At the age of 51, my life started completely over in every conceivable way; new city, career seeker, little to no financial resources, no church home and no relationships. My 20 year marketing career had taken a vertical death spiral following a coup attempt by a disgruntled assistant who trashed me behind my back almost from the point of hiring. (FYI: The quiet ones, and the flatterers are always the most dangerous. ). After being terminated from a very public position, my career spun into a nose dive and stayed there from the ages of 48 – 50. The Lord started closing every door, I believe, to “encourage” me to follow His leading of returning me to a place that I very much did not want to go. At the age of 50, I relented, returning to my home town confused, desperate, angry (very) hopeless, broke and near the point of nervous collapse.
A few years before this traumatic season, I had earned my real estate license but held it in inactive status considering to use it “one day”. Establishing a commercial real estate career can become an expensive proposition. That “one day” came when a family friend called 10 months after I had returned home, still unemployed, nor knowing where to turn. This family friend, graciously and innocently threw a lifeline to a drowning person that was going under for the third time. ” Tracy, this is Carl, don’t you have your real estate license?” “Yes” I said neglecting to mention that it was inactive and that I had never transacted one piece of property ever. “Well, my #@%** restaurant tenant moved out in the middle of the night”, he explained “and I need someone to market my building and find me a new tenant as soon as possible.” I agreed to meet with him then quickly placed a call to inquire of what was needed to activate my license. Gunning it over to a local broker’s office the same day, I explained to the owner that I was in need of a desk, a phone and a place to hang my license asap. He gave me a private office, a laptop computer and paid for my first year of dues, nothing for which I had asked but glad to receive. I was so poor five hundred dollars was more than I had to spare.
Nine months later, Carl and his new premier tenant, executed my first lease transaction for his 5000 SF corner landmark downtown property. A divine grace door had opened for me through Carl providing a clear path for provision because God had placed me on Carl’s mind and connected all the other necessary dots. The process of securing the tenant was not simple, and entailed hard work. The money did not fall from the sky but the opportunity presented itself, the door swung wide, and I was offered a choice to walk through its frame.
Later in that same year, the Holy Spirit gave me a hot tip regarding a 5 AC corner parcel with an obsolete shopping center, strategically located 3 blocks from an SEC University stadium. Eighteen months later that property was under contract and closed for $5.1 million, at that time, the highest price paid per acre for any parcel in the city. That was my first sale. The broker that gave me the initial opportunity made $40,000 on that one deal for doing no more than investing in me.
It would be glorious to be able to say that every year has been just like these – and that year over year my production increased to such enormous heights that I would never have a financial concern for the rest of my life. Seven years later after walking through the door of real estate – I have had highs and lows. My rags story is transforming into financial stability and prosperity while allowing me to give to non profit causes at higher and higher levels which brings me great joy. But the greatest highlight of this journey is what I am gaining in knowledge of the rich treasuries of the grace of God and of Jesus. I am witnessing through my own personal experience the meaning of His salvation.
Salvation means “material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension, preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness“. Coming out of trouble is part of the package guaranteed to us by being in God’s Kingdom and belonging to Him. He has delivered me from ‘material and temporal danger’ and accomplished everything else on this list. I can tell you with certainty it was Him and not me doing the delivering. If you have never had a need to be brought out of trouble, I feel sorry for you because it means you have never experienced the full power of His delivering hand of salvation. The great news is that we can all look at Him with expectancy for something good to come our way, even despite our mistakes. And I have made my share.
For a number of wasted years, I lived in a confused emotional stew, swirling in extreme levels of condemnation, fear, anger and unforgiveness that kept me bound and broken. I was so messed up and discouraged that I was working very little – if at all. This was a mistake. We are all to be working. God needs us to move out in a direction, and as we set out, He swings in as The Rudder, turning us in His direction but first we have to get in the water and set sail. We have to move.
No doubt, I missed a number of life preservers tossed out in my direction by having no confidence in the basic truth of TRUST. I continued to look inward finding more confidence in myself instead of outward or better still upward, without expecting that God was going to work all of this to my good. Looking inward in prolonged introspection is self righteousness – a sinful action that dispossesses God from His rightful place in life and is based in pure pride. God loves our full dependence upon Him, where we are fully yielded and waiting expectantly for His best. This is the position of Abba and Heavenly Daddy – a Father God with arms wide open to heal and love us unconditionally.
It was only when I learned to focus on Jesus and His finished work and to stop allowing my thoughts to turn inward is when I began to claw my way out of the fog. When my outward confessions began to align with the truth of God’s word – I am the righteousness of God by my faith in Christ Jesus and in His blood and seated in heavenly places with Christ at the Father’s right hand – did the fear and condemnation begin to break apart and dissipate and my mind become clear from the fog. I began to acknowledge and embrace that my provision would definitely come because I Am In JESUS and that every good thing flows from and by the hand of God.
When I lean in and focus on Jesus – He brings clients to me in supernatural ways, He opens doors of favor (which is another word for grace) It is difficult to articulate but activity just begins to happen. At times there is nothing that I am doing, no striving, but an effortless flow that is coming straight from the throne of God.
It has been seven years since I walked through the career door of real estate brokerage. The Hebrew number of completion and perfection is seven. My craft, like me, is still being perfected but after completing my first seven years working for other brokerages, last week, I decided to set sail and work for my own. If you had asked me 10 years ago or even 7 if I believed restoration was possible I would have said probably not or possibly even given a resounding ‘no’! But yes it is – it most certainly is – through the merciful heart of a loving Father that loves to deliver His salvation.
My personal story may not mean anything to anyone but me but it is my hope that in reading or sharing it will encourage someone that needs to understand this same power of which He so freely gives.
“May He [God] grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit [Himself ] – indwelling your innermost being and personality ….. that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God [that is] may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.
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Twitter: Tracy L Gatewood
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and