The Year That Was (Part 3)

 Design by  Graceway Media

Design by Graceway Media

By the time it was Spring (2015), we knew we needed to make some big changes to strengthen our company (Read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up). We were in survival mode, and were close to the wire on payroll and expenses But every week, we would somehow manage to make it financially. Praise God.

But it was time to start planting seeds. It was time to get back to the basics for our hurting company, and we did this by implementing something we called the 100 Days of Transformation.

The 100 Days of Transformation consisted of six areas.

1.  Reconstruct Our Structure (policies, org chart, etc.)
2. Launch Graceway 3.0 (a website we’d been dragging our feet on)
3. Escalate Innovation (start creating great content in all it’s forms)
4. Renew Strategic Partners (build into our company relationships)
5. Formulate Our Marketing Strategy (Communicate well what we do)
6. Give It To God (desperately rely on the Lord)

After 100 days of focusing on these areas, we truly felt like we had made some major headway. Seeds were planted and by the time September rolled around (the end of the 100 days) we were in a much better place in all six areas. We celebrated as a team. Not that we’d arrived, but that we’d pushed hard for over 3 months, and we felt it! The momentum carried us through the end of the year and into 2016.

I personally began 2016 in a better place. God uses valleys, and I had several in 2015. But hope was not lost, and where there is hope, there is joy.

Our company is in a healthier place. God has used something extremely difficult and turned it into beauty.

I’m writing this on January 19th, 2016. It was a year ago on this exact day that a group of us gathered… this was the day that one of my best friends and CFO confessed to his deception and embezzlement. That was a hard day. That preceded many hard days and months.

But it was a day of freedom.

For the first time in 7 years, Jeff Parker was free.

He came out of hiding, prompted by the pain and misery that living in darkness brings. I’m thankful he did what he did. It was very brave of him.

A week ago, Jeff and I got together for the first time (just the two of us). We met at a coffee shop. He had some notes and prepared thoughts to discuss. He apologized for the many ways he hurt me… he even 'bucketized' the different ways he hurt me and apologized for each. I thanked him for his words. He then humbly asked for forgiveness, to which I forgave him. For all of it. Sealed. Done. He’s clean. He’s forgiven.

Why did I forgive him? Because as a follower of Christ, it’s what we do, it’s what we’re called to. Because I’m a sinner and someone who desperately needs forgiveness too. I’m prone to wander just like he is and I would fall into despair over my own perverted, selfish ways if not for Christ. Praise God.

Today is a great day.

As a company, we are excited about 2016. I’m so thankful for the incredible team I get to sail with… this year we hope for and expect lots of fruit, as we continue to plant seeds for our future.

As for Jeff, he began talking publicly about this for the first time today. He posted three entries about everything that has happened which I recommend anyone read. I think what you’ll see is someone clothed in humility, hope, and freedom.

As for me, I will continue down the road of reconciliation with Jeff and let the Lord be our guide. Pray for us but also take a moment to praise God for all He has done.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.