Hello Everyone! Wow, it is so good to be writing to you all. It has been way too long since the last time I have done so. I want to thank all of you who have supported J.O.E by Erica since its inception in December of 2019 and say welcome to all of you who are being introduced to it for the very first time. J.O.E is so special to me and it’s been a blessing being able to bring encouragement and life to people through it. I am so excited to get back into it after a very eventful 3 years.
For those of you who do not know, I launched this business venture back in December of 2019 after a few months of planning and figuring out how to turn my passion into a business. This creative idea of making decorated mason jars with encouraging notes on the inside was birthed after a very difficult season a few years prior. I needed to find a gift to give a friend who was moving out of state and found a similar idea on Pinterest. After creating an encouragement jar for him, I found the encouragement I was giving to him reciprocated onto me. From there, I began to create more jars and the love and passion was birthed. So when the opportunity to turn it into a business presented itself, I knew it was time to step out in faith and take it to the next level of creativity and reach. We had a very successful launch and to see my dream come true was a blessing.
Shortly after, we entered into the year 2020 (y’all already know what happened that year!), and many of us began to walk through difficult and refining seasons, whether directly related to the pandemic or not. For me, it was a time of loss, mourning, pruning and making the choice to stand firm on my faith in the midst of difficulties. My J.O.E business began to the slow down but I knew that God was getting ready to do a new thing. What I learned in that difficult year was that JOY truly does come in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
In the fall of 2020 I began my studies to receive my Masters in Christian Ministry from Oral Roberts University. On Christmas Eve of that year, my business partner became my fiancé! In front of all my family members, Marquez Hughley proposed to me and in April of 2021 we were married :) I could go on and on about how grateful I am that God brought him into my life but we’ll save that for another blog post lol. I couldn’t ask for a better man to lead me, my family, and help me to become all that God has created me to be. About 2 1/2 years into marriage, we both now have our Masters in Christian Ministry and are parents to a beautiful baby girl named Ayanna Skye. Now, we are venturing on this new journey of planting Kingdom Christian Church (launching January 2024 in St. Pete)! I am so blessed to have a wonderful partner to do this life with, and I know that as long as we stick together and God is with us, we can fulfill all that He is wanting to do through us and get through any challenges that may come our way.
So, as you can see, the last 3 years have been very eventful!! But through it all, J.O.E has always been in my heart. And I couldn’t think of a better time than now to reintroduce her and get back to doing what I love after all the growth and refinement that has happened within me the past few years through marriage, motherhood, etc. I can’t wait to see what the Lord will do.
Maybe for those of you who are reading this, there is a dream or passion that you’ve had to put aside for the time being in order to walk through the process of a challenging season of transition. I want to encourage you that your dream or passion is NOT dead or done for good. It’s time to seek the Lord for guidance, get back into it, and use the lessons and growth to make it better than ever. I pray that you will hold onto this scripture as I often do, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Much love and blessings to you all!
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