I started my blog two years ago in September 2017 after one of the most trying seasons of my life. I was confused on where God stood with me, convinced He didn’t want good things for me, and fearful of what He might do in my life. My circumstances weren’t adding up to my dreams.
I wish I could go hug on her and tell her that what He had in store for me next would blow my freaking mind. But here I am again, two years later falling back into the trap of fear. Fear that my dreams are too big, fear that people may look at me funny, and fear that I have been forgotten in some areas. I am reminded two years later that His faithfulness in my season of heartache and confusion did not look like what I thought it would. He didn’t give me the relationship I thought I wanted, he didn’t give me the first job I thought I wanted, and He didn’t give me my immediate desires. Not because He was mad at me or wanted good things for my friends instead of me… but because He wanted what was best for me and His plan for me… and my oh my am I blown away.
Moving home in 2018 after graduating was fun for like 2 months, and then I began to panic. I started to reach out to all my contacts for a job in the TV Industry. I even applied to a job in Alaska. I was not finna be caught dead in Melbourne where I grew up. I was so eager to get out. I wouldn’t commit to community because I was moving. I wouldn’t commit to a job because I was sure I would be moving. I wouldn’t commit to being present because I was for sure going to get a job in NYC or Cali.
It’s funny because when I told people about my dreams, they would say “I can see it. You are gonna be in LA or NYC hosting a TV show.” But that wasn’t happening. I knew God had validated my dreams in secret, but people’s opinions of how it should happen began to shape some unnecessary insecurities in me. I started to think “Well here I am, settling for Melbourne… cleaning Air BnB’s, babysitting, and bartending on the weekends…” It didn’t make sense. I started to feel like every time I walked into a room people were looking at me sideways… yet expectant of what God could be up to.
I was invited to a Bible study in October of 2018, and I reluctantly went. I say reluctantly because I did not want to connect with people in Melbourne. Like at all… I missed my community in Gainesville. I missed my church. I missed my old job. I missed my apartment. All of it. Bible study stopped in November 2018 due to schedules and life. During this time, I was training for my first half marathon with a friend. It was during those 12 weeks of training that I really felt The Lord speaking to me. He told me that it was the daily disciplines, the early mornings when no one sees you, and the recovery days that would ultimately prepare me for the race. Come race day, I was ready. And this isn’t a humble brag, but I won my half marathon. And when I tell you I had no idea… I had no freaking clue. I had to pee the whole time. I almost cried. My headphones were dying. I was just trying to finish and not die to be honest. But I learned something that day. If I was going to see fruition of anything God wanted in my life, well I was going to have to be okay with the endurance training. It doesn’t mean that I had to merely get through the tough seasons, but I could enjoy it and train well. That because I am saved by Jesus that I can be sure that I will win in this life and the next. Because He did. But I also learned that life is not going to turn out how we expect almost ever… But we can expect to train and to choose people we want to train with.
I trained for the half with two of my dearest friends, and we look back on those long Sunday runs on Trop Trail and think to ourselves: “how the heck did we do that?” What a joy it was to our friendship and still is…
Fast forward to January 2019, I was convicted in the New Year that I needed to take that principle of training with people into my personal life. I had already booked my flight to North Carolina to visit my sister, and I was still applying for jobs out of state, like fervently. I applied again to jobs in Alaska and this time I put my dad’s email in, and he still gets emails from them to this day. Lol sorry dad, you rock.
I remember calling a friend in January asking her, “Hey want to start back up Bible study with me? We can take turns and just see what God does.” I needed to stop projecting myself into a story that wasn’t mine. The story of me moving to LA, the story of me moving overseas to be a missionary, the story of me getting married to a college sweetheart… I could choose to come to terms with my life, or I could choose to live the actual life God presented me.
Fast forward a few weeks later, my friend told me I should connect with this local podcast network… I am like “Uhm… no I am going to NC in February and I am going to follow up with someone from ESPNU. I am sure I am going to land a job with them or somewhere else.” She basically told me I had nothing to lose and to reach out. So, I did. I didn’t really think much of it. My friend kept telling me I was being stubborn… which I was. Melbourne was not for me. I thought to myself… a podcast network? What does she think I will be doing? Running sound? Is this entry level? Do I need experience?
So, I reached out and got connected with the XV XIII Network in downtown Melbourne. I was impressed with the people I had met there, and I was excited to meet people with similar passions and dreams as me. I tabled it a bit in my mind. I was excited, but I was nervous. I prayed about it, and I decided to listen to the Lord and just do it. I recorded my first episode with my Aunt April. She was wonderful. I fumbled. And I will never release that episode, and I will re-record with her someday. Just keeping it real. I went to NC to be with my mixed nut nephew. I prayed. I worried. I second guessed it. I read a book. I read The Bible. But I had already committed, and I didn’t want to back out.
Fast forward to March with one episode recorded and a concept, I went to the Tim Tebow Celebrity Gala and Golf Tournament… and it’s there that I had no idea I was talking to an NFL Hall of Famer for a few hours. That’s a story for another day… but that NFL Hall of Famer was Marcus Allen. It’s probably good I had no clue who he was… LOL
Long story short, he offered to help me with my podcast and said to me “Sometimes it’s all about having one person, just one person believing in you and helping you.” I am like wow. First of all, I told him I didn’t even know who he was when I met him. Perhaps he is going to connect me to someone who can help. But when he said “one person”; he meant himself. He was my next guest for my podcast. And just like that I am living in Melbourne, interviewing a former NFL athlete for a podcast I never dreamt of starting.
Many of you know that I have been working on this lil project for a while now, and I am excited to release my very first episode of Write it Down. This would not be possible without the XV XIII Network. We didn’t know that months later, God would open doors and create a unique show with unique guests. But isn’t that the beauty of God’s adventure for our lives? So, my encouragement to you is to stop projecting yourself into the life you think you should be living. Don’t just sit in the life you have, but train in the life you have with the people God has placed in your life. I promise you… you will not miss out on anything exciting. In all aspects of my life, I am challenged to surrender the story I thought I wanted and live in the one I was given. Surround yourself with people who have the same end goal in mind. For me that goal is the Kingdom of God, and I am thankful for every single person who has encouraged me, mentored me, and prayed for me. This is not my show. It’s ours.
Check out what my friends are doing with the XV XIII Network. The other shows on this network are exceptional and unique. I am excited to watch God move n shake in the 321, and I am humbled that He chose me to be a part of it.
By the way… my release day is October 1 and will be released the first of every month!!! Follow for content on Instagram @widpod and @xvxiiinetwork