Lessons in Faithfulness

Okay, so things are about to get really real around here like almost didn't press publish real. (I'm just guessing because I've only typed one sentence of course haha) This post was inspired by a conversation that Patricia and I had in my car last night for like three hours after Pilates.

This is the time for 2016 reflection posts. This year was full of change. I'm ending the year in the place that I never imagined and I'm sharing how I got there: faith. 150%. On January 1st, I was working from what felt like open to close at the AG Girl of the Year Launch. The store was packed. Kids were everywhere. I had opened a lot more doll boxes in one day than I imagined. I was exhausted. I remember having the same thought: I'm starting a new year in a place that I never imagined.

Taken on July 2, 2015 on top of A-Mountain after slow dancing to Ed Sheeran unsure of what would come next for Vance and I.

It all started the prior summer, I had quit my job of almost three years after feeling miserable going into work each day. Vance and I were struggling in the lowest point of our relationship. I was running from the stress of my life. I ran right into an open interview for the new American Girl store that was opening in just a few months. They hired me for sales on the spot. I fell in love with the store, with my coworkers, and had a new attitude. I was happy again. I loved what I was doing, but unfortunately as much as you can love something, it might not make sense. I started praying last winter for God's direction. Did He really see me staying at AG? Was this my future or just temporary?

In the following months at the beginning of this year, I could feel God pulling on my heart that as much I loved the store and my coworkers, it wasn't where He wanted me and I needed to stop running away. I needed to face the realities of my finances. Selling dolls doesn't pay as well as I wish it did and Vance was just starting his career in real estate. During one night, I asked Vance where he saw me, where he saw us. He wanted me to come back to real estate, so we could be a team. Vance has always been the most supportive and encouraging cheerleader in my life, but I also valued his always honest opinion even when it was harsh. To be completely transparent: we were struggling, living month to month in an overpriced apartment that hadn't felt like home to us. (That was also 30 miles each way to work. Yuck.)

I fought God's plan. I cried a lot of nights praying for another solution, but I knew what I had to do. I had to quit my job, return back to the real estate office to work for my parents in the place that had once made me so miserable. In April, I shed more tears saying goodbye to the people and place that had been my home for the last 8 months. In that same time, Vance and I gave our notice that we would not be renewing our lease. These two things happening at the same time brought me to a low place again. I cried to Vance all the time telling him he'd never understand what I gave up. He listened, but honestly gave me little sympathy. I think he knew that me going back to a better paying job, starting our team, and giving up the over priced apartment were always the best things for me, for us. Are you seeing a theme? There were lots of tears because I felt like I lost "my happy life," at the store and in the apartment. But thankfully there was a teeny part of me that had faith in what God was doing.

Things started to change. The office that used to make me miserable, didn't anymore. It actually challenged me and made me want to reinvent what we'd been doing for so long. I was a part of something so much bigger with people who were so excited about their work and they genuinely cared about me too. Vance and my real estate business started to take off. People were seeing what we were doing and we started to build our business (Despite my little freak outs over Vance not being quite as organized as I am, which I still have haha.) His diligence to be successful and work ethic continue to inspire me daily. Even living at home wasn't as horrible as I thought, shout out to my mom and G for taking me back.

Over the course of the months that followed, I learned who truly mattered in my life because those who no longer fit in, drifted away on their own. The friends and family that loved and supported me showed me how much they cared in big ways. Vance and I's relationship flourished. We started to plan our wedding together. Our business expanded each month. My passion for my job grew. I was truly seeing God's hand in every inch of my life as I dove into His Word and let Him start to speak to me in ways I had never experienced before. 

I put my faith in Him by quitting that job that I loved so much, moving out of our apartment, and it brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined this time last year. I truly had to let go and let God. Looking back at this year and even 2015, I see how everything lead me here. He wove all of the good and the bad into this story that I couldn't have written better if I tried. I'm so thankful for Vance. His encouragement, love, and constant belief in me even when I didn't see it in myself kept me going through the hard times. My friends, my family, and my work family were there for me in ways I never imagined.  I cannot wait for what next year will bring. It's already shaping up to be one for the books, not to jinx it or anything, but I think it will be probably be the very best of my life so far. ;)

1 comment

  1. The happy hour beers are listed in red on the menu with about twelve or so to choose from as I recall with some decent choices. Looks like the event space Chicago have a nice little pub menu but we did not try any of that on this evening.