Our First Time To Go To Zero
I want to tell you about the first time that the Lord took Michael and I to zero financially while he increased everything else exponentially. Our faith, our trust in one another. And we were living in Fort Worth at the time, and Michael was working for Merrill Lynch. He had gone into management there and he was trying to climb the corporate ladder.
Of course, we were serving the Lord. We were active in our church. We felt like that we were in training to be missionaries. That was kind of always our that the R in our early years, that was kind of always our focus was missions. And working at Merrill Lynch, they were beginning to go under and it was that 2008 mortgage crisis and they kept trying to.
Well, first off, they kept promising him, ‘We’ll never fire you. We’ll never fire you. We love you. We’re going to keep you.’ And then this is while they’re going under and a lot of people are getting laid off. So they started trying to give him these crappy little towns. They tried to make him a manager in this town.
We did not want to go to an extremely racist area that we had wanted to have no part of. And we knew what they were trying to do. We knew they were trying to save his job, But we decided that we would rather be laid off than to try to raise our children in that town. At about that time, we were ready.
We really, really wanted to go as full-time missionaries and we began as Michael was praying. One day he heard the Lord, the Holy Spirit say to him, prompt in his heart that it was time to get out of the boat, which is ironic since I’m in a boat, but that it was time to get out of the boat.
And he said, Yes, Lord, absolutely, I will follow you. And we asked for a confirmation, not a sign. We didn’t we didn’t need a sign. We knew it was the Lord’s voice. But the Lord does confirm his word and the things He asks you to do. So, we asked him for the confirmation of being laid off and having a severance package.
Within two weeks, Michael’s position was eliminated nationwide. And so we saw why they were trying to give him these little offices and that the managerial job, they weren’t even going to change his pay and they weren’t even going to change his title and he wasn’t even going to get the title of manager. And that’s really insulting. But a lot of companies do that.
So I understand that not the money we were going out of business, but at least give them the title so that it transfers over to the next company. But no. So we asked for a severance package. Within two weeks we had a six month severance package, which was very generous and laid off. So we’re thinking, Yeah, this is it, Praise the Lord, we’re going on the mission field because that’s our heart.
Six months go by, no more severance package. The doors have not opened to fundraising for missions. Nothing is happening. We were already packing. I think we had already sold the house somewhere in there. We sold the house. The house sold in eight days. It was. We’d only been in a year and it was it. It was the Lord.
We knew it was the Lord. The doors were flying open except to fundraising and going on mission. So at the end of the six months when the money had run out, he told the Lord, We told the Lord, Lord, we’re out of money, November 30th. And so what are we going to do? We’ve got to go get a job, a McDonald’s or something, because my web development wasn’t turning into a living wage.
Mike was not able to find work anywhere. He looked, and so we were stuck. Well, about that time, he had gotten a call from Wells Fargo about a job in Little Rock, and he turned it down because we’re going on the mission field. We don’t that’s not God’s will for us. And thankfully, a friend of his had some wisdom and said, did you pray about that?
And we shamefully had to say, no, We hadn’t prayed about it. We had assumed so we prayed about it. We did not sense the Lord saying anything. We didn’t sense him saying yes. We didn’t send him saying no. So he just moved forward and went to the interview. Of course, we were praying that God would open or shut the doors as he saw fit, and the interview was in Little Rock.
We were broke. So we drive to Little Rock in our little minivan and left the kids probably with my mom and he it was actually a two day interview. He went to the interview in Little Rock, and they loved him. He loved them, and then they wanted to meet me. And that’s kind of the way it’s done in a lot of the financial industry, especially them, that when you’re at a certain level of management, it’s kind of a joint job.
It’s kind of like ministry. You get the wife for free and she helps entertain that. Social events and is a hostess and is kind of a general presence around the other financial advisors and their spouses. And so the next day we were to go out on one of their yachts on the interview and I was to meet the other managers for we were flat broke, so we had to sleep in the van.
So we’re just sleeping in the van at Lake Quacita at this motel. I don’t we have no idea what this place was. It looked like something from a horror movie. It was abandoned. First of all, an abandoned hotel, Creepy, dark, rotting. But the parking lot was full. A parking lot was full, and nobody was there. So is all the people were like, Is this a sex trafficking spot or is this where the serial killers dumping the cars and puts the bodies in the lake?
I had no idea. It was so freaky. But this is where we slept. And we sat in the back of the van and we watched a movie on a little TV screen and we try to go to sleep. And remember, Mike is six seven. So sleeping in the van is no easy task. okay. So he is in extreme pains all night and by about, I don’t know, somewhere between five and six, we’ll call it six.
So 6:00 in the morning, he is moaning, he is in so much pain. And I ask him if I’m like, Are you okay? He’s like, No, I’m not okay. Do you want me to take you to the E.R.? Yes. If you know my husband, he hates doctors, he hates hospitals, he hates needles. So for him to say he wanted to go to the E.R. was like, my gosh, you must be dying.
So we get so want to know? So then I ask him, Well, do you want me to take you home? And he’s like, Yeah, let’s go home. So again, 6:00 in the morning, we start driving and we drive 2 hours towards back towards Texas. And the whole time both of us are like, This is not right. We’re just thinking this right.
We’re think this is not right. We’re not supposed to leave. We’re not supposed to leave. So finally, 2 hours in about an hour and a half and we start talking about this and we’re both in 100% agreement that we are not supposed to leave, that this is not what the Lord wants for us. So we pull over at a truck stop with us.
Okay. If we could just stretch our legs, eat good meal, just take a break. We’ll be okay. No, no, no. First we’re like, We’ll get a hotel. We’re just going to get a hotel. Put it on the credit card. Bad idea, but get a shower, get 20 minute nap something. Stretch. Your legs will be okay. So we go to the hotel across from this truck stop and they take one look at us.
We’ve slept in our clothes. I’m wearing these cute little strappy sandals and we come in out of a minivan and we are right by a truck stop and they will not rent a room to us because they think I have a lot lizard, which is a prostitute. If you don’t know. So we’re embarrassed, right? They think that I’m a prostitute.
They won’t rent. It’s a room. And so we go across the street to this truck stop. We go up in granite to. That was the only hotel we could afford. Was this one that looked like they took prostitutes. And so we go across the street to this truck stop and we go in, we get some breakfast, we have a sit down meal, We have time to stretch our legs.
We have time to take a break and I think maybe 30 minutes. Were there some maybe 45? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. But he starts feeling better. The pain is subsiding and we have a chance to talk and we’re like, we need to go back. So we get back in the car. We drive 2 hours back to Lake Wash, Utah, and the we were supposed to meet at the dock at ten and we pulled up to the dock at like 955.
So we go, we go out. We freshened up at the truck stop and we go out on the boat smiling, pretending everything’s okay. We didn’t just sleep in the car and drive for hours and it was a great day. We had a good time, you know, we’re young, young, so we’re able to handle having had that kind of night and still pretend to be nice and happy.
And they love him. He loves them and they send us home. So we go home, you know, because they have to talk about it. They have to clear it through our and we we get home again, no money. And we’re like, Lord, what do we do? We have to we got to do something. We can’t wait. What if it’s two weeks before they give us an answer?
And he gives me a scripture that says literally the Scripture. I go look it up. I’m like, okay, what is this scripture? I go, Look it up. It says, it says, Go and pack your bags by day. Right? Okay. That’s pretty clear. Now you’re laughing. If you know the context of that scripture, because the context of that Scripture is that God is sending his people into exile and the Prophet’s going to go with them.
So he’s telling them, Go pack your bags. I think, okay, I’m not sure this is a good scripture, but we’re going to go start packing. So we go start. We do it, we go pack. And he gets the call that Monday that he’s got the job and his start date is November 30th. Right. I know. It’s crazy.
Obviously, we were out of money on November 30th and the first paycheck didn’t come for two weeks, but that’s how God works. And the first we asked for a job for November 30th, and that’s what we got. So we moved to Little Rock, and that was the very first time that God took us to zero. We had this six month severance and it ran out.
Did we want the six month severance for something else? Yeah. Did we think we were going on the mission filled? Yeah. Didn’t look like what we thought it would look like. No, but God provided for what was needed. And we did end up going on the mission field. We just thought it was going to be overseas and it tent and it actually was the United States.
So we have realized in I forget, I don’t know, 1813 something the millions of times that we’ve moved that we absolutely are missionaries and God is very specific with us in our seasons and our locations. So I hope you enjoyed this story today. It’s fun seeing how God works in your life. Never boring. It’s a pretty exciting ride and pretty crazy, but you learn to trust him over time.
Thank you. Bye bye.