I should be unpacking right now, but instead I sat down to write this blog post. The Lord has been laying these words on my heart for the last few months, I’ve just been waiting for the right time to put them on a page, and today just feels right. I have started to write this post a few times, as this story has been in the works for over a year, but today is the day.
I am a planner to the max – OCD, control freak, needs to know what is happening now, tomorrow, and ten to fifteen years from now – and if it could all happen according to plan, that would be great and I would be most comfortable. LOL. Life isn’t like that at all. And that’s also absolutely not how The Lord works, and He also uses this fact about me to teach me so many amazing lessons in this life.
So let’s rewind. Josh and I started dating 7 years, 2 months, and 12 days ago to this day (Yes, I counted and that is also an important fact). He was in good ole Buies Creek and I was in High Point.
From that time until now, Josh has lived in Buies Creek, Pittsburg, PA Columbus, OH, Ooltewah, TN, Cleveland, OH, and Naples, FL while doing internships and starting his career. I’m sure I am missing a city or two, but I can’t keep count anymore. All the while, I have been here in North Carolina the whole time, because let’s be honest, I’m a Tar Heel and my blood runs Carolina blue and that’s where my family is and I love them dearly. We both wanted to graduate from college, and I from PA school before we moved to the same place. Josh was in Ooltewah, TN when I graduated from Methodist in December of 2015. I went out there for a job interview two days after graduation, got an amazing job that was actually a blend of every medical specialty that I loved, and planned to move there two months later. That easy. Josh and I were finally going to be in the same place after five and half years, and we started talking about getting married how great it would be to make a home in Tennessee for a few years and explore that area together. Y’all, our dreams had come true. But if you know us, you know that isn’t what has happened in the last year or so at all.
While I was on vacation in Naples with my family and Josh celebrating the new year, graduation, and getting my first job as a PA, I got a phone call that the budget did not allow for another Advanced Practice Provider in that practice and that they may be able to help me in July or later than that. This was the only job available in Tennessee and the only lead I had even gotten out there. The one city in the entire United States that Josh was living was the one city in the entire United States where the market for PAs was flooded. I was crushed. We were crushed. There was absolutely no opportunity there. I struggled with what all this meant, what God’s plans were for Josh and I, how after all this time we still could not be in the same place, and what on earth I was going to do because I had this fancy degree and no job and had not been looking for one, because I thought I had one.
The Lord provided an amazing first job for me in High Point and although I was very frustrated with how things had happened, this has been the perfect place for me to start my career. I have been blessed with people who have been so gracious to me as I have continued to learn and who have laughed with me as I have done some really hysterical things my first year as a PA. I really just didn’t know what to do about Tennessee and that whole situation. Ugh.
Y’all. Josh and I were at our wits end. I had made 12 trips to Tennessee in 4 months and was just exhausted. And Josh gets an opportunity in Durham, North Carolina. One hour from my front door. God is so cool. I wish I could tell you that I proudly proclaimed that truth every day that we walked through some tough days, but I didn’t. I shouted my frustrations at the Lord sometimes, but I know He is strong enough to take them. I also know that the Lord would rather have our gut honest feelings that being shiny and perfect for Him always.
Yesterday, after 7 years, 2 months, and 11 days, I officially became a resident of Durham, NC, meaning that we live in the same city. We looked at each other this past weekend and said something like what are we going to do next week when we can see each other whenever we want to? Again, God is so cool.
There are still a few growing pains here, because I just really love being close to my parents, but if there is anything the last seven years have taught me, it’s that God’s plans are far better than my own and with Him, I can handle anything life throws at me, and that means you too mom and dad.
I’m not sharing this with you, to share a mushy love story, although, our love story is really amazing, and it’s not all sunshine and beach waves, but God’s redemption and grace is woven throughout our story in some incredible ways. I’m sharing this with you in hopes to encourage you. You may not be waiting today to be in the same place as your better half. But I know that each and every one of you is waiting for something – your dream job, healing in a relationship, to have kids, to graduate from college or grad school, to get into the professional program that you’ve been working so hard toward – it could be anything, big or small. I want to encourage you to trust God in your waiting. Patience is tough. I’m not sure that’s a lesson I will really ever have mastered but you can bet God will continue to give me opportunities to practice that one. Y’all. I was texting my mom today, and you should know separation for my family always tugs at our heart strings. Growing a tight-knit, close family unit is something my parents did really well. I told her, that all I kept thinking is how wrong Tennessee would have been, and for two years that’s all I wanted. Trust God in your waiting, because His plans are so much more than we will ever dream up on our own. My biggest wildest dream, pales in comparison to all that God has planned for me.
The day that Josh proposed, one of the best feelings (okay, there were a lot of best feelings that day) was feeling so secure in God’s plans for our lives. The waiting can be hard, painful, sad, lonely, and even really long, but when you get there the reward is so much better than you could ever imagine. Tough it out, persevere, and keep fighting the fight, because you are in for the best days ahead of you.
I hope you feel encouraged for whatever you’re waiting on. I love you people. All of you. Have a great week!