As I sit here in my new apartment sipping a good cup of coffee, I'm still in awe at how all of this has transpired over the last two months. So many have felt out of the loop and confused. Believe me, there have been times during this process that I have been confused as well. You see- there's a story to tell and I will start at the beginning. Grab yourself a cup of coffee too. This is a long one.
I put my house on the market two years ago and prayed that it would sell at just the right time. Well, January 2017 was apparently the right time and I got a contract on it. I knew I wanted to spread my wings outside of Valdosta but I didn't know exactly where I wanted to land. I started looking at some options. Some friends lived in Tennessee just north of Nashville. On a whim I decided to check their school system website for vacancies. Teaching high school was my passion and all I had known for seven years. There were several openings and to make a long story short, I applied and got several job offers immediately. So, it looks like I am moving to Tennessee at this point. I turned in my resignation at Lowndes High School (the only job I have known) and began to prepare for my transition over the summer.
After school ended in May, I made a trip to Tennessee to find an apartment and to get the keys for my new classroom. I took a dear friend of mine, Emily, with me. A few weeks prior I started having some second thoughts but kept them all to myself. Was this the right move? Did I just jump at the first opportunity to get out of Valdosta? Will I really be happy in Tennessee? Needless to say, I felt lost. And let me tell you friends, that is not a good feeling. I didn't know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. Heck, I didn't know if I even wanted to teach anymore. While in Tennessee, Emily and I looked for some new furniture. She had no idea of my lost feelings but I do know that she did NOT like the idea of me moving 8 hours away. This is where the Rooms to Go parking lot comes in. I found some furniture I liked but I couldn't make myself buy any of it. The day before I found an apartment that I liked but couldn't make myself apply for the lease. Something just didn't feel right. I didn't have peace. And in that Rooms to Go parking lot, I finally let all of my thoughts out. Emily made some ugly crying faces and told me not to move. That's what good friends are for right? To ugly cry with. I remember asking her, "if I don't move here and teach, what am I going to do?" Her response- "let's move to Savannah and open a bridal store." Someone should have been there to take a picture of my face.
Emily had no idea that while I was in college, my dream was to open a bridal store. I remember having conversations with my mom and a few close friends about it like it was just yesterday. The timing was never right and I eventually let the dream go. Fast forward back to the Rooms to Go parking lot in Tennessee and my conversation with Emily. I knew she was right as soon as she said it. This is what I am supposed to do. I had that deep down in your gut good feeling. But it scared me. Teaching was all I had ever known. It is so difficult to step out of your comfort zone. But I promise you friends- when you do, you will fly and you won't regret one second of it. We began talking about some logistics and my exact words to her were "you better pray that Jesus does some speaking. And I mean LOUD speaking. And when I say loud, I mean I need a flashing marquee sign with a huge arrow pointing me in the direction I am supposed to go."
After we returned home, we began to pray. And prayed. And then we prayed some more. Doors started opening. I have told so many people this has to be God. There have been doors opened that were not supposed to open. We immediately found a wonderful location to open Mary Elizabeth's Bridal in historic downtown Savannah. We have had so many friends and family members go out of their way to help us. So here I am sitting in my new apartment in Savannah preparing to open my very own bridal store with one of my best friends. This whole journey has been a blessing and a reminder that God is faithful when we place our trust in Him.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the full staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr
Get to stepping friends-