Heels clicked and clacked quickly against the marble floors; you could smell the coffee brewing in the staff room as we quickly grabbed our morning jumpstart and snacks before heading to the ballroom to begin another 12-hour day of pageant duties.
Everyone has a memory that’s connected to certain smells and sounds.
Every time I hear someone in heels walking quickly or smell the first cup of coffee (these days it’s my only cup of coffee) brewing at my Keurig, I’m reminded of where I was in my life 4 years ago.
Not in My Plans
Four years ago if you had asked me if I ever thought I’d settle down, get married and have kids I would’ve told you “No way!” I was at a point in my life where I had no idea what my next step would be.
It was August 2014 and I was 2 years post college. I had a degree in Communication and no plans to pursue the Journalism/PR career I had worked so hard to get to the 3 years I spent in college.
I had just finished my 2nd year as a staff member for National American Miss. I was traveling around the country, involved in an industry I loved and had helped shaped most of who I was growing up (check out my first post “Tiaras to Diapers,” of my journey from pageantry to motherhood). I was the Chief Officer of Operations for The Pageant Planet, the largest online coaching system for pageantry, and managing several interns, helping them build a foundation for their careers. How could it get any better than this?
I was in New York City visiting my baby sister, contemplating my next move. Was I going to move to NYC and begin that journalism career? One I had imagined would be like the movies I loved- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and The Devil Wears Prada (Ha! I was young and naive!). All I knew was I wasn’t going back to Houston. There was nothing there for me.
When One Chapter Ends…
Earlier in 2014 I had just gotten out of a serious relationship. A relationship that I thought was my future (anyone who’s really been close to me knows that this has been a long time coming).
We had been together for 5 years (all of my college career and then some). We had been really good friends before we started dating too. It was only natural that it would lead to the idea that we were meant for each other, right?
There was a 2-year difference between us. I was at a point in my life where I was deciding what my future would be and thought I was ready to settle down, he was not. It wasn’t obvious back then, but years later as I look back at it now, we were never on the same page.
We never really agreed on things when we talked about the future. One of us always seemed like we were giving into the other (that would’ve been a disastrous future together).
Towards the end of this relationship I was spending weeks on end traveling for work and the only communication we really had was via text. We rarely called each other and when I was home, I was spending my time with my family or my two God kids. The relationship was over even before either of us could realize it.
I have been bitter for so long when I would think back to that relationship and the way it ended. Looking back now, one of us needed to be the one to walk away first, otherwise we would’ve been stuck in a future neither of us was truly happy with.
It was a relationship that taught me who I was and what I truly wanted in a relationship. It was one that once the door closed, it remained and still remains locked, sealed and never to be opened again. There were good times, but when I think back at how much we couldn’t compromise and one of us was always giving in- it was a toxic relationship.
Funny, how this relationship had sprouted at church and through our time in youth group together. We spent many years as students and eventually both of us became leaders. In these 5 years, instead of growing in my faith, I had seemed to lose my way and lost any faith I had in God’s plans for me.
Another One Begins…
As that chapter ended and I was making plans on what I would do and where I would go next, I knew returning to Houston wouldn’t be an option.
I spent two weeks in NYC, seeing whether or not I could see myself living there- definitely could not; I couldn’t stand the crowds! I knew I wanted some family around wherever that led me. My only options at that point were to move back to Michigan or Dallas, where some cousins lived. If I moved to Michigan, I had my entire extended family but my parents would be too far.
So I took a chance, went to Dallas for a few interviews and a week later had all my things packed up in my little Kia Rio ready to begin a new chapter.
In this chapter, I wasn’t going to go looking for love. I wasn’t going to go looking for anything. I was just going to take it one day at a time and see where it would lead me.
God’s Love and Work
I was always taught that God works in mysterious ways. When I had the least amount of faith in Him and His plans, He worked in ways to bring my life together and rebuild my faith.
I came to Dallas broken and lost. I had no faith left in relationships or in myself. I had started to accept the idea that I would be single forever and that my journalism career would never happen (I was right about my career).
I had spent years teaching my youth group students that God works in mysterious ways, but I never really believed it myself.
When I least expected it, God began to show His plans for me in the most unexpected ways. He brought someone into my life who would teach me what it meant to love someone unconditionally (outside of family), he would teach me what a real relationship could endure and overcome and he would introduce me to things I never dreamed of doing (having a stable group of friends that hung out every weekend, going to softball games and being in a relationship that faced real adult obstacles).
When I thought I wasn’t worth much or capable of being loved by anyone (outside of my family), God brought a man into my life who would become my best friend, love of my life and future father of my children. When I was at what felt like the lowest point in my life, Tory came into it, and in so many ways throughout the past 4 years, my faith was being restored.
If you had asked me 4 years ago if I saw myself married to an incredible man with two beautiful children, I would’ve laughed at you. I never could’ve imagined my life would have a chapter with me as a wife and learning to be a mother to two under 2 (years old).
Here I am… in the greatest chapter of my life!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways- For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”