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When Your Dreams Become Reality

Cheryl Wilcox - 700 Club Producer
Zsa Zsa Palagyi - 700 Club Producer

Barbara always dreamed of having her own clothing line.

“I'd put my hand to designing in my thirties”, she shares. “But I could tell it was over my head, and I just could not do it at that age with a two-year-old.”

She and her husband already ran a photography business together, and that had financial challenges of its own.

Barbara explains, “When you're self-employed, you don't know when your next paycheck's coming in.”
There were times the couple couldn’t even pay the rent on their Chicago loft- apartment. Then the two became Christians and learned the importance of giving ten percent to God.

Barbara confesses, “My first initial thought about tithing was ‘I don't think I can afford it.’"

They decided to give at church, anyway.

She candidly shares, “It's because we needed supernatural help that we made this choice to tithe. And as soon as we started giving, the Lord blessed.”

Their business immediately increased and so did their giving.  When they needed more money, they even gave in advance.

“I said, ‘God, I only have $1,200 in my account, I need $1,500. Here's $150 because I just know you're going to bring it in.’ And He would,” Barbara beams. “The Holy Spirit says, ‘Barb, I want you to go get your taxes out for the past five years.  I want to show you what I’ve done.’ He had doubled my income every year for five years. I did what He told me to do, and when I realized that I couldn't out give God, it released me to give as much as I wanted to give, and sometimes as much as I could give.”

Meanwhile, Barbara’s husband started some other business ventures.  The marriage ultimately fell apart, and the couple divorced.

She recalls, “Overnight, I was an empty nester, empty house. I had all the bills to pay only with one income.  Then God says, ‘Remember that dream you had about being a designer?’  And I said, ‘God, do you know how expensive this is?’”

Barbara began re-fashioning two dollar t-shirts, and soon her clothing line “Feel Good Fashions” was born.  She did well, until her appendix burst and she got pneumonia. Without health insurance, she racked up close to $100,000 in debt.  But all the while, she kept giving.

“Tithing is my lifeline.  I don’t dare cut it off,” she tearfully shares. “And you know what happened? God didn't fail me.”  

The hospital wrote-off most of Barbara’s medical bills, and her sales picked-up.

“With what I sold, I paid off two years of credit cards, and I was able to buy some furniture.” she says.

Today her business is doing better than ever.

“Every year it's increased, increased, increased,” Barbara explains.   “And it's like mindboggling.  I mean, I do the ‘One of a Kind Show’ and in four days, it's like $32,000.”

Now, she donates a portion of her sales. One place she supports is CBN.

Barbara says, “I love their water program. And then I love their disaster relief programs because I think, ‘What happens if a tornado or something like that wiped me out?’ I would want somebody to be there.”

Recently, she was selected to be a part of the Fashion Incubator Mentorship at Macy’s in downtown Chicago.  She encourages others who need God’s help to trust Him and give.

“You can have marriages failing you, you could have your health fail you, you could lose your job.   And if your source isn’t the Lord, you’re in trouble,” Barbara sincerely shares.  She concludes, “Do you believe God's Word enough to try it? It only takes a little bit of faith, but you've got to try it. And then give Him something to prove, test Him in this, so He can show you want He can do.”

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