Chapter Six: Opening Up To The Possibility Of Something Greater

Chapter Six

I opened myself up to the idea of getting a larger space to work in and have a little boutique. That’s not something that I’ve ever seriously considered because I’ve never been in a financial position to do it. According to all of my criteria, I’m still not. But, we’ll get to that. About 14 years ago, I had a spiritual, moral, and emotional crisis that completely destroyed my self worth. It also destroyed by credit score. I haven’t tried to buy or do much of anything since. (If you don’t know about it, you can read my book. It’s not pretty, but I promise that it will challenge you.)

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I’m not one who has ever demanded much for myself. Except, space, maybe. I’ve just preferred to be invisible. I’m generally pretty content. If you’re into the enneagram, I’m a textbook 5. If you’re into the Meyers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ. If you’re into people watching, I’m the quiet one who rarely comes, but when I do, I don’t stay long.

Because I’ve messed up so severely in my life, I don’t claim a right to much of anything. Nobody owes me. However, I do know that God has given me the gift of grace. I know it so deeply that I can move about freely, without the shame of remembering what I did and without the fear that God is going to punish me. It’s only recently that I’ve started entertaining the idea that God may want to build something cool in my life and have me be the caretaker of it.

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
— - Ephesians 2:8-10 MSG

I noticed this brand new retail space next to where I get my nails done. Being realistic, it’s too much for what I was thinking, but it was so pretty. Floor-to-ceiling windows on two of the front walls made my plant-loving self go nuts with ideas. As I went about my day, this salon started building itself in my head. For days, ideas would pop in my head. Solutions to problems I hadn’t considered would work in the background of my mind. I eventually taught myself how to use a computer program to make the floor plan that I had imagined. It was a fun distraction that propelled me forward into this reality to which I hadn’t yet committed, and didn’t actually think was possible.

I started looking for retail spaces that were small enough for me to afford, but large enough for me to create a cute boutique. Looking around got me familiar with the average prices and I read a few books on negotiating while I daydreamed. Somewhere in there, a realtor with whom I already had a professional relationship (I bought my house from him) told me about a space he had in a building he owned.

It was a good location and had a whole wall of windows. What’s more is that, because the realtor owned this building, he was able to offer me a couple months of free rent and a small building allowance to help with plumbing installation. I figured out a way to put my salon idea into this new space and came up with a pretty decent floorpan. I met with a couple of builders so I could see how much it would cost.

Photo by Adam Birkett

Photo by Adam Birkett

I was gearing myself up to negotiate with the builders, negotiate with the realtor, and try to get funding. It all seemed so nicely laid out that I picked up some speed and settled in to the whole idea. It wasn’t perfect, but it was manageable. I knew I could pay the rent. I couldn’t really see myself there, but the idea was young and I couldn’t turn down such a generous offer from the building owner. I headed in that direction so unquestioningly that I never saw the brick wall in the middle of the road until I hit it full on.

I’ll tell you about that confusing and solid dead end next time.