Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thankful Tuesday: #NCtoTX Edition

I have so much to be thankful for in this season.  I have to stop and thank those who played a key part in #NCtoTX.  So, I present to you... #NCtoTX Edition of Thankful Tuesday!
... Moving in and unpacking would not have gone as smoothly as it did with out the help of my amazing family.  I am so incredibly thankful that my parents and brother took the trek from North Carolina to Texas with me.  I know how much of a sacrifice it was for them... taking off of work, paying for food and hotels, and purchasing plane tickets home for three.  I can not adequately express my gratitude toward them for making the sacrifice and being such a vital part of this journey.  I could not have done it without them.  Everything happened so smoothly... the truck was unloaded in record time, within three days all of my boxes were unpacked and before the week was over, all my pictures were hung on the wall and it felt like home!
... The countless people who knew just when I needed a dose of encouragement.  The perfectly timed phone calls, cards, texts, emails, facebook messages, tweets and snapchats were so important to this journey.  I would not have had the fuel that I had in low places to press forward without those who encouraged me along the way.  Deciding to make this journey was a daily decision and I have some amazing people on my side believing in me to do great things.

... The incredible people who helped me in a time of need.  Not working for over a month, but still having to pay to rent a truck, hotels for three nights, food and gas could have been a huge struggle.  Thanks to the amazing people who heard my unspoken need, finances were the least of my worries on this journey.  I had some really generous graduation gifts which went into savings for a cushion post move.  I picked up babysitting and dog/house sitting jobs when and wherever possible.  After moving out of my apartment, I never went without a place to sleep!  I picked up babysitting jobs here and there.

... To everyone who prayed for me, thought of me, put good energy out, and sent good thoughts my way, thank you.  To everyone who sent me off with love and well wishes, thank you!  To everyone who believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself, thank you!  To everyone who knew that Texas was a done deal before it was a consideration in my mind, thank you.  To everyone who helped me along the way, thank you.  To everyone who has been a part of this journey, thank you.  Thank you, everyone!  I am the most blessed a woman can be!

Friday, August 9, 2013

#NCtoTX Actually Happens

Friday, July 19th, 2013... My parents, my baby brother and I woke up early and headed to the nearest Penske rental place.  We picked up the truck and drove to the storage unit.  In extremely hot and humid weather, empty stomachs and no hydration we strategically packed up the truck.  Water and some breakfast would have been a smart move, but nerves were high and we weren't thinking clearly.
Saturday, July 20th, 2013... We filled our tanks up with gas, filled our coolers up with ice, filled our bellies up with breakfast and started day one of a three day trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to Fort Worth, Texas.  This day started out to a rough start.  Thirty minutes into the trip, my brother realized he forgot his license... a vital part of his flight home.  My mom and I turned around.  Turning around and Charlotte traffic put my mom and I an hour behind my dad and brother.
We drove through South Carolina with ease.  Georgia was not as kind to us.  The traffic in Atlanta was everything I imagined it to be.  Somehow or another, my dad and brother made it through Atlanta before the traffic.  My mom and I got another hour behind in Atlanta.  Saturday night, we spent the night in Birmingham, Alabama.


Sunday, July 21st, 2013, we got back on the road.  I am overly competitive, hate loosing and have a need for speed.  Travelling with two cars made this quite a trip for me.  Saturday started our journey off to a rough start, getting in after the truck and all... Sunday, I was determined to make it to Louisiana before my dad and brother.  My mom and I peeled out of the parking lot before the GPS had made us a route. 

The drive through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana was           L O N G.  There was a lot of large green pastures!  We did pass over the Mississippi River!  Louisiana's open roads brought realization that impromptu mother-daughter mani/pedi's, dinner dates and shopping trips were going to be few and far between, and not so impromptu anymore made my mom and I cry.

Monday, July 22nd, 2013... The day that I had been counting down for months, the day that I had been praying about for months, the day that I moved into my apartment on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Texas heat does not play!  And, it showed no mercy to us on move in day. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fears, Doubts and Details

The week or so leading up to July 20th, I was an emotional wreck.  I have always tried my hardest to keep it together.  I have this (incorrect) idea that I have to always appear picture perfect to those around me.  The only time for tears or fear is alone.  I've felt this even more than ever recently, as I have made this big deal about following God's lead. 

As moving day became closer and closer, I developed this false idea that I could not be scared of what was ahead or doubt the decision I had made.  I was making this bold step in faith and I felt like a lot of people were watching this.  I wanted to make all of those people proud.  I feared that they would not be proud if I was scared.  I feared that they would not be encouraged to step out in faith if I doubted my decision. 

I say all of that in the past tense, but I realize as I write those words, it is still I very real notion inside of me... the idea that I cannot be scared for the sake of those watching this journey of mine. 

I would never lie to you, so I have to be completely honest.  There were moments leading up to July 20th that I was scared... scared that I had forgotten a major detail and scared that I would forget to pack something essential.  There were moments leading up to July 20th that I doubted my decision... what if I was wrong about God calling me to Texas, what if God didn't meet me in Texas, what if I hated it, there was a lot of doubt on my mind.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Matthew 6:34

Leading up to July 20th was a whirlwind of emotion, but it wasn't all bad.  God revealed Himself to me time and time again.  Despite being terrible at budgeting and not having a job the last month and a half that I was in Texas, I had enough money to make the trip from North Carolina to Texas happen.  My family and friends were such a blessing to me.  Everyone was overly generous; opening their homes to me when I didn't have a place to sleep, feeding me, letting me dog, house and baby sit, and encouraging me when my doubts crept in!

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

A friend of mine recently told me that God is in the details.  The moments that I silenced my fears and doubts were the moments that I had the opportunity to see God in the details of my life.  He was truly moving in every area of my life.

Today, I've linked up with the following wonderful blogs!

Monday, August 5, 2013

M.I.A No More!

I've been on quite a crazy ride over the last few months.  I haven't been so great at keeping you in the loop, so let me give you a quick run down.

Last summer, I began looking at seminary's.  Grad school had been on my mind for years.  It was one of those unattainable dreams that you have as a kid.  Until, one day... it became attainable.  I was entering my senior year of college and grad school seemed like the most logical next step.  Sometime around November, I began dedicating time to looking into schools. 

The long version of this can be found on my Why Texas post.  But just in case a quick re-cap is all you are looking for, here ya go...

In November, God said that I should go to this seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. I kind of thought that He was crazy, and gave Him three reasons I couldn't do it.  He quickly squashed all of my reasons and I began to consider SWBTS as an option.  In January, I spent a day with my best friend.  She really challenged me.  And, on my drive home, I committed to following God's lead.  In March, I applied to Southwestern and I was accepted in April.  In May, I told my parents and in June, I told the world.  Finally, in July... I packed up all of my stuff in a Penske truck and drove over 1,000 miles from North Carolina to Texas!

That's where we pick up!!  On social media, I so aptly named this journey #NCtoTX.  This week, I'll be blogging about all things #NCtoTX... the emotions leading up to the journey, the three day journey and where my head and heart are now.  It's going to be a great week!