Years ago (1990) before I started selling hotels, I had invested in some restaurants and was slowly but surely going broke. I remember the period so vividly that it brings me to tears when I go back and look at journals I wrote or items from that period. People will tell you that time helps to ease certain memories but at least for me, I remember that period in our lives with such clarity, it forced me to find God’s new plan for my family.
I was basically trying to change anything I could and market anyway possible. As I look back on it, it was going to fail and nothing I could do would stop the slide. I was working (seemed like) 100 hours a week and was more broke at the end of the week than at the start.
I remember stopping one day and prayed the prayer, “lord, I don’t know what to do and how to fix it but I commit my life to giving you all the praise if you show me the way.” I realized that God is not usually found in a flurry of actions, rather, he is found in the still, small voice if I would just stop and listen.
I can tell you will all honesty in my heart that one day I was coming back from Columbus GA where we owned the restaurants and for some reason I got off the interstate and started winding my way through of all places, Riverdale GA. I remember turning on a street and seeing a sign for real estate school and with no previous thought, decided to pull in and go see how much it costs. Something deep in my spirit gave me the calm assurance that I was there for a purpose and a reason and that it was not a mistake. I can’t explain it, but I remember signing up for the class that would ultimately change the course of my family’s financial life.
I got my license and showed up on Bill Hodges’ front door who was a friend as well as he sold hotels. I ask if he could teach me to how sell restaurants (because that is all I knew) and I remember Bill saying he didn’t know how to sell restaurants but he could show me how to sell hotels. I said ok. The rest of the story would take ten pages to write but that would not be the point of this blog.
The point is that when you find yourself at the end of your abilities and having tried all you know how to do and willing to place your future in his care, I find that God will show up and lead you where you need to be. I can say with all certainly that without the restaurant failures, I would not be in the business I am in today. Did God lead me into the restaurant business to fail? The answer is no, he didn’t. It is more like he picked up the pieces and led me out of the forest.
Before buying the restaurants, I remember hesitation in my heart that I just assumed was cold feet and therefore I ignored it. The result was that I failed my family and almost lost everything. I can also say with crystal clear clarity that it was God that led me out of that situation and into a better way. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I just walked away free. It took me eight more years to get completely out of debt from the restaurants. Therefore, there are some decisions in life you must sweat through it, but it is the knowing, that you are in the right place at the right time that gives you the hope and vision you need to get through it. KT