He was prepared by our creator especially for me, and likewise, me for him.
Justin is passionate about God’s word <which is incredibly sexy>.
He is a doting father to our children <also sexy>.
He is a faithful servant to our church, especially its young people. He is a talented teacher. He always ALWAYS smells good <too much sexy!>.
He is an artist and his God given creativity flows out into his work.
Making fine jewelry is a dying field.
…So how did he find himself in this career?
We graduated high school in 2002, got engaged, married, and headed off to college. It didn’t take long for us to find out that the Graphic Design market was flooded with very competitive artists. The chances of finding a job out of school were slim. We needed to change our plans and our major.
He chose engineering while I chose to piddle in the campus’ Jewelry Manufacturing classrooms until he would finish his degree. Did I mention that we attended a technical college?
He enjoyed his engineering labs. He soaked up the Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) classes, and enjoyed inventing tools to solve problems. But… he started showing up in the Jewelry classroom to watch me work on the day’s assignment at my bench. Every break between classes he was there watching me, asking questions and soaking in every detail he could glean. He made friends with both of my teachers and asked them lots of questions. This went on for nearly a year before we convinced him to make Jewelry Manufacturing and Technology his major.
It took him 1 week…ONE WEEK… to catch up to my jewelry education level. He was able to skip an entire year of instruction based on the first week of work he did in class. It was amazing. Our teacher couldn’t believe that Justin had never touched the tools or worked metal before. He was a natural.
It was a good thing, too. Because nobody could have seen what would happen next.
Justin had an accident in the gymnasium where he served as a work-study student. He fell off of the countertop where students signed in, onto a concrete floor, on his head. He was knocked unconscious. His boss and other students picked him up and moved him (for some reason). He had an awful concussion and ended up at the local hospital overnight before being referred to a neurologist who would order MRI’s that would show that Justin had an unusually rare, un-diagnosed condition from birth called Chiari Malformation. The accident caused swelling that damaged his spinal cord and SHOULD HAVE paralyzed him, but God be praised, he wasn’t (more on that another day).
Justin took the rest of the spring semester off and had brain surgery to correct the defect and the damage caused by the accident over the summer break. When he was released to return to classes, our school had decided to discontinue the Jewelry program at the end of the year. Justin had one semester to complete 2 semesters of work, then he would need to finish out his electives and a few basics before he could graduate with his Associates Degree in Jewelry Technology. But it didn’t happen like that. Before the school closed the doors on the Jewelry program, a store owner from our hometown called asking if the teacher might recommend a jeweler (presumably from promising previous graduates). Justin happened to be present in the office when the call came in or the opportunity might have missed us. <Isn’t God’s providence amazing?!> Justin already had a possible job lead as a bench jeweler (entry level) at a chain store in Tulsa, but the idea of moving back to our hometown was ideal. He decided to meet with the owner of the jewelry store and hope that he would be given a chance even though he wouldn’t be able to finish out his Associates in time.
The store owner loved the idea of hiring a hometown guy and hired him after seeing an hour’s work (work that Justin says was incredibly unimpressive, looking back). Their current bench jeweler was preparing to move out of the country in May. This was March (actually, it was his birthday) Justin had to dig his heels in and learn everything he could from their existing (more experienced) jeweler about the shop’s advanced tools, processes we didn’t have in school, the business side of bench jewelry, and speed with accuracy… before the older gentleman jeweler left for Vietnam to be with the girlfriend he met online (that’s another story).
After May, Justin was on his own. He watched videos to learn new techniques and practiced when business was slow.
Justin loves his job. He dearly loves the family that employs him. We both do. They are wonderful Christian people who continually look for ways to bless our family.
We didn’t know that just as this job was an answered prayer for us, a home-grown, well-rooted jeweler was an answer to their prayers. God is so good! His ways are perfect. We have often considered where we would be if God had not caused Justin to sit out 2 semesters due to his accident. He might have graduated before the Jewelry school was closed, but who knows where our family would be located?!
God is so sovereign and is reliably making all the cogs of our clock line up so that they keep His perfect time.
Proverbs 3:5 - ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’
Follow this link to learn more about the fabulous Meigs Jewelry, where Justin designs, repairs, and manufactures fine jewelry: http://www.meigsjewelry.com/aboutus.asp
And this link will open a PDF of one of Justin’s first award winning designs: http://gemvision.com/matrix/Matrix%20Design%20Contest%20-%20Overall%20Design%201st%20Place.pdf