As I sit here to type this, I realize that this is perhaps the first non fashion or makeup related blog I’ve shared! I am beyond excited to share a little bit of what’s been going on in my life the past few crazy months!!! (The last several weeks have seriously been a whirlwind of events!) Before jumping into all of that, I want to first go back a little ways, to the fall of 2008.
It was around the first week of September that I was headed off to a small, Christian College. Multiple questions were swirling around in my head about what the future held for me. “What degree should I pursue? What activities should I sign up for? What will dorm life be like? Will I meet Mr. Right?” Those thoughts, along with so many others, filled me with such anxiety and fear. Never before had I visited the college campus of where I was going to attend, yet I knew in my heart, that it was exactly where God wanted me to be. I can’t really explain why I felt such peace over so much unknown, but I did. Call it what you will: taking a risk, braving the unknown, or even blind naivety. I called it a step of faith.
I couldn’t see down the path that He was taking me, but I didn’t need to see. I only needed to trust the One who was leading me, for He was the One who already knew the path; each step of the way.
Fast forward four years to 2012. It was the year of change – big change! The year I graduated college with a bachelors in Media Management and Graphic Design. The year I said “I do” forever to my best friend. It was the same year I packed up everything, and said goodbye to the ones I loved. Taking another big step, I and my new hubby moved to the little country town of Clinton, Indiana where we would be working with the Youth Group of Calvary Baptist Church. All those old familiar feelings of anxiety suddenly came flooding back! Questions like, “How will Dan juggle the roles of being a Youth Pastor while also working a full time job? Will we be financially stable? Will I be a good wife and role model for the teen group girls? How will I deal with being so far away from my family? Will I find fulfillment and purpose in this new chapter of life?” These thoughts weighed me down and kept me down, until the day I finally decided to let go of it all, and give it to God. Again, I had to take another big step of faith towards my heavenly Father. I couldn’t see down the path that He was taking me, but I didn’t need to see. I only needed to trust the One who was leading me, for He was the One who already knew the path; each step of the way.
Fast forward another five years, and we’re here! I’d be lying if I said that trusting God has always been easy because truth be told, I’ve doubted Him at times. However, I can honestly say, that He has never led me astray. If I have learned anything in this present chapter of life, it has been that God truly has plan and purpose for every good thing, and even every bad thing (yes, I said every bad thing) that He allows in life. Each moment of victory or defeat has been carefully orchestrated by my Good Father to make me stronger and draw me closer to Him. It has been quite the journey so far, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and love Him more!
Having prefaced with all of that, this leads me to officially announce my life update! In a few very short days, Dan and I will be moving down to Durham, North Carolina, to accept positions working in the Music Ministry of Liberty Baptist Church and Academy.
There were no doubts, just peace.
How this all came to be was definitely out of the blue, but definitely had God’s involvement all over it! You see, Dan and I absolutely loved our lives here, but we had always entertained the idea of eventually moving closer to our families whether that be a few years, or several years down the road. In the past year, we had started to look up housing options near Dan’s family up in Michigan, but to no avail! It seemed like everywhere we were looking just wouldn’t work out. At the beginning of this year, we started to realize that maybe God was actually trying to tell us something. Perhaps where we were, was right where He wanted us to be! Dan had just recently started working a great new job, and to us that seemed to be another big sign that we were supposed to stay put! I’ll admit, it was very hard for me to come to terms with the thought of staying here permanently – especially when I had gone so long expecting things to work out exactly like I wanted them to. I struggled within, to fully accept that God truly knew best. Eventually, I had to take another step of faith and surrender every prior plan I had made over to God’s will. I cannot begin to relay the feeling of total, indescribable, and perfect peace that came over me the moment I reached for my Heavenly Father’s hand. Sure, I knew that it wasn’t exactly what I wanted nor was it going to be easy; but I just knew in that instant, that everything was going to be completely ok! We then started to look around the local area for houses up for sale. We had found a few that we thought were for sure “Perfect”, but for some reason those options ended up falling through. There we were, back to square one, and things were starting to get frustrating. Honestly, we kind of expected that things would start to fall into place because we believed we were doing exactly what God wanted. I started to feel very discouraged and depressed about the future. A few stressful weeks later, Dan totally surprised me the sweetest Valentines Day gift by booking me a trip to California to spend an entire, relaxing week, with my family! It really was the perfect week and just what I needed to recharge after an emotional past few months. Little did I know, exactly one week after I flew back home, Dan and I would be flying right back out to North Carolina! Long story short: The Pastor from Liberty, after first okaying it with our current Pastor at Calvary, contacted Dan about a job offer for Dan and me to possibly work on their Music Staff. The news hit me strait out of left field! “Is this for real?! That’s like, our ultimate dream job since we both have a passion for the ministry and love music! Wait a minute, are we even qualified? Wait, can we even seriously consider it since we just decided we weren’t going to move anywhere?!” Again, so many thoughts of fear and doubt crossed my mind, but this time I knew to be totally open to what God had just brought across out path. Fast forward one week after out trip; Dan and I were we getting ready to make a big decision! After days of weighing the pros and cons and A LOT of prayer, we both knew what right choice was. It again, is quite difficult to put into exact words the feeling of total peace we both had about the decision, because there were no doubts, just peace. To anyone outside of our situation, it might have seemed like a less than wise choice to totally uproot our lives and move to a place that would be even farther away from both our families!!! We just knew in our hearts, that this move was precisely what God had intended for us all along. It didn’t matter the “What if’s.” All that mattered was “Who”, for God was the one who was calling us up this new step of faith.
We are both very excited, but also very nervous about taking on these new roles. Of course, we will GREATLY MISS the life we have built here in the little town of Clinton. We will miss even more, all of our dear friends at Calvary Baptist Church that we have grown so close to over the last five years! While Dan and I have been far from our own families, we have been abundantly blessed with a second family here at Calvary! There have been numerous occasions where our church family has gone above and beyond to make us feel loved and taken care of. CBC will forever hold a special place in our hearts and leave an imprint of compassion, comradery, and love like no other! It is where Dan and I got our start, made so many amazing memories, and learned so much in the first years of our marriage. I will especially miss our teens! Watching them grow not only physically but spiritually the past five years fills me with so much pride! I LOVE our young people, and I love that they know how to show love to others! I love watching them serve in youth ministries to the younger kids at church, sing and play in special music groups, and help out elsewhere around the church when they’re needed! I love hearing them laugh whether at themselves or at each other, as they fellowship at youth activities. I love hearing them in Sunday School and at summer camp share their personal goals and decisions made. Above all, I’ve loved witnessing them become the young adults that they are today. I see them striving to make the right decisions, but most importantly; I see their desire to please God with their lives. That, right there, is the most rewarding and fulfilling feeling!
He’s always been by my side; guiding me. He will always remain. All I have to do is walk; one step of faith at a time.
Looking back nine years ago to that terrified college freshman, five years ago to that anxious newlywed, and even a few months ago to that discouraged Christian, I only wish she could have seen a little glimpse of what was to follow right after her moments of doubt! I wish she would have spent less time worrying over all the little things that were out of her control, and spent more time trusting that God had a bigger plan than she could have ever imagined! I wish she would have realized just how important it was to live in the moment, and to not dwell on the past or stress over the future! I wish she would have stopped focusing on all her own struggles and invested more time and love in the amazing people around her! As I now prepare to step from one season of life into another, I take with me the commitment to not let fear of the unknown hold me back. I promise to look away from the unlit path that lies before me, and look instead to the One who holds my hand. He’s always been by my side; guiding me. He will always remain. All I have to do is walk; one step of faith at a time.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read a little bit of my heart today! I may be a little MIA the next few weeks here on the blog and on social media, but I will definitely return once things start to get settled after the move! Fashion and Beauty will always be a passion of mine, but my first love will always be my Faith and of course music! I hope you all will continue to find inspiration through following along with me heading into this new chapter of life! Follow me on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter – all @mixandmatchmel – to see daily randomness when I’m not here on the blog! Thanks again for stopping by and have a blessed day Bellas!