With so many details of my life in disarray I began taking a good hard look at where my life was going, or not going as the case was. In early January 1980 a pastor's wife of a local church called me saying, "I hear you are needing a job and you are just the kind of person we are looking for to work in our daycare center. Come in a put your application in and you can start Monday". Little did she know... But I needed a job and she was offering. I took her up on her offer and started working with a whole staff of Christian in a church run daycare center. I started back to church because my job required it and because I really was seeking answers. I wasn't sure I could really live a "Christian life" so I wasn't making any commitments or promises. I was just going to "check things out" while doing some serious thinking.
Three weeks. That's how long it took me to surrender. I think once I opened the door, God stepped in and began working. Some talk of the "hound of heaven" tracking them down. I know what they mean.
I had also begun to make plans for a "real job". I was accepted to the Central Academy of Commercial Art in Cincinnati but classes were not to start until August of that year. So I worked at the daycare and began dating a man from church who I was later to discover, was an alcoholic. What can I say, I have great taste in men.
Over the course of that year something was bothering me though. Somehow I wasn't convinced that God really wanted me to be an artist. That was a disturbing thought since all I had ever wanted was to be an artist. I talked to every mature Christian I could find about this matter and they all said the same thing - "God needs Christian artists". Yes He does, but I still was not satisfied. Probably because deep down inside I knew God had other plans for me.
That August, I went ahead and attended 11 months of art school. I did well and won the praise of my rather irritable instructor. However, I was already feeling the "call" to a ministry of some sort and all the trappings of success, money and power that were being lauded in the advertising world, were a huge turn-off to me. I wanted something more meaningful than pushing products and trying to be better that the next guy. I wanted to work with people. After 11 months I dropped out of art school again and began to search for a college where I could get a degree in the social sciences. My dream was to live in a trailer on an Indian reservation, to have a dog and a horse, and to work with children.
That was not to be. At least, not exactly.