Some of you know my story, because I keep talking about it, while others know only a few things. I want to start this story in August of 2004, then leapfrog a few times to the present day- Jan 19, 2021.
First things first—all credit for this story goes to God Almighty. The only part I played in this story was being willing to trust and obey the Lord as He led me and my family for the past 35 years.
In August of 2004 I had been without a paycheck for 6 weeks, submitted my resume 19 times to companies that were already looking for someone with my experience, only to get no responses. I ran into a friend who worked for Schlumberger and asked if they were hiring. He asked me if I had a CDL or any oilfield experience. The answers to both questions was “no”. He told me to go there anyway and he would have someone interview me. As I was driving to the SLB yard (immediately after visiting with him) the Lord spoke to me and told me very clearly “I am going put you somewhere you have to totally rely on me”. Well, I was offered a job starting in the oilfield. All of my previous experience was in white-collar work. Having not been raised with a wrench in my hands, I didn’t have any experience swinging a hammer or really doing any type of physical labor, so yes, I had to really trust in God as I was trying to learn the lingo and make a hand of myself. I stayed in the field for about 3 years and gradually moved into the office setting in the field of safety and then into regulatory compliance. I was transferred twice in that role and finally ended up in Williston, ND during the craziness of the boom, where I was responsible for the safety of 800+ employees. Now I really had to trust the Lord, as any of you who worked in that environment can attest to.
Fast forward to Thursday Jan 15, 2015. I went to sleep that night and the Lord gave me a dream. In the dream I was walking down the hall toward my office, shaking hands and saying goodbye, with a HUGE smile on my face. When I woke up Friday morning someone had sent a newspaper article via Facebook to my wife. The headline was “Schlumberger Lays Off 9000”. I told my wife about the dream, and that I was one of the 9000. She asked if I was ok with that. I replied “yes, God is in this so I’m ok”. Nothing happened that day but on Monday the 19th a new division manager flew in from Denver, called me into the office and let me know I was being laid off.
Here is the exact conversation:
Manager: “John, sorry to tell you this, and I’m sure you understand that it’s just business, but you are being laid off due to a reduction in force”.
John: “I knew it was coming”.
Manager: “Who told you?”
John: “God told me. Listen, for the past 30 years the Lord has given me dreams and I have learned to trust them. He showed me this on Thursday night, and I’m EXCITED about it!”
Manager: “Are you ok? Do you understand you are being terminated?”
John: (with a big smile) “You bet!”
Manager: “This is weird. Usually someone is cussing me or taking a swing at me.”
John: “Well, I’m going to do neither!”
We then went through the formalities, I shook his hand, then cleaned out my office, went home and took many long naps for the next 3 months while I recovered from the boom lifestyle. During those 3 months the Lord directed me to continue to rely on Him, and then start this business, Crown Compliance Advisors. Every step of the way has been one of watching God show up, lead, and provide. Whenever I would take the reins into my hands absolutely nothing would come of it except more time and money wasted. Then I would pray, ask God for direction, and watch Him open more doors and provide for my family.
In short, God led me to the job, provided the training, understanding, led me into new areas, then showed me in a dream that I was being terminated. Then, with my new-found freedom He led me to start this business that is a true blessing.
Today- Jan 19, 2021- is 6 years to the day I was laid off, and I am ever so grateful.
I am always grateful for Schlumberger providing me an opportunity to learn and grow, and I am also grateful that I was terminated—it was a step I probably would not have taken, but the Lord had other plans, which are still unfolding.
One of the biggest (and ongoing) lessons I learned through the past 35 years was straight from the Bible in 1st Thessalonians 5:18 which states “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. This lesson is easy to read, but tough to put into practice. In fact, when you do “ Give thanks in all circumstances” you will sound like a total hypocrite and fool. But the lesson for me was to continue to give thanks to God, verbally, right in the midst of the storm. This was not a one-time prayer of thanks. Nor did I feel sincere when I said it. Not the first, second, third, 25th or 30th time. But! As I continued to verbally thank the Lord, I felt my spirit becoming calm and peaceful, then it was a matter of truly praising God for His leading and provision.
I hope this short letter encourages but also challenges you to be grateful, out loud, to God, and as you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.