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Woman to Woman

Finding God’s Favor in the Marketplace
by Jennifer Stewart  


“For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous;  with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”  ~Psalm 5:12  (KJV) 

            When I first took an account executive position at a direct marketing agency, I knew it was of God.  I had been praying and believing for a new door of opportunity to open, and I trusted that He was ordering my steps.  This door opened during the month of December, which is not typically a time for new-hires.

Although I was not offered the financial package I had hoped for, I felt God’s peace in the connection, and I heard him say, “If you commit your work unto me, I will cause it to be established and succeed.”  I also sensed God instructing me to use scriptures to literally pray favor, wisdom and blessing into this company, into their business decisions, growing accounts, contracts and every other element associated with the corporation, including all of my co-workers.

            This was a very business-minded, profit driven, close-knit organization that believed they had all the answers but was stuck in a market that was slowly losing competitive advantage to the interactive/internet medium.

            
I knew God was going to touch this organization somehow.  And I am still shocked and amazed and humbled at how He chose to use me: a single, young, simple girl in the marketplace to change hearts and minds and be a light in dark and desolate areas.

Immediately, due to a shift in circumstances, I was given an unusually high profile account to work on, which involved a media buy resulting in about $500,000 revenue to the company.  Because the company, at that time, had no formal training process in place, I literally prayed to God to give me wisdom to navigate media buys and contracts and to help me to not overspend client’s money.  Faithfully, God gave me extreme wisdom in dealing with numbers and accounts and learning the business very quickly.

About six months into my job, I started questioning my decision to be there because a lack of vision for the company was frustrating me.  At that point, God gave me certain scriptures and declarations on wisdom, prosperity and blessing to declare DAILY, which I ended up doing for the next four-and-a-half years.

Every morning, I would declare and claim Deuteronomy 28:1-13 (the blessing of Abraham), Psalm 112, Luke 21:15, Colossians 4: 5-6 and Psalm 5:12.  Since God placed me in the interactive advertising world, some of God’s creative wisdom was going to require trust on my client’s and my company’s part.  Therefore, I also asked God to prepare the hearts of everyone I came in contact with daily to receive what I had to say. 

God also had me praying daily for the executives in my company.  From the beginning, He had given me social favor with most all of my co-workers.  Like most of us, they all had situations in their lives with which they struggled.  Even though I didn’t know these people very well, they would come by my office and share a little bit about their situations.  All the while, I just kept asking God to enlighten my eyes and give me His wisdom.  I learned that it’s one thing to trust God’s wisdom to make a business decision for a client, but when you have the VP of your company asking you advice on personal heart matters—I’m here to tell you—you’ve got to stand on faith that you are hearing from God.  I mean, after all, this person decided whether I would get a monthly bonus!

At God’s pace, He continued to line up circumstances to where, inevitably, I would have larger and larger projects and accounts to work on.  He would bless me with wisdom and provide the resources.  And as I would commit these projects to the Lord, He caused my accounts to flourish and prosper.  This got everyone’s attention.

God knew this prosperity draw was the area of their lives where they could be met, and He used it to reach their hearts, to reveal his love and mercy and peace and grace.  God grew me into boldness about it, too.  I simply informed them that the company was prospering, because God was working through my hands.

God’s favor continued to pour out upon me.  I was the only employee promoted to Sr. Account Executive at a six-month mark, which was unusual because promotions were only given once a year at my company.  At another point, one of our bonuses did not come in as anticipated, so one of my team leaders blessed me out of her own pocket with a substantial check.  I remember her telling me that she had appreciated how much I had worked on that account, and she wanted me to be compensated fairly.  God was so faithful.  In this case, when man’s system had failed, He made provision through another generous source.

Over the next three years, as I continued to speak the living Word into the company, God continued to bless us!  We had transitioned the company into, primarily, an interactive marketing agency that worked with leading companies in the top advertising markets in the nation.  Our clients were the largest consumer packaged goods, healthcare, insurance and retail companies in the country.

I find this very interesting as I look back, because it was only God’s wisdom and the knowledge of witty inventions that gave us the ability to develop into this area of influence, and, at the time, we were cutting edge.

At this point, I was promoted to Director of Interactive Media, and God had blessed me financially with an income well beyond what I had ever imagined.  Though the company, overall, was now flourishing, God blessed my accounts with more abundance than I could even handle.  The storehouses were literally overflowing.  So I started praying for the wisdom to handle the extra business.  Now, you may think that is not a bad thing to have to pray for, but God is a God of order, and to manage accounts with a spirit of excellence, I had to know how to manage the overflow.

At this point, the leadership called me into their meetings to discuss the vision of the company and where the next steps would need to be taken.  Ironically, this was an area in the company that originally frustrated me and almost caused me to leave, and now I was finding that I was brought in as an influencer.  I was involved in analyzing strategic partnerships and was training new employees on “Best Practices.”  One of our biggest clients, which was also one of my accounts, promoted our campaign as a “Model of Excellence,” and it was infiltrated throughout their organization as a roadmap.

If I had left my job at the six-month mark, when I felt frustrated, I never would have gotten to the place of destiny and influence that I now know God had been calling me to all along.

Throughout this journey, I believe God used me in many ways to reflect his love and compassion, and He broadened my sphere of influence.  Not only did I develop strong relationships with co-workers, but He grew my relationships with many clients and vendors, ironically most of whom were not believers. God gave me amazing grace to prosper their accounts and, through that avenue, He allowed me to minister to them and be a voice to them at critical points in their life. I now realize why people would just stop by my office “randomly” and seek counsel, why clients would just, out of the blue, start telling me about their problems.  And I understand why the leaders of my company elevated me to a position of influence.  They saw light, and they saw blessing.  They saw His peace and His wisdom and how my life benefited from that  They saw the hand of God.  And they wanted it.

           
I was not a CEO or author or entrepreneur, but rather a humble marketing executive seeking His will. God used me in a certain capacity, and by speaking the Word daily into my life, He allowed me to accomplish all that He wanted me to for that appointed time.  Little did I know that, in December 2000, I would embarked on a journey of tested faith, education, maturity, wisdom and, ultimately, abundant favor and blessing beyond my greatest imagination.  Prosperity and blessing and overflow are wonderful gifts, but seeing God touch the lives of others and bring them hope in a dark situation is the greatest blessing of all. 

Jennifer Stewart is a former Director of Interactive Media at a direct marketing agency.  For six years prior to that, she was in sales and marketing for the printing, advertising and website design industries.  Jennifer was educated at the University of Georgia where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. 


And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell


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