After spending a year in Waco, I had decided that I was done with Texas and I would always be a Little Rock native and homebody. After spending nearly 6 months at home, I am moving back to Waco - to finish my degree in Sports Management and to start a life of my own. Here is my story and how Jesus has changed my heart...
Last spring, my heart was gearing up for one of the best summers and runs at Miss Arkansas I could have ever dreamed for. I was ready to be in Arkansas and I was ready to be with my family. Because I was already living my life in Arkansas, while still in Waco, I wasn't able to completely devote myself to my time and my friends there (Kellie and Rachael below). I was merely living day to day and going through the motions.
In July, after Miss Arkansas, a number of opportunities opened up for me in Arkansas, including an incredible internship at the University of Central Arkansas, so I decided that a much needed semester at home coupled with a God send internship was just what I needed.
In no time at all I quickly fell in love with a church family in Little Rock, my work family at UCA, and loved being at home with my sister and family. For the first time in a year I was able to go to family lunch and sit and watch tv with my mom at night and was included on the family chit-chat during the day. I loved every minute of it.
By the end of my seventh week home, some things in my heart started changing. People began asking me for my future plans after grad school ends in May. I answered very matter-of-factly every single time, I am moving to NorthWest Arkansas and getting a house and working for the University of Central Arkansas. It is where my friends are, my university (the state university) is, and of course a job! But something in the pit of my stomach was not right. I had this feeling once before, about a year ago, when I was saying (matter-of-factly) that I would marry a boy named Taylor Clark. This feeling had come back. Which meant that something was not right with the Man upstairs.
I began praying for discernment of the Holy Spirit and the work it was doing in my soul. And then I began the infamous Beth Moore JAMES study. It is amazing. (And I am a horrible student of it right now - I mean seriously, I have missed 2 weeks in a row!) The first week she discussed family and you can read about that HERE in my older post. I am learning that I shouldn't judge a place because I am not close to my family - you can make new family wherever you are. No, they aren't your biological and "real" family - but they are your spiritual family. They can pick you up in times you need and have fun and go see movies on Sunday afternoons. This family, I was beginning to shape and form in Waco last spring, however, I abandoned ship and I left Waco to come to a more comfortable place.
I feel like God is showing me that comfort is not necessarily what we need. I thought that God was putting my back in Arkansas to develop a sports network, to work on a job for May, but what God was really doing - was giving me a "GRACE PERIOD" a period of my life that I can take my glasses off, clean the lenses, and look through them with a new perspective. This perspective is the perspective that counts.
It is with God's help and his mercy, strength, and confidence I am returning to Waco in January. I am not just returning for the semester, or the year, but to plant roots. To grow as an individual and to grow as woman of God. I know that God will open a lot of doors for me as I take this HUGE leap of faith and head back down there. But I know now, more than ever, that Waco is going to be my home and that God is preparing big things for me when I get back!
Please pray for my continued efforts in discerning God's truth and the Holy Spirit's words. That I don't put words in Their mouths or emotions in the feelings that I am getting, but that I make decisions based one hundred percent on God's plan for my life.
I also want to ask you to pray for friends of mine. I have only met them a couple of times, but they are special to me in several ways. They are native to Arkadelphia - my families home town, they are best friends of my family, and the are in laws of some of my closest friends. But most importantly they are my Ouachita Family.
People often ask what is so special about Ouachita, well you see, no matter when you went there - you are always family and in times of need and tragedy and joys and celebration - Ouachita Family is there and supporting you. I ask that you take a moment and pray for Julee Bell Turner and her family as they mourn the loss of her husband, Matt Turner. Matt was an incredible Father and Husband and to learn more you can visit THV's website. Matt and Julee have a 10 month old precious baby girl named Preslee. As they prepare for the funeral and for honoring Matt's 32 years on this earth, friends and family are giving back.
Several Ouachita friends are donating proceeds this week to the Preslee Turner College Fund. If you want to donate: Please do. It is supporting a family in need and a family that needs more prayer and support than we can probably give them, but that is what is so neat about God.... He is ALL WE NEED. And his hands and arms are covering the Bell-Turner Family tonight.
Don't just remember them this week or next week... but the upcoming months will be the hardest and remember them in a year, in 2 years. They will still need your support then.
Go shop and donate - and give to this family that needs your support and prayers.