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Dreams, Disappointments, and Determination

“I think God always expects us to use our gifts and we all have different gifts. My gift is the gift of faith and a gift of tenacity.”

Gigi Butler

My latest guest on Real Hope, Gigi Butler, is certainly one of the most tenacious people I know. Her story is one of perseverance and determination and is an absolute inspiration to anyone who hears it. Which is why I was so excited to have her on the show.

If you aren’t immediately familiar with Gigi Butler’s name, you almost certainly know her cupcakes. Gigi is the skilled baker and brilliant entrepreneur behind Music City phenomenon Gigi’s Cupcakes. If you’ve never had one before, be sure to make a stop the first chance you get. They’re all delicious, but my personal favorite is the Strawberry Shortcake.

Dreams are the Start of a Journey

Gigi didn’t always have aspirations to be a baking icon. In fact, she came to Nashville for the same reason that so many others do — music. Gigi loved to sing, so she packed her bags and came here with a dream to make it as an artist. She describes herself as a pilgrim, which is such an apt and beautiful description of so many people pursuing their dreams.

Ever the entrepreneur, she started a cleaning business to pay the bills while working on music with the rest of her time. Years went by, and one day, in the course of her work, Gigi heard a young girl by the name of Taylor Swift practicing some songs in her bedroom ahead of her debut album. Hearing Gigi tell the story is a little sad but also incredibly encouraging at the same time, but you’ll have to listen to the full episode to hear her tell it.

She realized she was going to need to pivot on her dream, and the disappointment crashed in. This is when many people might have given up, retreated inward, or gotten bitter. Gigi, however, knows the importance of determination more than anyone. She thought about what else she loved to do and threw her whole self into the next chapter of her life.

What We Can Learn from Cupcakes

Gigi was well-known as an excellent baker amongst friends and family, so taking that passion and skill to the next level seemed like the right choice. And indeed it was. Gigi’s Cupcakes grew from a one-woman show into a national cupcake empire that has been featured in Bake Magazine, Business Insider, and more.

Gigi could have never imagined where her dreams would take her, or that her path to pursuing them would lead right to the doorstep of a whole new chapter of her life. But Gigi isn’t unique. Nashville, in particular, is full of people chasing dreams. But the reality is that not everyone who comes here will end up on the radio, writing the next big hit, or achieving whatever Big Goal they have set for themselves — and that’s ok. 

As Gigi said, we’re all pilgrims. Just because one road comes to an end does not mean it is the end of the road for us. We are blessed to live lives of enormous possibility and even mystery. We have no idea how the choices we make today will affect what doors will open up for us tomorrow. 

Never stop chasing something. Never stop improving. Gigi is right; God does expect us to use our gifts. One of the most beautiful things about those gifts is that everyone has them and they can be used in so many different ways. Don’t be afraid to be creative or push yourself, because it is beyond our comfort zone where God tends to plant His biggest blessings.

I hope this week’s episode inspires you, especially if it finds you in a time of discouragement. You can listen to the full episode here, or wherever you get your podcasts.