Have you ever had a dream? A dream that seemed impossible with what you could see with your eyes and touch with your hands?
That’s where my friend Kat was when I met her a few years ago. I had scheduled an appointment at a new hair salon. You know how that goes. Anxious thoughts consumed me for hours before I bravely walked in the salon. But from the moment I met Kat, I loved her. The first time she cut my hair, she shared how she had surrendered her life to Jesus and how He had freed her from a place of deep darkness and given her new life. God placed within Kat an deep and abiding passion for the least and the lost to know and experience the same love of Christ that brought her freedom and gave her new life!
Over time, with each new haircut, I watched as God planted a dream in her heart and bit by bit, step by step brought it to fruition.
Kat’s story is one of perserverance, trust, and GREAT FAITH!! I invited her to share it with us today. So…please meet my friend and fabulous stylist (who also does Lysa TerKeurst’s hair as well). Kat, take it away…
I was driving home from Church with a resounding question echoing through my mind. “What would you do for God if you knew you wouldn’t fail?”
My gift was cutting hair. My passion was working with underprivileged people. How could I put the two together? It was at that moment that God downloaded the vision of SOUL 139 into my heart.
I called a friend and asked her to meet me at Starbucks. I talked; she typed. Ideas flowed. Visions formed. Passion stirred. I didn’t know where to start, but knew I had to start somewhere so I called one of my pastors and asked him to brainstorm with me. It was actually kind of overwhelming and seemed quite impossible.
I decided to take my first step toward creating a non-profit. I met with someone who had experience and picked her brain for advice. Now, I am not a “paperwork” kind of girl. I am creative & cut hair for a living. This non-profit seemed like Chinese to me, but nonetheless I persevered and made a dent in this wall.
My pastor said something to me one day that stuck with me forever. “There is a difference between chasing opportunity, and seizing opportunity.” When God places something in front of you; you have to be willing to seize it. And usually those things that needed seizing always seemed outside my comfort zone. But if I wanted to move forward, I needed to learn to live in that uncomfortable place.
I continued to take baby steps, each one looking like a goliath in my path. I felt like a scared little kid wondering how on earth I was going to defeat this beast.
As always, God came through. Even in times when it seemed He wasn’t moving, was asking me to do something that looked like taking a step backwards, or was removing something, He remained faithful, usually replacing whatever He removed with an upgrade.
In this process, He didn’t want to see how good I could follow, He was teaching me how good He could lead.
There were times of great joy, and times of great struggle. I walked through many seasons of complete brokenness: I cried. I fell. I stood back up again. I failed. I succeeded. I persevered. It was like learning to drive stick, jerking back and forth, not looking very elegant for anyone watching. There were also times my mind got the better of me… I am not capable of doing this, I didn’t even go to college, I just cut hair, I can’t do this on my own, this is silly to think I can run a non-profit…and on and on and on the enemy went. But still, God gently nudged me forward. And I am grateful He did.
SOUL 139 is now a non-profit that serves to pamper & empower those less fortunate, by providing free basic hair care. We partner with organizations who are already serving to help get people on their feet and bring them to the salon to experience a day of pampering. We provide lunch, usually have a guest speaker and give out small gift bags at the end of the event. We also send follow up cards to let them know we enjoyed meeting them and are praying for them in their current season of life.
SOUL 139 has an amazing team who help me push this vision forward. Each one uses SOUL to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. They bring their best and we learn, fail, and succeed together.
Our main goal at SOUL 139 is to one day have a non-profit salon to serve those less fortunate. (Maybe lots of salons, all over the world!) There isn’t one that I can find here in the states so it will be interesting to see how God creates this through me.
If you would like to learn more about what we do, visit our web site by clicking here.
Or contact Janie@SOUL139.org if you are interested in volunteering with us.
Strong – Obedient – Unique – Lovely.
Psalm 139 “ You are fearfully, wonderfully made.”
Kat, thank you for sharing your story with us today. I am soooo proud of you! Friends, will you join me in praying Psalm 90:17 over Kat today.
“May the favor of our God rest upon you, Kat; establish the work of her hands…yes, Lord, establish the work of her hands.”
And, friends, if you feel led, would you leave Kat a sweet word of encouragement today…maybe a verse or a prayer or if her story touched your heart and spoke into your dream. And if God leads you to get involved on some level, please let her know that too!