February 7, 2014

Soul 139…A Dream Come True

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…

Soul139.KatFav

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.

JACK (1)

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.

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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.

Kat.Soul139Promo

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! 

Blessings,

Comments

  1. To Kat:

    I will be praying for you! May God bless you and keep you, guide you and guard you!

    Jane Wood

  2. Amazing! …just prayed for you and will continue to keep your wonderful efforts in Prayer! God’s blessings to you for your obedience and willingness to do what he put in your heart! This story made my day!
    Amy

  3. Absolutely beautiful: your heart, God’s lead, the non-profit. Will be praying for you!

  4. Mary Lou Kleveland says:

    Thanks so much for your transparency in sharing your story, Kat. I was encouraged and challenged by your obedience, especially when it was tough. May Jesus do “immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20) in SOUL139 and may He continue to grow this ministry in His time and His way for HIS glory alone. Press on, my sister in Christ!!

  5. God bless you a thousand fold for your willing heart and may He continue to use you to bring so much glory to His name. What an amazing and inspirational story your journey is. It’s definitely stirred up an old dream in me and I’m sure that it will do the same for others. Thank you for allowing Jesus to do this work through you and thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

    • Rubi,

      I pray that God continues to stir up that dream and you press forward in that! He’s got GREAT things planned for you in the midst of that dream.

      Kat

  6. Thank you for sharing your amazing story! Thank you for ministering to “the least of these.” May God richly bless you and your ministry.

  7. What a brave and wonderful young woman you are! Will add this ministry to my prayers. Thanks for encouraging me in my journey of faith. Blessings! God will honor you with Well Done!

  8. Kat, thank you for sharing your story and encouraging me as mine unfolds. I loved, and needed these words – “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.” Thank you for reminding me of His faithfulness today. Asking Him to help you see that faithfulness today!! May you continue to seek Him and see Him as your dream continues to become a reality!! Blessings to you!

    • Jill,

      You got this! Keep pushing and He will open all the doors. The blessing is always after the breakthrough!
      I’m blessed that you were touched by those words and thank you for sharing that with me!

      Kat

  9. Nicci Ramirez says:

    Kat, AWESOME stuff!!!!! How fun and exciting!!!!!! Praying for this passion to catch on and ignite all over the place!!!!

  10. Dear Kat,

    WOW! I am so encouraged to keep pressing forward and believing that with God leading with way to fulfill a vision He has given me—all things are possible! Yesterday, all day, the Enemy was really attacking me and getting me to a point of discouragement–filling me with doubts about being able to fulfill a God-sized dream God placed in my heart with regards to a ministry that will be used to bless and encourage others through.

    But God, my faithful loving God (our God!) who never sleeps or slumbers, and who knows all things going on, literally gave me a dream last night as I slept to simply encourage me —a dream he used to remind me that first I MUST strengthen myself in His Word even more (and be prepared to fight against the Enemy’s attacks). The Enemy does not like the plans God has for my life that will be used to impact other lives for God’s Kingdom. I can’t allow any attacks, darts of doubts, or lies from the enemy to keep me from pressing forward.

    I often feel so little and alone— thinking how will this BIG vision placed in my heart come to fruition??? I have so many prayer requests of God asking Him, to please encourage me, reveal to me, show me exactly how to go about fulfilling the God-sized dream He began whispering into my heart/mind on October 3rd, 2012. That’s the day I had said to Him, “I’m all yours, use me. I’ll do whatever you ask of me, if you will only tell me, and I’ll go wherever you send me.”

    With regards to answers to prayers, God’s timing is always perfect….and TODAY just now I read your incredible story about SOUL 139–A Dream Come True! I know now I must stay encouraged and start seizing the opportunity that God has placed right before me. As I do this, I will hold God’s hand tightly and let HIM lead the way, day-by-day, one step at a time each new day going forward. I am going to print out your story and keep it close as an encouragement to remind me that God-sized dreams do come true! Thanks Kat for allowing Wendy to share your story. I look forward to someday possibly meeting you…maybe I will set up a haircut appointment the next time I am in North Carolina:) Would love to meet up with Wendy too someday if I am ever in Charlotte, NC. Blessings, Joy
    PS. Wendy, Thank you again for your book “Hidden Joy”. Your book is being used by God in more ways (than you’ll ever even know) to help shape me/my heart in preparation for fulfilling God’s call on my life. Love you my friend and Sister-in-Christ!

    • Joy, thank you for sharing your heart here. Baby steps! As soon as you take one, He will show you the next…next thing you know you’ll be running in it and will look back at the beautifulness that He has created through you!!! Will be cheering you on!

      Kat

  11. I was touched by this story of Kat, a hair dresser who desired to follow her dream to minister to those who are less fortunate to meet their needs for hair care. As their outward appearance changes, the Lord is working on their hearts to hear the Word and best strengthened in their spirit. What a great way to allow God to bring many to Christ and become filled with God’s life. May the Lord use Kat greatly in this ministry and touch many lives through her unique ministry of hair care.

  12. Charlotte Askew says:

    Kat, I am also very proud of you and I only know you through this guest post. I do know that you have a heart, soul and spirit that follows the teachings of Christ. I am praying for you and I am asking the Lord to bless every desire of your vision for this wonderful gift to others. You truly are showing people the love of Jesus. He commissioned us to help our fellowmen and you have chosen to give them beauty and confidence. I admire you in what you are doing for others. May our God richly bless you and Soul139.

    • Charlotte, thank you so much for that message. It touched my heart! It’s a blessing to read all these messages from everybody!!! And such an encouragement to know I have your prayers!

      Kat

  13. Marilyn in East Texas says:

    Dear Kat,
    You have been blessed with hands and a heart that heals wounded spirits.

  14. Dear Kat and Wendy,
    Thank you both for your tender hearts for the Lord. You show us what it looks like when we obey His calling… leaning not on our own understanding. You have shown us what it looks like to love Jesus by taking care of the least of these… Kat, I read your story aloud to my husband with a shaky voice and a tear-stained face. Your testimony is definitely stirring my soul.

    Dear Heavenly Father,
    Thank You for the gifts of Kat and Wendy. Thank You, Lord, for taking Kat’s talents, her obedience and her faith and multiplying the results in Ephesians 3:20 ways. As her story continues to unfold, we trust that You will continue to shower Your love, Your care and Your adoration on the “least of these” through Kat and Soul 139… exceedingly, abundantly, above what she can ask or think! Lord, hem her in on all sides. Bless her as she prepares a way for the Lord!
    In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

    xoxo

    • Well, I can say in return that I just read this with a tear stained face…thank you for sharing what this meant to you Noelle, It means a lot to me!

      Kat

  15. Love the change in website Wendy.

  16. Thank you Kat for sharing you story. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, beautiful inside and out, daughter of the King. What you are doing is amazing, I will be praying for you and Soul 139. You are an inspiration.
    Blessings Anna

    Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths….

    Wendy, I love the new look….thank you for sharing Kat’s story…

  17. Wendy thank you so much for your writings that speak to my hearts deep desire o apply God’s word to every area of my life. I have read many books and studied God’s word. God has been faithful to comfort me, guide me, love me and teach me. My question to Him often is…HOW? or What? How/What does this truth in your word look like in my life’s situation. Honest writings like yours help give me biblically based perspective in a very noisy world. Thank you again and I look forward to studying with you.

  18. Volunteered to help when One7 was treated to “a day of pampering” through Soul139. The joy brought into those kid’s lives was amazing. Go Soul139!

  19. Janine Crowe says:

    I like the verse John 10:10 where Jesus says that He came so that we would have life and live it to the fullest. I also like the entire passage because Jesus says that He is the Good Shepherd and I am His sheep and I hear His voice and follow Him. It is a very comforting passage to me. I also like the 23rd Psalm, The Lord is my shepherd and I am His sheep so that I will dwell in His house forever.

    • Hi, Janine, you accidentally put this on the post before my current post, so if you don’t see it that is why. Thanks so much for sharing your verse…it’s one of my favorite promises of God!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • Janine Crowe says:

        Hi, Wendy,
        Thank you for finding it even though it is in the wrong place. I will try to repost it in the right place.
        Blessings to you, too.
        Janine

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