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The 700 Club

Financial Prosperity After a COVID Layoff

Cheryl Wilcox - 700 Club Producer

In May 2020, Lawrence Gibbs walked into his home early from work, still stunned by the news.  

Lawrence said to Audrey, "I just want to share with you that as of today, I don't have a job. The company let me go today. They said, because of COVID."

Audrey recalls, "I know I felt a state of shock. I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' But it took less than two seconds, and I was like, 'We'll be okay.'"

"Those were her words to me. I remember it. 'Baby, we'll be alright,'" recalls Lawrence.

Audrey and Lawrence needed faith to believe since Lawrence earned a six-figure salary in corporate finance. More pressure was added to their situation, considering Audrey was retired from her career in banking and finance. She brought in an income by working part-time for a financial lending firm. After the initial shock of Lawrence's layoff, they both say they felt God's peace. They say they didn't panic for two reasons: they were long-time savers and committed tithers.

Audrey explains, "The way we give is we give God 10%; first, 15% to ourselves, and then the other 75% goes to bills and other discretionary things. God honours that too, that we make ourselves a bill, or make ourselves important."

Lawrence adds, "In Proverbs 3 and 9, the Scripture says the biggest act that you can show to God that you trust Him is when you trust Him with your finances totally. And that's what I had to do, and that's what I did."

Lawrence hadn't always trusted God with his money. Early in their 35-year marriage, Audrey learned to tithe off her gross income while Lawrence gave sporadically at church. So, for about three years, Lawrence wrestled with the idea of tithing.

Lawrence says, "I didn't realize I was holding myself back or holding my family back from other blessings and moving forward. My relationship with God, it was not built up enough for me to really understand what I really was supposed to be doing. But I wasn't against my wife doing it, which really helped us out a great deal."

At that time, Lawrence was promoted to a supervisory position in corporate finance with a 50% increase in his salary. In a new state and new church, they grew in their relationship with Christ.

"I prayed about it, and I told God, 'I want us to be on the same page as it relates to tithing' so we can be blessed financially together. Not that He wasn't blessing us and keeping us, but I knew if we felt the same way about it, it would make a big difference."

After Lawrence was given another promotion that moved them back to their home state, he was still wrestling with the idea of  tithing.

Lawrence recalls, "I had been praying about it, and my spirit and everything just jumped. It wasn't difficult for me to do then. It was not difficult at all. Once I started tithing 10%, along with my wife, we saw an increase in favour even more in our jobs, things just got better for us. And our kids, we were able to move in a very, very nice neighbourhood and enroll our kids in some finer and nicer schools."

Audrey says, "We've never experienced any serious lack since we've been tithing together. We've always progressed with jobs, with homes, with everything. He's always pushed us forward." Lawrence adds, "It went hand in hand. And we were able to save, put money in the bank, and be able to afford to do vacations, little trips, and things of that nature."

So, after three decades of faithful tithing, they trusted God fully when the 2020 pandemic layoff hit. Lawrence says, "And both of us together as a team, on that day, showed that we had trust and faith in God, that we would be okay."

The following month Audrey took on more clients than she ever had!

Audrey explains, "I'm on straight commission, and it was like a miracle in that June of 2020 I made the most money I've ever made in my life -- in one month, and it just sustained."

Instead of Lawrence immediately getting out and looking for a new job, they prayed about his new direction. They were reminded of an idea from several years ago about a new kind of serving dish.

"And God clearly said, 'That's what you all need to do.'"

Lawrence explains, "We had to deal with different engineers and attorneys and patents and trade. We didn't know very much about that type of stuff. We dealt with real estate and lending."

Audrey states, "It's just unbelievable. I didn't even pray and ask God to triple or quadruple my business. It just happened. I totally replaced his salary, his six-figure-plus salary."

All totalled, Audrey's business increased five times, making 2020 and 2021 the Gibb's best year financially, and their invention, EZ Serve, hit the market!

Lawrence exclaims, "And we're getting sales as we speak!"

Audrey shares, "We are excited. We're so blessed that God took an idea from a cookout to a product that is needed for the food industry."

Lawrence says, "We're not chasing after money. It's about our relationship with God. We know if we do the things He has for us, those things will follow."

Audrey adds, "If you don't have a tithing relationship, start one, God's going to take care of you. You've got to try it. Test Him."

 

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