Defining Moments Pt. 2
Melissa Wagner | August 12, 2020 @ 12:00 AM
Student Loans… That’s what led us to a life in business. Little did we know that the burden of student loans would lead us on a roller coaster of life adventures (definitely not always good either) over the next 20 years. By the way, we are still on this adventure. It’s an ever-evolving journey and pilgrimage that we are figuring out as we live. There is so much to our story before and during college as well, but that’s a whole other blog series!
We were married at 18 and set off to Bible college in Dallas with the ambition to be in full-time ministry. After working like crazy to pay for our Bible college tuition in full without any loans while we were attending college, we both graduated Bible college completely debt free. We then decided to continue our education at a Christian University. We moved there and didn’t realize just how much more expensive that would be. We were extremely young and didn’t yet realize everything involved in paying for college. Three and half years later, Adam graduated with a crazy amount of student debt. In order to pay off this debt, Adam applied for jobs all over the country. Finally, after not hearing a word even with a degree from a very respected university, he tried to join the Air force. The Air force would not return his call! He filled out info and called them repeatedly! At this point, we began to see that God was moving in our lives, and He had a completely different plan for us. Oh, if only we had known then the turn our lives was about to take and the amount of work involved in our future! God has a sense of humor in the fact that I believe He purposely didn’t show us at that time. We weren’t ready.
Adam used his degree to fly anyone that he could just to pay our bills. (His degree was in aeronautical science.) I was also going through a difficult pregnancy at the time and dealing with constant sickness. You always hear people mentioning defining moments in their lives, and we were about to have one of those. However, at the time, we had absolutely no idea it was a defining moment.
Our defining moment happened as we were sitting in a Starbucks just as we had so many times throughout our college years. We didn’t have enough money to go on actual dates, so we would go to Starbucks. Adam would get a tall coffee, and I would drink water. We had so many deep life conversations in Starbucks throughout our college years, that this evening didn’t seem any different. We loved to dream… We were trying to figure out how to pay these loans and we agreed that flying was not going to work for our growing family. We then realized that Longview’s hospitals did not have a Starbucks in either of them. How unfortunate is that! Adam had worked in the restaurant business since he was 12 and just knew he could easily run a licensed Starbucks (hahaha). So, we figured that he would just put in a call to the CEO of the local hospital to see if they could possibly meet. We honestly did not think anything would actually come of this, but it’s worth a try, right?
Well, that CEO actually took Adam’s call! And he set up a meeting with him the next day. At this point, we were freaking out a bit. How does someone that has absolutely NO money start a company and discuss starting a company with a CEO? Keep in mind that we were still kids. We were only 23 at the time. Adam has a gift of “winging it”. He met with the CEO, and the meeting went great. They wanted us in their hospital. Adam never mentioned that we didn’t have the money to do it, or that we hadn’t even talked to Starbuck’s corporate yet about licensing. So now there was a lot of work to do, and all we knew to do was trust God and move forward with this new random plan…