I’ve been running my business for more than eight years.

I started it unofficially when I learned bookbinding as a hobby while looking for work in the market. I started listing my notebooks on Carousell before getting invited to a Christmas Market at the end of 2015.

The market was a small and quiet event but a good first experience for me and I went on to join more markets more frequently. I remember I had a lot of fear back then when I was starting out because I had no clue on what to expect for the future.

But even then I remember a season where I felt God’s immense peace despite my own concerns. And it wasn’t just an emotion that I felt, but a vision that my mind was in for a really long period of time.

In the vision, I was in a small boat, the skies were dark grey and I could feel the waves gently rocking the boat up and down. Though it looked like there was a storm coming, I felt nothing but immense peace in my heart.

It wasn’t so much that the vision “stayed with me”, I felt that I was in that vision for months. It was all I felt when I was by myself or when I was sharing about the path I had taken.

Running a small creative business has not been easy, and even now there have been seasons where I find it difficult to remain trusting and faithful.

But, looking back in hindsight, through all the good and bad times, I realised that I always had enough for everything I needed.

And so the lesson I’ve learnt over the years is that God’s provision doesn’t always come in the way we want or expect it to be, but He ultimately does provide for all our needs.

He saw me through the beginning stages of my business, He saw me through 2020 when the world closed down, and even now I trust that He is the ultimate provider for all my needs in the present and in the future.

The biggest milestone (and perhaps the biggest testimony) came about last year when I felt like it was time to look for a new space of my own.

I was in need of a place to store my inventory and wanted a space for myself to continue creating and selling my products at the same time.

And so, around the start of last year, I started looking for shop units that were up for rent just to get an idea of what to expect.

While doing my research, I came across a listing that seemed too good to be true. It was a small corner shop with a fairly reasonable price.

I felt an excitement and stirring in my heart when I first saw it, but given that it was still the first quarter of the year and I was only going to end my rental contract in a shared space at the end of the year, I didn’t pursue it.

However, in late April I felt a sudden prompting to ask about the listing I had come across online.

And so, after some research I contacted the agent in charge of the listing and found out more info about where the shop unit was. It turned out to be pretty near where I was running my business at the time and so I went to see the unit after work.

Because it was quite late in the evening, the existing tenant had already closed the shop for the day; and so I was able to quietly pray and ask God for a space.

In that moment, I felt like that was going to be my future shop.

… God’s provision doesn’t always come in the way we want or expect it to be, but He ultimately does provide for all our needs.

Throughout this journey I had also talked to my mum about the shop search; I was sitting at the dining table one day when she said, “Yeah, I think that shop unit is the one.”

Having that additional confirmation from my mum, I decided to visit the shop after work as often as I could to say short prayers over it before heading home.

As it was a rather old shop unit, I scheduled a visit to meet with the landlord to pose our questions and concerns before making the final decision to sign on.

However, two hours before we were scheduled to meet with the landlord, the agent messaged us that the shop unit had been leased to another small business.

Looking back, my mum and I were surprisingly calm about it. By that point in my work, and in both our lives, we understood what it meant in Philippians 4:6-7 that God can provide a peace that surpasses all understanding.

And so we went back to our daily lives with the shop unit at the back of our minds, holding the hope that it would be ours one day.

We didn’t have to wait very long, as around 1.5 months later in the last week of June, I saw the listing was back online.

It turned out that the original small business owner who had signed on back in early May was not able to acquire the necessary licensing and paper work needed to carry out their business in that shop unit and was forced to return it to the landlord as a result.

When I found out about this, I quickly sent in all the questions and concerns I had regarding the unit before making the final decision to sign on as a tenant in early August.

Throughout that period of time, from finding out that the unit was back on the market, to the official handover and renovation period, to moving my furniture into the shop, I went to the shop unit as often as I could to commit the place to God in prayer.

Within my personal and work life, I saw God’s provision and perfect timing as I made preparations to move into the shop. I had reliable contractors and friends and family who cheered me on and kept me in prayer every step of the way.

And so on 21st October 2023, the shop officially opened and a journey that started out with fear and uncertainty is now at a place of joy and thanksgiving.

That has been my story as a crafts business owner thus far.

I want to encourage believers who are stepping out to pursue their passions and dreams with this: God sees your heart. And even if you don’t have a plan, God does.

In any path we are called to walk, we are to trust in Him wholeheartedly, especially when it seems that the odds are stacked against us (Proverbs 3:5-6).