I remember so well the day I went to see a divorce lawyer. It was the day of the big snow storm on Halloween, 1991. On my way there a car slid into my lane right in front of me—a head on collision. My truck was badly damaged, yet I made it to the lawyer’s office. I realize now that I should have taken it as a sign not to go—because I got a bad deal. I guess it was partly my fault, because I wanted to pay as much Child Support as possible—for the kids.
But the way it worked out, no way could I afford what was set up, because of the downturn in my business. The next couple years was a disaster. My truck was totaled and I had to get another vehicle. I decided to go out of business, and I went to work as a Union painter for a big company. But I was laid off after 60 days, because they didn’t want to start paying me union dues. It was a big scam.
Even though I was working out of the trunk of an old beater—all I could afford—I decided to go back into my business. Then the next disaster struck: one of my guys fell off a ladder and broke his arm. He was patched up, but my insurance when sky high. What next? I decided to get rid of most of my employees to save me the cost of insurance.
Anyway, it was rough for a while and I wasn’t able to pay most of my monthly child support bill. So, I went way into debt, owing Child Support a lot of money. After a few years I finely got a good lawyer and was able to reduce my payment to what I could afford. I was about $55,000 in debt to them, but eventually, even while paying my monthly regular payment, I was able to pay it all off.
During that rough time, though I felt discouraged, I was seeking the Lord. Not only was I attending a good church, I was very much involved in the prayer ministry. In fact, the pastor wanted me to take over the ministry. So I did, for the next seven years. It was a great experience. Then disaster happened in that church and I had to move on. I’ll just say that the pastor fell into sin and eventually the church disbanded.
I quickly found another church—Long Lake Community Church—and was there for the next three years. It was there that I was encouraged to get into the Billy Graham telephone ministry. That was so much fun, and I was privileged to lead many to Christ over the phone.
After that time, I felt led back to Grace Church Roseville. I had gone there a few years earlier and I knew a few people who were still there. The main reason I was drawn back there is because I had heard that they had a divorce recovery group, which they called “Single Again.” I really liked the group, and I became a leader. I was on the leadership team (four of us) for about 5 or 6 years. It was a great experience.