I woke up with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude this morning. It’s one of those things that I feel as if every time that Christmas comes around I start to reflect on the year that we had but this time things just seemed different. Different in the best way possible.
Let me back up a little – finals week my senior year of college in 2016 I lost the person I never wanted to lose…my grandfather. I received a call that he had lost his battle with cancer and the funeral was the Tuesday before graduation. This man was my everything. He was the one that always believed in me, encouraged me and supported me through it all.
(Fun fact: I lived with my grandparents for 5 years growing up so we had an extra special bond.)
It all seemed like a downward blur that week as when Saturday of graduation came I also told my parents that I would not be pursuing a medical career but instead venturing into the world of social media. (Let me just say…they weren’t thrilled) And to make matters even worse, the Monday after graduation I received another phone call explaining that my childhood dog passed away that morning.
This was the moment in my life that was truly an all time low. My plan wasn’t working out. This wasn’t the way that it was supposed to be.
It was at this moment in my life that I truly questioned my faith. I had always been a believer but it just didn’t make sense as to why this was happening. So for 9 months I woke up early every morning and drove for 2-4 hours around the metroplex to cry and ask God ‘why’.
However, it was during those 9 months that my world began to shift in ways that I never knew was even possible. And it was all because I began to develop a true ‘ear’ for Gods voice. Why not jump in 150% to doing what God puts on your heart to do? What if I actually followed the bible as a set of rules to guide my life vs just a list of suggestions? What if I did what God placed on my heart to do in the moment vs waiting until I thought it was the right moment? I had nothing to lose because everything that I had held close to me was already gone.
During these 9 months I jumped in heart first. I did everything that I felt God put on my heart to do…even if it scared the living daylights out of me. In fact, one of my favorite lines to say (even to this day) is ‘I know that this doesn’t make sense…but God told me to do it.’ How can one argue with that? (Haha believe me…they definitely can but that’s a different story for another time.) So when I lived this way during those 9 months, this is what happened: I was offered a position to host my own radio show, signed with a modeling agency, walked in New York Fashion Week and was blogging full time. These were some of my craziest desires in my heart that were coming to pass, in simply 9 months of saying ‘yes’ to God .
Fun fact: I was also living with Grandmother to be each others support system and everyday when I got home she would ask the question of ‘What crazy thing has God done in your life today?’
From a biblical perspective, 9 months is very symbolic of a birth. It takes 9 months to make a baby, but it also takes 9 months to create a new you.
If you were to look at your life with a 9 month filter on it, what changes would you see? How would your dots connect?
During those 9 months God was also prepping my heart for marriage. I went from never truly dating anyone, to dating the 3 guys that I thought I had wanted. (You know…the ones that look good on paper.) God also had me catch the bouquet at a wedding even though standing in the corner, be the only one in the fashion show to wear a wedding dress and the 3rd sign was in June of 2017.
I was sitting in church one Sunday, by myself and I just started crying. Crying at the fact that there were so many happy families around me and I was all alone. It’s a heart wrenching feeling seeing others happiness of love in family and wondering what is wrong with yourself. However, it was in that moment that I heard God say ‘Be patient. I’m healing his heart for you.’
So that’s what I did. I was patient.
What I didn’t know was that God truly was healing his heart for me. You see, Connor had broken off an engagement one month prior to me getting this word from God. He really was healing Connor’s heart for me.
So fast forward to July of 2017 and we finally meet as Connor’s company at the time had hired bloggers to come in and try their escape rooms.
There’s a whole series that we need to do about our dating but that is for a future time :).
We got married on July 21, 2018 and during that time Connor was working for Chick-Fil-A and I was working at Social Revolt Agency. After getting married we had moved into one of my Grandmothers rental properties in Watauga as this was 10 minutes from CFA and Connor was the one having the crazy shifts. The program Connor was in was an Owner Operator development program. Essentially in 3-5 years one would have the experience in all areas of the restaurant to be semi-guaranteed their own CFA…somewhere in the country.
It was during these months that we were not only newly weds but also very fresh in our jobs too. Trying to balance everything is hard and things just didn’t seem right.
So I went for a drive just like back in the olden days asking God ‘why’. And this time I was met with the response “Quit his job and move back to Frisco’.
I’m sorry…you want us to have Connor quit his job and move back to Frisco just like that?!
The next day Connor quit his job and on Saturday we moved back to Frisco.
Were we scared? Yes. Did it make sense? No. Did we have job interviews lined up? No.
But did we do it?
That next week during work I had a thought pop into my head. I couldn’t get it out of my head. At this time the company I was working for was officing out of WeWork in downtown Dallas…and Connor would be the perfect addition to their team.
I ran downstairs to the front desk and said ‘I know I’m biased because he’s my husband…but my husband Connor would be a great addition to your team.’ They kind of looked at me like I was dumb so I followed up with ‘I also noticed that there are two buildings openning up in Plano that he would be a great fit for – how can I get his resume in to the right person?’
One week later he had a phone call with WeWork…to let him know that all the spots at the two Plano locations had been filled. But that there would be one spot on the Dallas team that would need to be filled maybeeeeee in January.
So for the timeline people: Connor quit his job in October, we moved to Frisco November 1 and had his first phone call with WeWork November 10 for a potential job opening in January. Yikes.
From an economy standpoint we moved to a more expensive part of town, with a more expensive rent and only with one persons salary. *hence where my line of ‘I know this doesn’t make sense…but God told me to do it’ comes in to play to literally everyone that we talk to)
Within a month, Connor goes through the entire interview process and…they needed him to start December 12th.
I remember thinking that day of just how crazy life is when we say ‘yes’ but also looking back kind of being terrified of what we had gone through too. It’s easy to read stories or look at somebody’s life from the outside and say they got it going on…but what is it really like behind the highlight reel?
Well let me just share our 2019 with you. It started off great! We were both employed, living back in the best city every (FRISCOOOO) and finally starting to feel settled. Until the day that I quit my job *LOL*.
From February to June I didn’t have a job. I was applying to 20-50 places a day and would receive rejection letter after rejection letter. This wasn’t how it was supposed to work out?? God always provides but why isn’t He doing that now??
To throw an extra level of stress on to our pile…God told me we needed to buy a house.
UHM GOD…DO YOU KNOW THAT I DON’T HAVE A JOB RIGHT NOW?!
Fun fact: God actually doesn’t care what YOU think your circumstances look like in the present. He cares that you have the FAITH to walk forward regardless of what those circumstances may seem like.
So in March I met with a realtor for coffee and said, ‘I know this doesn’t make sense…but God told me it was time to buy a house’.
Thank the LORD that she was also a woman of faith because if anybody else took our case they would have probably laughed me out of the coffee shop. As the follow up question was, ‘well how much money do you have saved for a down payment?’
My answer: zero. But we’ll have enough when that time comes.
Do you see why now that I always have to preface my statements with ‘I know this doesn’t make sense…but God told me to do it.’
So basically we are sitting at this coffee shop with the facts of: 1) We would like to buy a house 2) I don’t have a job 3) We have no money saved for this either and 4) The house is going to be a new build.
And she said ‘yes’.
I remember walking away from that meeting shaking my head at what had just happened. Coming to the table with literally NONE of the right answers, none of the right circumstances, no money…and she was willing to also have the faith to move forward.
When we were looking at different homes (and believe me…there were a lot) they all seemed almost but not quite. You know, the kind that has the great home but wrong neighborhood…great neighborhood wrong home…ect. Ect. Until…
At this point in the timeline…I have been out of work for 2 months with no job leads in site. The reason for needing a job ASAP was for 1) to be approved for the home loan and 2) be able to save enough for a downpayment.
We pulled up to THE neighborhood. Everything was just PERFECT. Dreamy, homey, beautiful – all the shibangs. However, I still didn’t have a job to get approved for the loan and we didn’t have thousands saved for a downpayment in a build either.
So we walked by faith with our realtor to the builders office and..we then start the home building process to pick out all the goodies that would go into our future home.
We ended up being pre-approved (in tangent that I would eventually get a job) and we put down the last $1,000 that we had in the bank on the house.
Why yes, that doesn’t seem like a lot of money but think about this: I still don’t have a ‘real job’ but I still have bills. Blogging is great and does bring in money but collabs are normally paid on a 30-60 day payout. Meaning I could have 5 collabs one week and not see the money for 2 months.
The build starts. I still don’t have a job.
So the night before they poured the foundation we went and bought a bible to put under the threshold of the door. We then wrote this on the first page:
To this day, our home is built on that foundation.
A month into the build…I still don’t have a job.
Which means we also have very little savings to even buy the house.
So for 6 months we ate rice, cereal, noodles and sandwiches to save money. We said no to going out with friends, we said no to a lot of things…but we did say yes to restaurant collabs! The only time we didn’t eat rice, cereal, noodles and sandwiches were when we went out to dinner for a collab and it was the most beautiful experience ever. Real. Food.
After applying to over 200 jobs in the span of 3 months…I FINALLY got one. I truly don’t think I had ever been that excited in my life!
Which also meant that we only had 3 more months to save thousands and thousands.
As we approached the week of closing, everything was going great. We had all our paperwork in early, the money in the bank, everything was looking good until the Friday before closing…when we didn’t receive the closing papers.
Fun fact: In order to close on a house you have to receive papers 3 days in advance to look over everything. If papers are not received early, the closing date gets pushed back.
Monday comes…and I hear nothing from no one until around 4PM. I get a call from our realtor explaining that there had been a problem in underwriting and they wanted to throw out our file.
UHM, THROW OUT OUR FILE?!
It’s at that moment in time that your heart sinks and the last thread of hope and faith looks as if it has been lost in the wind. Faith is one of those things that is easy to hold to when you see the victory but in order to have a victory you have to go through battle.
My mom was over that day and we dropped everything to head to the house. I was holding back tears confused about a lot of things but mostly confused with myself.
Did I make a selfish desire seem as if it was from God?
When we get to the house we just started praying over everything. The house, the property boundary and everything in between. While this was happening, I also was asking God to show me a sign that this truly was from Him and not from me. If it was from me and something that I had took as from Him…then take it away.
At the very end I asked God to put a feather on the front porch if we were supposed to ‘fight’ forward. And if we weren’t…that’s okay too – we’ll drop it.
Side story about the feather: My Grandmother, former roommate, passed away in September of this year. The week that she had passed we found feathers everywhere. Beautiful white feathers standing on their end, not shaken by the wind and there was just a sense of peace associated with them.
We finished praying. We walked out the front door. And laying on the front porch was a beautiful feather.
It was in that moment that I had to take my own advice of ‘I know this doesn’t make sense…but God told me to do this.’
The next day (former closing day) my boss walks into the office to offer their congratulations on closing on our first home. Only to tell them that everything had fallen through and I didn’t know what to do.
She mentioned a new bank in town that could help as they were having a similar problem when refinancing their own home. After she left I grabbed my coat, purse and headed to the new bank in town on a whim.
The bankers looked very confused seeing me come in 3 min before they closed explaining that I needed to buy a house ASAP.
Within 24 hours we had a new contract on the table with better numbers than we could have imagined.
10 days later we closed on our first home!
We walked in to our home for the first time with keys in hands and we just both looked at each other in amazement. To this day we have our ‘faith feather’ framed on our kitchen counter as a reminder that no matter what the situation may look like, God is the one who will have the final say. He never leaves us, He never betrays us but He loves us more than we can ever know.
One week after we closed on our home our bosses pulled us into their offices to have a meeting.
Fun fact: In regards to Connors work situation, we needed to have him transfer to a Plano location as when we started the build he was still officing out of the Dallas office. And our home is in North Frisco. Two months after we started the build a spot just happened to open up at the Plano location.
Both meetings started with the same sentence ‘there is an opportunity for promotion’.
Connor was promoted Dec. 12th, just one year after starting with the company. We closed on our home the same month that in the year prior Connor quit his job and we moved back to Frisco.
*My review will come in January so we will keep you posted!*
During the past 3 years, we had the opportunity to say ‘not right now’ ‘I don’t think it’s the right moment’. If that was the case…we would still be living out of a rental house in Watauga.
But what if it actually IS the right moment? What blessings are you really missing out on when you hesitate instead of acting upon when God tells you to ‘Go’?
With 2020 on the horizon, make this the year that you say ‘yes’ to God. He’s already said ‘yes’ to you. He wants to know you, love you and promote you. He wants what’s best for you, all you have to do is trust Him even when the situation may not look how you think it should.
We love you guys so much FAM! Thank YOU for all of your support, kindness and love throughout 2019. We have so many fun things in store for 2020 that we can’t wait for you to be a part of! Merry Christmas!