Start Your Own Part 2 (Jesus saves. Look for the life ring)

Even though all my ships were burned to the water line, I still had a lot of indoctrination of what ministry was and how it looked.  I longed deep in my heart to be useful to God and His kingdom, but I really didn’t like the people that hung around Him that much. They scared me and I didn’t want to hurt any more.  While I still wanted to minister I didn’t want to be part of “the ministry”. I put myself to the task of simply doing what was there to do.  First thing was school to get a barber license.  I had no money, no job, and no options.  Still I was able to find a way to go to school and get enough money to eat and sleep inside. I went. I was the oldest guy there and still a bit fragile.  I managed to not only succeed  but I also excelled.  That was encouraging

As the end of barber school loomed on the horizon, I began to check out my options. I thought about moving to Colorado where I grew up. Angie and I had visited the area and we both nearly died of swine flu while there. Seemed like a bad omen. Again we prayed. A chance to be an extern in Bellingham opened up. No other options seemed to be emerging. My attempts to get something going in Seattle or Everett all failed, so I moved my little family a mere twenty five miles north. Hardly the distance I had hoped for but we had promised to follow God wherever He led. There was always some sort of pillar of fire or smoke to follow. The only work option seemed to be in Bellingham. That looked enough like God’s leading to us, so that’s where we went.

Our house had been foreclosed upon and we struggled to find a place to live in Bellingham.  With barely enough money to make rent we were led to just the right person at just the right property management company to make just the right arrangements so that I could move my wife, stepson, and newborn baby into an apartment in Bellingham near all the major bus lines.  I had been given a job at the same barber shop where I had been an extern.  I expected that to be the way that I would support our family as we explored this new life, but because of some personal issues in his own family the owner of the shop let me go after a couple of months in order to give his daughter a job.  I found another job the next day, but it was a terrible fit.  The owner was domineering and quarrelsome.  Hardly the qualities I needed to spend time with, but I needed to work.

 A couple of months into working at the second shop I received a phone call from the first barber I worked for.  Seems that a local guy was opening a sporting goods store and wanted to rent out some space to a barber. He had the idea of community in one building.  I liked that idea so I left the shop I was working in and started my first barber shop with nothing more than an income tax return and some big dreams.
 A lot of people who are familiar with our story often comment on our great faith during this time. I’m not really sure if it counts as faith if that is your only option. We followed because we had no place else to go. We did because we had nothing else to do. Each and every day there was just enough to meet our need for that day. Not a single need short and not a single dime over.
 Within a year Angie and I had opened our own barber shop.  A year later we had a full time and a part time barber working for us.  We wanted to expand. Angie felt like she had been led to a cool old building about a mile from the first shop.  Thinking it would be cool to turn it into a salon with a men’s grooming element we signed a five year lease on a building with only twenty dollars in the bank. We found a couple of rock star stylists. Angie was a licensed esthetician and  was experienced in skin care and waxing  We opened Yondersea Spa and Salon. Now we owned two businesses.
How we did this with no money in the bank is beyond us.  We just simply prayed, trusted, and tried.  Even when things weren’t working out so well we were able to wrap ourselves in the confidence created by our recent history of Gods faithfulness in providing.  We trusted him to make the way. He did. And it usually looked nothing like what we originally thought.
It is a good thing that our forward vision is limited to our daydreams because if we had been able to see what was around the corner we might have been tempted to go back, not forward.

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