Explaining ‘what happened?’
“So what happened?”
The No. 1 question we are asked nowadays. And we feel to best explain this to each of you will not be in the form of an answer, but a personal testimony. We are given an opportunity to bring darkness into the light. And for that we are thankful. So here it goes. This is our story.
I’m not one to sugar coat things nor do I beat around the bush. I feel as if the truth is important and I want to do my best to give that to each of you reading this letter. It’s not that we feel as if we owe this to anyone. It’s that we see this as a chance to encourage others, give hope to others, and to glorify God.
Michael has struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction for most of his life. What once was a “manageable” lifestyle soon became a compulsive and uncontrolled behavior. Eventually, it caused him to make bad decisions in the business. The tire shop closing is just one of the consequences to those bad decisions.
In May of 2011, Michael gave his life to Christ and has been sober ever since. It was at this point in his life that he saw for the first time the damage that alcohol and drugs can do to a person, a business and a family. It was then that we realized just how deep in that hole we actually were.
We have tried our best to dig out and to run the business in an honest manner.
Between paying current bills and paying monthly payments on back taxes due, we have realized to get out of the hole we must close and sell.
In addition to all that I have previously mentioned, Michael has always had a very giving heart. He would not only give donations to worthy causes, but extend credit to those who didn’t have enough money to purchase tires and/or have work done of their automobiles. And even donated and offered credit during our financial hardships over the last few years.
Unfortunately, many have abused this and to date we have about $80,000 that is due to the company. We are trying our best to contact each account holder to collect the amount they owe. And even though we are closed we are willing to work with those wanting to pay.
So, “what happened,” you ask? We have realized we are human. We all make mistakes. We all need a second (third, fourth, etc.) chance in life. And we all need a Savior. If anyone reading this feels shame for their past and unworthy for a future, know this: You are not defined by your past. Ask for forgiveness and walk in freedom and understand you are worthy. And when one door closes, God shall open another door.
And to all the wonderful customers over the years, thank you. We were blessed with some of the best customers out here. And we ask that you all continue to support small town businesses in the future.
Lastly, we decided to share our story because we have nothing to hide. We want to be as transparent as possible so that others may find encouragement in their current situation or hope for their future plans. Although this may be the end of one chapter in our lives, we are looking forward to the next chapter.
God bless you all.
Michael is currently leading a Celebrate Recovery program at Salt and Light Church in Ashland, Ky. If anyone has a hurt, habit or hang up and is seeking healing and restoration, please join us on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.