Saturday, March 26, 2011

How the West was Won (Part 2)

   I know, I know, I am a day late. Well, better late than never. So here is the second half of our journey.
   So I left off with us packing up the truck and heading west. But what I neglected to mention was that Carie did not even have a job, a job prospect, not even an interview the morning before we left. We knew we were supposed to be moving to Oklahoma and that this is where God was leading us but we were going to need some Manna from heaven or something in order to make it. You see, I wasn't going to work my first year because they do not encourage it, so our entire income would be from Carie, who did not have a job yet. Well that God works in mysterious ways.
   As we are pulling into our apartment in Nashville after picking up the moving truck, I see Carie on the phone in her car. After a few minutes she gets out and I ask her who that was. It was a company in OKC and they wanted to have her interview for a position! Well now at least we had a job prospect. So we pack up and move. Just a day or two after arriving in OKC Carie goes to her interview. She tells me she thought it went well, but we would have to wait and see. Well that evening they called her back and offered her the job! Within a week Carie already had a job. The next thing on our list was to find a church.
   We had researched churches in the OKC metro area before moving and found We figured we would try it and a few others before making a decision. We never made it to those other churches. Lifechurch was exactly were God wanted us at this point in our lives. I have never listened to a more effective pastor than Craig Groeschel. This church was a Godsend for Carie and I at this step in our lives; newly married, and not as close in our faith as we should be. Carie and I have never been closer to our Father than we are right now and it has been great building our marriage around our faith. But it keeps getting better.
   On our second try we found the lifegroup we currently attend. This is our second family. I do not think we would have made it in Oklahoma without this group of couples. God lead us to our OKC family. Additionally, this group also provided Carie with her second job opportunity.
   The first job was not working out so well with the monkey and all. (Yes, a monkey in the office. An actual real, live, monkey.) It just so happened that a couple in our lifegroup work for Lifechurch and knew of a job opening. Carie applied and the rest is history. She has been working for Lifechurch for nearly two and a half years now.
   Now, I do not want you to get the impression everything has been pees and carrots here in OKC. It has definitely had its moments. But once again God knew what he was doing. He has always provided for us. The hardest part was being away from our family. But this too was a blessing. This allowed Carie and I to build our marriage on or own. No outside influences. We could only lean on each other. But there was also another reason I think God moved us from our family.
   Before moving Carie and I would see my mom and dad every weekend, sometimes more. We were very close. Well in May of 2009 my mother passed away unexpectedly. And while nothing could dull the pain immediately, there was a purpose to us being so fair away. I think God moved us here to help deal with the separation from my mom. Once we moved here I was only able to see mom a handful of times, so I had gotten used to her not being around very much. Imagine if we stayed at home and we were still seeing each other every weekend. The loss would have been unbearable. While I still miss mom, it has been easier for me to adjust to her absence.
   Okay, now to end on a high note. Last spring, I began looking for an internship for the summer. I had some business cards made and gave some to family just in case they knew someone. Well, I was having no luck when my brother-in-law shot me a text. There was an attorney speaking to his class. My brother-in-law just happened to have one of my business cards and he asked if I wanted him to give it to the attorney. Without giving it much thought I said sure, not really expecting anything. Well three weeks later Carie and I were leaving church and I still had no prospects for an internship. We were toying with the idea that maybe we were supposed to stay in OKC and not move home. That afternoon that attorney called me. I told him I was looking for an internship that could possibly lead to a job, and he asked me to drive in for an interview. I drove in on spring break did the interview and interned last summer. This August I will start as an associate attorney at that firm, in my hometown of Murfreesboro, TN.
   Well that's our story out here. There was a purpose for this mid-western detour, even if we couldn't see it at the beginning. All this was to say, we have to have faith. God won't lead us astray. He may ask you do do something you may absolutely dread, but there is a reason. Carie and I would never have gotten to where we are in life without taking that leap of faith. The unknown is scary, but often much more worthwhile  than playing it safe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How the West was Won (Part 1)

   So, over the past week or so I have been reading a 12 day plan on youversion about faith. I do not consider myself a person who struggles with believing in the unseen, and, as I have posted before, it's easier for me to believe their is someone other than me guiding my life. My reading last night was Hebrews 11. I encourage everyone to go an read this chapter right now, or after finishing this post. In that chapter, the author runs through a who's who of people who had faith in the Bible. Moses, Abraham, and Able just to name a few. While I have posted on faith before, this chapter got me thinking about the past three years and my, well our (Carie too), leap of faith. I am not sure if I have told everyone the story so I thought I would share.
   So my junior year of college I decided to go to law school. I had never wanted to be an attorney before, so it came as a surprise to me and many others in my family as well. After taking the LSAT, which is an entrance exam, Carie and I began to look at law schools in cities we wouldn't mind living for three years. While we wanted Nashville, I just felt it wasn't a smart choice to limit myself job wise. Nashville School of Law is not fully accredited by the ABA so I would ONLY be able to practice in Tennessee. During this process I pitched the idea of Oklahoma to Carie. I had only driven through as a kid, while she had family from western Oklahoma. The answer was an emphatic no on both our sides. There was no way we wanted to live in Oklahoma, but the application to Oklahoma City University School of Law was free so I applied as a safety school.
   After months we narrowed our decision to Georgia State School of Law in Atlanta. Our Hearts were set on Atlanta. We had made plans of were we wanted to try and live, and how often we would come home, but we didn't count on one not getting in. Unfortunately I didn't get in. OCU seemed to be the next best option, but all we could do was pray. An answers abound we would get.
   We visited in June to find a place to live. It started off with me arriving early in the morning, and Carie arriving, after a terrible storm, alone and tired early the next morning. Carie had an interview scheduled that day and I was taking a tour of the school. During the middle of my tour Carie called. Her interview had been cancelled and no one called!!! To make things worse, we were driving around in a bad part of town at the time and the scenery left something to be desired. Well we found a place to live and decided to go to the OKC bombing memorial on our last day in town. In the parking lot Carie burst into tears. She did not want to move and we were not sure if we were even supposed to come to Oklahoma, so right there in the parking lot we prayed. Prayed for guidance, for comfort, for God to lead us like a blind dog to where we were supposed to go. After a few minutes to settle down, we got out of the care and walked over to the memorial. As we walked down the stairs to the pond area, our collective breath was sucked out of our lungs. Right in front of us was our pastor from Tennessee!!!! I still get goose bumps!! We prayed for a sign and what better than our "Shepherd" in Oklahoma. I took it as a sign. We were meant to move. So three months after our wedding, Carie and I packed up the truck and headed west to begin our life and career, and what a wild ride it has been.
(check back tomorrow for Part 2)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


   Is the glass half empty or half full? Pessimist or Optimist? Positive or Negative? All of these sayings are used to describe a person's attitude toward life. But are these really accurate depictions of a person's outlook? I would argue that they are not. To me, all of these sayings could be boiled down and poured into one question that would more accurately describe a someone's perception of life. Faith-filled or faith-less?
   People lacking faith are the ones me might describe as negative. Those without faith, or those low in the faith department, seem to find it hard look at the world in a positive light. This is all they have. No promise of a life after this. All of the doom and gloom in this world. And for those without faith, this is as good as it gets. No wonder they can be negative. How awful to think that this is the best it will ever get. Even our greatest day on Earth will pale in comparison to an eternity in Heaven. Plus, it's hard to live without faith. To think that there is no one higher than us who has your back, who has a plan for our life, and a reason for all of the terrible things that we have to endure. The faithless must depend on themselves and themselves alone. If they do not have the answers then who does. That is why I choose to live with faith.
   Faith makes life so much easier to live, for some more than others of course since we all have our own set of trials and tribulations we have to weather. But with faith we become those optimists, glass half full types of people. We do not need the answers to everything and that is a relief. We do not have to fret because one day all of those answers will be revealed. It's so much easier to go through life knowing that there is a plan for you, laid out, and all you have to do is have faith and keep an open eye in order to follow it. Our faith leads us. How wonderful life is when you no longer feel the need to worry about things out of your control. Or no longer need all of the answers to questions like how will we make it this month, why did they have to die, or why am I even here. Faith answers all of those questions, whether we see it at the time or not. Faith does the heavy lifting so we are free to enjoy the world around us. So call me an optimist or a glass half full kind of guy, describe me any way you wish, but it all is the result of one