all of our sins, why shouldn’t we also suffer?

What I sometimes have to remind myself is that none of this is God’s fault. The enemy is the one with the plan to kill, steal, and destroy. I remind myself that God grieves with me as I go through this. He is crying with and for me. He doesn’t want any of this to happen to us.

Instead of pulling away from God during this time, I use these situations to draw closer to Him. He is my strength, He is my shoulder to lean on.

My encouragement to anyone that is going through this is to remember that it is not over. I know what it looks like, and I know what it feels like. But it is not over. God has the final say and He will win this war for you. He will make a fool out of the enemy. Put your trust in Him and He will literally carry you through this.

I imagine being completely, physically crippled and being carried on a cot to my destination. God is carrying the cot. I am emotionally crippled, and God is carrying me to my victory.

My babies have gone to be with the Lord

This post may make some people uncomfortable, and that’s okay. I do this in efforts to keep the memories of our beautiful babies alive.

At just 21 year old, the loss of 3 babies has been nothing short of heartbreaking. I’ve often beat myself down about being so young and “in my prime,” yet being unable to successfully bring a baby into this world. It’s not a great feeling at all.

The first time we lost a baby, I let a lot of self-hatred and negativity build up within me. I questioned God often, struggling to understand why He could possibly let this happen to use. We had been trying for 7 months, granted it was off and on. It wasn’t until January 2019 when I really got serious and started tracking cycles. It was also the first time we had gotten pregnant.

I’ll be honest, I was very naive. We both were. We had never experienced this type of loss, and we always figured that the most daunting task of trying to conceive (TTC) would be actually getting pregnant. Never would we have imagined that at our ages we would lose a baby. How could we? We are in our prime, young, and healthy.

That “naivity” if you will, is what got us into a lot of trouble. We were shell shocked when we were told in the ER that we were having an inevitable miscarriage. I had bleeding a lot, but still remained hopeful that God wouldn’t fail us. That God would make everything okay.

When He didn’t, I nearly lost myself. I shut down. I asked Him many times, “Why us?” Why did we have to go through losing a baby? Why aren’t we going to be able to see our first baby take his/her first steps? Why are we going to miss out on taking him/her to their first day of school? So many questions I asked, and of course, no answers in return.

I lost my faith. I couldn’t understand why He would allow this to happen.

Then, I started to read about Job in the bible. One afternoon, God said to satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” And that’s when it all began.

Satan began attacking him left and right. He was a faithful man who feared God. He did no wrong, and yet he lost everything he had.

He was wrongfully accused by his friends of having done wrong, having sinned. Job was a righteous man, and he knew that he did no wrong in the eyes of God. His friends continued to attack his character, but Job knew that this wasn’t happening to him because God was punishing him. God was testing him. God knew Job’s heart, and knew that He wouldn’t stray no matter what satan threw at him.

Obviously, God was right. Job never strayed. And in the end, God blessed him double because of it.

What I’ve gathered from our losses is that God tested us.

I believe that God will restore all that we have lost. He will restore the joy that we once had when we were naive to loss. He will renew and restore our faith. He will restore what the enemy has stolen from us.

He has not forsaken us. He is where He has always been – watching over and protecting us. The weapons against us were formed, but they have not, and will not prosper.

Why I quit school to become an entrepreneur

It’s crazy to reminiscing about where I’ve come from and how all of this started. Without boring you too much, let me share with you how I became a successful business owner at 15 years old.

I’m Frugal!

I’ve always been a thrifty spender. I almost never bought anything new for myself. My first instinct was always “second-hand.” Two of my favorite places to shop were Goodwill and Uptown Cheapskate. I was always able to find the trendiest clothing for a quarter of the price. Being frugal was something I actually learned from my mom.

Another habit I had (and still have) is hoarding clothing that I don’t wear. I think a lot of women can relate to that! I was also a big Instagram nerd. I would literally spend hours a day, constantly searching for clothing I could buy online from people across the States. I eventually convinced my mom to let me buy different pieces from different Instagram sellers.

And So It Began

It seems like out of no where, I woke up one day and decided that I would start selling my own clothes on Instagram. It wasn’t widely supported, especially from peers at my old church which thankfully, I no longer attend (story for another time).

I started making $10-$20 per sale after taxes, processing fees, and shipping. It was great to have since I was taking college classes on NC State campus at just 14-15 years old. The extra cash was great. Eventually though, I ran out of stuff to sell!

My mom realized that I was making a lot of money just selling my own clothes. We decided we would try shopping and reselling. It was the best decision we could’ve made. We would take around $200-$300 each week, invest them in cute finds from the Goodwill and other consignment stores, and turn it into $600 profit. At 15 years old, I was making upwards of around $2400 just from buying and reselling clothing on Instagram.

You’re probably groaning in your head thinking “Oh great, another ‘get rich quick’ scheme.” Nope. Just telling you exactly how I got to where I am today.

Anyways, I found myself marketing my products with Facebook and Instagram ads. I did “shoutout for shoutout” posts with other similar shops, participated in what we call “follow trains,” and eventually started joining in giveaways, all with hopes of marketing my small shop and increasing my sales. Honestly, I got really good at it.

College + Entrepreneurship

When I finally did get accepted and moved into my college dorm at NCSU, I found that it was really hard to continue shopping, reselling, and shipping items out to my customers each week. I had to start focusing my my classes.

So, I shifted my focus to marketing. It took (slightly) less time, and it was actually more profitable. It became easy for me as I was marketing my own small shop. My clients grew in numbers each week and each time I did a marketing campaign. Eventually, I had over 100 clients using my services.

I’m not going to say that this was easy, because it wasn’t. I had daily migraines, stress, and I was sick a lot because I was up most hours of every single night. Between taking classes during the day and working on my business by night, I would probably say I got around 3 hours of sleep every night. But every minute spent on my business was worth it. Every migraine, every illness, every friend lost, was worth it.

I Got Married

I got married at 19 years old, in June 2017, to my soulmate (I can feel your eyes rolling) while still attending school. At one point, my business stopped working. Instagram changed their rules and algorithms, and it heavily affected different marketing techniques, including ones I had become so accustomed to using. It was truly humbling in that I realized things were too easy for me. I was not growing. I was comfortable where I was and with the amount I was making.

My husband convinced me that I needed to start my business back up. I needed to regain my focus and put all of my efforts toward my business. If not for his belief in me, I don’t know that I would even have Social League.

So, I took a leap of faith, and I quit school. My husband was working at Best Buy at the time, while subsequently finishing off his college degree. It was a rough way to start our marriage. We didn’t have much, just a small 700 sqft apartment. The most we had was our faith that God would carry us through, and that He would provide. And that, He did.

Before I knew it, my business was blessed beyond what we had imagined before. Eventually, my husband was able to leave Best Buy to focus on finishing his degree, as well as creating his own successful business.

Conclusion (I Guess)?

I’m not telling anyone to leave college. What I am saying though is to follow your dreams and keep God at the center of them all. God had a plan for me, and He helped me to be in His will every step of the way. Despite not finishing the degree, had I not gone to NCSU, I never would’ve met my husband, and I never would’ve pursued my dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Positive Affirmations

The way I’ve overcome, self-hate and negativity is by positive affirmations. While I still struggle at times, I have to remember who I am, and more importantly, Who’s I am. God loves me and so I must too love myself.

The losses left me feeling broken, but I am beautiful broken for God. Being broken has been the only way for me to truly draw closer to Him. Positive affirmations have helped me to stay afloat during times I wasn’t sure I would make it.

I continue to tell myself that I will be a mother someday, when it is God’s perfect timing for me to be. I tell myself that I am not a failure. I have not failed my husband. I have not failed God and I have not failed myself. Even as I type this, I am reminding myself of these things.

I choose to stay positive, because above all else, we are still blessed beyond measure. We are blessed to be alive, blessed to have our families, blessed to have our home, and blessed to be dog parents! Sometimes we focus so much on what we’ve lost, that we fail to recognize what we do have.

All in all, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.