High School: When I was a senior in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do next. I knew I wanted to go to college but that was about it. I decided to try chorus for the first time because I wanted an extra class with one of my best friends. God gave me James Williams. I was scared to death to walk in and audition for Mr. Williams. I was desperately praying he wouldn't even be in the room and I would just give up on joining chorus. However, that is not what God had in mind. I auditioned for Mr. Williams and started chorus. He pushed me very hard that year- he started me in the freshman girls chorus and made me work to be in one of the upper level choirs before I graduated. He believed in me and encouraged me to keep going.
Then, God gave me Jennifer (Babel) Stepp. Jennifer visited our chorus class and told us about Piedmont College. For the first time, I had a gut feeling I needed to go visit Piedmont. Jennifer opened her dorm to me and led me around campus. She made me feel apart of something special. For the first time, I got the idea that I could make it on my own because people like her would be around to walk down this path with.
College: Cue Dr. Wally Hinson's entrance into my life- my next God given gift. I will never understand what Wally saw in me when I auditioned for Chamber Singers, but I thank God he thought I was capable to be apart of the Piedmont music department. Over the next three years, I worked hard to be in the top of my classes because I wanted to show Wally he didn't make a mistake with me. My Master's year, I earned a Graduate Assistant spot. I got to conduct the Piedmont Chorale- a very large community choir. When I was standing conducting them in the Annual Lessons and Carols Program, I had my first real gut check moment. It was the first time I felt like I was exactly on the path God intended me for. I was conducting and sharing music with many people. I was doing something I love while fostering the gift God gave me.
On to the working world! I know that Melissa Grizzle and Kevin Bales were the next players in God's plan. They lead me to East Hall Middle School and gave me my first job. Jake and I reached a point near the end of my 1st year of teaching where we decided it was time to find a house. Talk about an exhausting and heart wrenching process. We quickly realized we were not in a great position to buy a house. We had no savings and what we could afford wasn't necessarily what we wanted. After feeling very low and worn out one morning, I had a gut check feeling that I needed to look up Hud Homes. Why? I don't know. I didn't even really remember if Hud was a real thing. Low and behold, there was our house. I called our realtor, Kim Craft, and asked to see it. The next day, we made an offer. I know without a doubt that God lead us to this home.
Baby Times: The most trying four years of my life involve trying to have a baby. I experienced more emotions and doubt during this time then I care to remember. However, God was still walking the path next to me. He had a better plan for me than I thought possible. To be honest, I had almost given up that He even had a plan for me. Then, God gave me Dr. Bryant. Dr. Bryant diagnosed what was wrong with me, performed surgery on me, and delivered Anthony by c-section 11 months later. She is one of my favorite God gifts because without her, I wouldn't have my top God gift- Anthony.
I write all of this to say that God has always had a plan for me. Even when I doubted Him most, when I felt lost and forgotten, God was there. During many of these experiences, I had no idea that God was at work. Looking back now, it is clear that He was there. I am learning daily to put all of my trust in God. If he has brought me all of these blessings and gifts, He certainly isn't done with me now. The key is to stop wanting things in MY time, but rather in God's time.
"Isn't it funny how something that will later be a blessing can be a curse if you get it too soon."
- T.D. Jakes