Lifted out of financial difficulty
Earlier this year, before the virus situation in the United Kingdom, my photography business had been unusually quiet. With the business turning six years old as of the beginning of April, I had learned that the winter months were often quiet, but even fewer inquiries than usual had come in during February and March.
As the weeks passed, I started becoming more and more anxious. In addition to the financial impact, this situation made me feel as if no one was interested in or required my services anymore—an insidious mental burden that made me start to question the very purpose of my business, something I’d worked so long and hard to build.
During this time, the only way I could find a sense of peace about the whole situation was by taking the concepts of need and supply to a higher level—both ultimately being spiritual in nature. I knew that because I am a spiritual idea of God, my true job is to express God and use the talents He gave me to bless others. I also knew that supply is a natural aspect of this expression.
A lovely poem that my mum used to read to me as a child, and whose author I’ve never been able to identify, was a constant companion during this time. It reads:
I am the place where God shines through,
For He and I are one, not two.
He needs me where and as I am,
I need not fret, nor fear, nor plan.
If I will be relaxed and free,
God will carry out His plan through me.
The third and fourth lines in particular were so helpful to me: “He needs me where and as I am, / I need not fret, nor fear, nor plan” (italics added).
During this time of lean photography work, I felt led to keep myself busy by updating my website—a task that was, admittedly, very long overdue, and something I’d been putting off for months (if not years) because of how busy I’d become! This would not only more accurately represent my current standard of work but also improve my website’s visibility. I reasoned that if I was being led to work on the website, and this was “where and as” God needed me to be, then I could trust that this was the work that needed my attention during this time.
Despite this lasting for several weeks, I had slowly stopped worrying about the lack of incoming work. I had started to put more trust in God’s plan for me instead of letting a limiting, frightened sense of lack fill my thinking.
During this time, my mum often mentioned this passage about God from the book of Joel in the Bible: “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (2:25). This felt like a promise that the income that seemed to be missing from those earlier months would be “restored” to me. Even though I didn’t know how this restoration would manifest itself, it gave me hope that “all things work together for good to them that love God,” as it says in the book of Romans (8:28).
Then one day, I was contacted by a client who hadn’t used my services since 2014—over six years ago. He was in need of a photographer who could capture virtual tours of a handful of office blocks in London, a service I had started offering only two years ago. He hadn’t come to me because he remembered working with me before, as the last time we had worked together I wasn’t offering the virtual tour service that he now required. He had simply looked on the internet, seen my site come up, liked the virtual tour examples I shared on it (content I had added to my website during this “slow period”), and got in touch. Recalling that we had worked together before, he was pleased to avoid any risk of using an unfamiliar company. He placed his first order of work with me the same day.
The work this client proceeded to give me over the coming weeks not only made up for the shortfall from the previous months but also allowed me to start putting money back into savings. Together with work from other clients, it made May 2020 my best month since I started my business!
It amazed me that requests for this specific type of work continued to come in despite the virus lockdown. I had assumed the lockdown would cause further problems for my business when combined with the already quiet spell I was facing. But as it turns out, there is a need for virtual/online tours like the ones I produce. Gratefully, I’ve been able to continue offering this particular type of work.
Did I know that this amazing flood of work was just around the corner during those incredibly quiet weeks when I was starting to burn through my savings? No. Am I grateful to have grown up with the teachings of Christian Science, which have given me a higher, spiritual point of view when, to a human perspective, things might seem pretty bleak? Absolutely!
Church Crookham, Hampshire, England