Today, I want to share my testimony. Please pass it along as you see fit.
I want to encourage someone today, but not just anyone. This message is for people who want a closer walk with God. If you call yourself a Christian, this message is for you. If you call yourself a child of God this message is for you. If you call yourself a spiritual person, this message is for you. If you want to know more about who God is, this message is for you.
The bible tells us that we overcome Satan, or the accuser, by the blood of the lamb, meaning the blood of Jesus Christ, AND the word of our testimony, or the message of our testimony. I want to help someone overcome today. So, please share this message with anyone who needs it.
I should probably introduce myself. My name is Sherry Mitchell. I am a Christian. I follow Jesus Christ with Apostolic faith. I’m a child of the true and living God.
Did you know the apostles believed in Jesus so much that they all died horrible deaths as they never gave up spreading His message, the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ? I want to believe Jesus with that kind of conviction and commitment. Why not? Jesus died for us, so why not die for him? He rose from the dead, and lives on today. Just like Jesus, we who believe in, and build a relationship with Him, will be raised from the dead to live eternally with Him. Enough about that. I will save that story for another time. Today, I want to share my testimony!
Did you know that God loves you so much that He commissioned me, yes little ole me, to build a fitness center for you? God knows that we all need help sometimes. Many of us have gotten off track with our health, and God wanted me to create a place where we can find holistic fitness.
No one, and I mean no one, can dispute that this assignment came from God because I was perfectly content working with computers, which I had been doing for 30 years before switching from the IT industry to the fitness industry. That is not a natural progression! However, that is exactly what happened to me.
It first started back in 2011. I was on a treadmill at LifeTime Fitness when God spoke to me clearly and told me that He wanted me to build a fitness center for His people. I don’t know about you, but I get excited when God gives me an assignment. However, as the burden starts to sink in, I switch from excitement to feelings of being overwhelmed. That has happened to me more than once, so please pray for me to break that cycle!
Here’s how this played out. In 2011, I was 23 years into my IT career. If you know anything about IT, you know that a 40-hour week and work/life balance is not typical. I feel like, at that point, perhaps God was testing me. Unfortunately, I failed miserably! I immediately went to work on starting the business. I named it Glorified Fitness Incorporated, or GFI for short, got a federal tax ID, and created a business plan. However, it didn’t take long for me to feel the pressure of trying to juggle my work in IT and trying to start a business at the same time. Instead of seeking God, I made my own decision and dropped the business, saying that I will pick it back up when I have more time to focus on it. God knew better! It was always in the back of my mind, so I never forgot about it, but I also never acted on it either. For that, I want to apologize to everyone who missed out on the benefits of GFI because of my disobedience.
Despite my lack of commitment to God’s vision, He never left my side, and when He was done with me ignoring my assignment, He reminded me in January 2017 that He gave me a job to do. I felt so convicted and chastised that I MADE the time to do it. Of course, now I was 29 years into IT and had even less time to spare. However, I was determined to keep going this time because I knew God loved me. How many of you know that God chastises those He loves?
Nevertheless, I started to feel overwhelmed. The devil thought He was going to take me through that cycle again, but I had learned better. So, guess what I did different this time! I prayed to God for direction. That’s what we are supposed to do! Seek God when we feel overwhelmed. Seek God before we make decisions. That is the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. If we consider God in everything we do, He will help us make wise decisions.
Keep in mind that sometimes, God gives us an answer that we never imagined! Remember, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts! Three months into my new determination, I am once again trying to figure out how to do my IT job and get this business started. I cry out to God for help, and He tells me to quit my job.
Hold up, wait a minute!
Has God ever turned your world upside down, but because He is God and He has never failed you before, you KNOW that you have to obey?
I had moved my way up the corporate ladder and I had a lot of responsibilities. So, I gave my boss a 2-month notice. Maybe I should not have done that because they had doubts. When I sent a reminder my last week, they were in total disbelief. However, God had given me time to get my affairs in order, and after 11 years with the company, I left with confidence that I had done my best to not leave them in a lurch.
Now, it was time to focus on completing my assignment, building a fitness Center for God’s people. That was a huge undertaking because I had to learn EVERYTHING; not just about starting and running a business, but I had to learn about the fitness industry.
After six months of research, and no income, I had to get a part time job so I could continue to push forward with GFI. However, I didn’t go back to IT. Instead, I got a job as a resident aide in an assisted living facility. That job was manual labor! I had never done manual labor outside of my home before. However, I loved those residents, and it was such a rewarding experience. Unfortunately, because I was 50 years old when I got the job, my body could not handle the work. I did it for a year, and then reluctantly went back to IT at a Small Business organization, which was a totally different experience than what I knew from Corporate America. I was actually able to work full time AND continue my business efforts. They believed in work-life balance and made sure their employees could experience it. It was such a blessing to work there, until God said it was time to go. As such, I officially left the IT industry in January 2021.
I started that last IT job around the same time that I officially launched GFI. After much research and preparation, I finally started accepting GFI clients at my house at the end of 2018. I offered in-person fitness and tutoring at my house and offered remote services at other locations for two years. Then, in the middle of a pandemic, I expanded into a full-scale facility. That’s right, GFI is open for business in the Northland Plaza in Columbus OH. We also have virtual services available, so any of you who are located in the USA can participate in workout sessions and tutoring.
In August of 2020, I stood outside the building that we now call home and I prophesied that God was going to bless us to open our facility there. God made it a reality in April 2021. It has been a struggle since we opened, but God has been faithful to His Word. He has met every need and allowed us to overcome every obstacle. We are not where we want to be in the growth process, but God is getting us there. He can do the same for you!
I want to encourage you to keep the faith. God is faithful to us, so we should remain faithful to Him. If He said He will do it, then you can take that to the bank! He can do anything but fail. I hope my testimony encourages someone today, and I hope you share this message of hope so it can allow someone else to be an overcomer!