In December 2017, with full down payment money in hand, Adam and I signed papers declaring us as the new owners of the building in Sanger. With the help of our friend’s investment that I mentioned in Part 2 of this story, we were able to purchase this property WITHOUT the bank’s involvement and on a non-recourse / non-surety basis! (just as the Lord had said!)
The plan was to hold onto the property for a year to avoid a major tax bill, then sell it and invest the cash into the company. Because of how Southwest began, we have always been low on cash!
The funny thing is, in January we starting getting phone calls from people asking if the Sanger property was for sale. It wasn’t even on the market! We turned down the offers because we needed to sit on the property for a year and the buyers weren’t able to wait.
But one day in March a guy called. He had looked at the property back in January but didn’t think he was able to wait a year to move his business. As he looked at other potential properties to move his business into, he decided that our place was indeed the best fit for his business to move into.
Adam told him the specs of the building, even gave him a tour of the property and explained upfront our time frame. He was willing to agree to a delayed purchase date and then lease the property in the interim.
So, it was a win-win for both of us!
Once the lease paperwork was finalized, we started making plans to expand our operation in Mineola and bring our Pre-Engineered building fabrication and horse barn production all under one roof. This was why we wanted to sell the Sanger building in the first place. We hoped to solve the inefficiencies in our business system.
We started moving dirt around at our Mineola plant in June and by August the add-on was finished and everything moved in. It felt like we were changing airplanes midflight! People, cargo and all.
It was right in the middle of unloading and organizing the boxes that we were served papers by our coil supplier.
Up to this point the supplier didn’t know about any of the Sanger happenings. The problem was, even all the equity we would gain when it officially closed in January still wasn’t enough to pay the balance off completely.
But it would pay a significant amount off, and we thought maybe if we told them, it would be enough for them to drop the suit and strike another deal outside of court.
So one day Adam made one last phone call to the owner. I was actually in the room when he explained every detail and said we would pay them the entire amount from the sale of the property. It would just have to wait until January when the building closed.
The guy didn’t take it. He wasn’t interested in some of the money and wasn’t interested in waiting till January. He said unless we had the entire amount right now, the lawsuit stood and he intended to force us into liquidation.
One night around this time Adam had a dream…
It was a dream about snakes. Everywhere he went there were little snakes right under his feet trying to bite him. Every time he saw one, he grabbed a shovel and cut its head off. But another one would pop up in its place. He spent all day slaying little snakes.
Finally Adam stopped and thought: Where are all these little snakes coming from? He looked up and saw a big snake. He thought, I wonder if the little snakes are taking orders from the big snake. Maybe if I kill the big snake all the little ones will go away too.
That’s what he did. He caught the big snake and cut its head off. All of a sudden, all the baby snakes disappeared.
That’s exactly what things felt like. For the past couple years in business it felt like there was one crisis after another to deal with. Little baby snakes popping up here and there.
As soon as we addressed one, another took its place. But this debt, this lawsuit, was like the big snake. It’s like the Lord was saying – cut the head off the big snake and all the little ones go away.
So that became the focus. No matter what, the goal was to completely pay back every cent and be done with this company. Cut the head off the snake. It didn’t matter what it took. That was the only goal.
The problem was coming up with the cash difference from the building sale and what we still owed.
In time, God took care of that hiccup too. He provided a friend who was willing to purchase a piece of our property in Mineola as investment in order to make up the difference we needed to pay off the balance. Now we just needed all the dominoes to fall the right way, at the right time.
The lawsuit was filed in September 2018, but we were able to dispute the specific amount due to a technicality, which bought us time. Then just as our lawyer hoped, the holidays were there to provide more unavailable work days for the court. One delay led to another and the final date to pay off the balance or else was set for January 5th 2019.
The building in Sanger was scheduled to close on Jan 2nd 2019. We and the buyer had signed all the paperwork the week of Christmas. From there it just had to be filed on the 2nd. Funds would be deposited in our account immediately and available for transfer on the 3rd. Just before the deadline of Jan 5th.
By the week of Christmas all we could do was hold our breath. Yes we opened presents and ate our traditional holiday meal, but inside we couldn’t rest until January 5th had passed and this was over. Silently we wondered, Would it really be over? Would it work? What would it feel like to be OVER?
On January 2nd, Adam and I sat waiting to hear the notification ping that the funds were available to transfer. By mid-morning we had confirmation the building sale went through, but heard nothing about the funds being available. At about 3pm we learned that the banks were swamped due to the holidays and our funds were deposited after the cut off time so wouldn’t be available for transfer until tomorrow, the 3rd.
We’re turning blue now from holding our breath.
On the 3rd our funds showed available to transfer and we spent most of the morning negotiating back and forth with the coil supplier, trying to agree on an exact dollar amount to be wired the following day.
Finally an amount was set.
Adam asked me if I wanted to go with him to the bank in the morning to sign for the wire transfer. DID I?!
At 9am on January 4th 2019, Adam and I met at the bank and wire transferred the exact amount to cut the head off the big snake!!!!!! I cried on my way home. There are no words to describe the feeling of victory of that transaction that God did on our behalf! I felt so undeserving.
This victory wraps all the way back around to redeem how we got started. Through a series of unwanted events at the start of our company in 2005, we were left with a negative balance in our checking account to run a one-year-old company on.
Since the beginning we’ve been strapped financially, always having just enough to get by.
But the Lord is faithful. He told us one time that we would make it through and that we weren’t to be afraid. He would provide a way.
So this thing God did last year means so much – it reaches all the way back to the beginning and says – I saw all that happened and am here with you. I will fight for you.
Praise the Lord! This was not humanly possible. He slayed the enemy who was pursuing us!!