Right before I was smacked in the face with final exams, I decided to be a little jet-setter and take a whirlwind of a trip to Atlanta, GA. (Sounds like perfect timing, right?)
I felt uneasy about leaving right before finals with several group projects and team members depending on me…but something inside of me needed to be there in ATL. I didn’t know at all what I was getting myself into and it has still taken
days following the intensive to really soak it all in.
The morning of the intensive I woke up and was a ball of nerves. Y’all I was literally shaking…At one point I even [half]-jokingly said to my sweet roommate, Laura Helm, “What if I just decided not to go?”
“I would drag you.” She replied. I laughed at her response but remember thinking to myself :
”Wait, Laura…you just might have to.”
Why was I so nervous?
If it hasn’t been clear until this point, I LOVE weddings. I love them. So much that it is my hope to devote a lot of myself to making them happen and writing about them as a career.
Along with this passion is a dream of working with Southern Wedding Magazine. And who was going to be LEADING this intensive? Lara Casey, a long time role model and oh, side note…the Editor-in-Chief.
REWIND TO MID-FEBRUARY:
For the longest time, I had been scouring the pages of each Southern Weddings volume and I checked the blog multiple times a day. (My girlfriends are shaking their heads right now as they know I’m nuts about it.)
I finally told myself, “This is enough!” I was sick of dreaming about working there and doing nothing about this dream.
I was beginning to look ahead to summer internship opportunities. Though there was nothing available with them at this time, I decided to put myself out there and let them know I was interested.
I gathered my cover letter and resume and sent it off…landed an interview with the oh-so-amazing and adorable Emily Ayer…planned potential housing in Chapel Hill…received an offer. Just like that my dreams were falling into place and man was I giddy.
[Insert happy dance, lots of screaming, many exclamation points !!!!!!!!, prayers of thanks, etc here]
…Until I received my finalized degree plan and made the discovery that a summer course would be required prior to my December graduation date.
[Insert tears, prayers of confusion, disappointment, anger at myself, etc here]
I knew before sending my materials off that there could be some degree of disappointment; they might not have a need for an intern, they might not have liked me, etc. I hadn’t considered before that point that it could be ME that had to say, “No”.
BACK TO MTH ATLANTA:
Y’all, was I nervous! I felt guilt and oh, did I feel so silly for going through an entire process with Lara’s company only to have to turn it down one and a half weeks before. I told myself I would not reflect on that on this day, “Lara has so much going on, she won’t even remember”.
I spilled my heart in that circle of 25 women. I shared big dreams. I talked about the trials and struggles I was facing in this season of my life. I started on the surface of these things and was challenged to dig deeper and GET TO MY CORE. Gina saw my heart and pushed me to speak more about these trials. Lara then, from across that circle, acknowledged that declining the internship was what was best…and I broke down and faced the reality that was.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
One of my biggest take-aways from this experience was learning this truth. God is working for ME. Each and every day He is making and molding me into a better me for HIS glory…His glory in my future marriage, my friendships, in work and in play.
There is a purpose in all that He does and in this time in life my focus needs to be on things such as family and relationships.
My sweet daddy is very sick and I need to be more accessible to home this summer. My forever with Bret begins in just a short 8 months. THESE are the things that are important. My wedding? Yes, it means a lot to me and it is important but it does not need to distract me from savoring the very season that I am in RIGHT NOW.
Some other nuggets of wisdom I am taking from this experience:
- My dreams are more important than the things that distract me.
- I’d rather take risks than feel regret.
- I am FAR too smart to be the only thing standing in the way of my dreams.
- Worrying is like praying for something I do not want.
- Say NO to a lot of things so you can say YES to the things that matter.
- I will choose to be joyful and confident in the Lord’s plan for my life and the lives of those that I love.
A BIG thank you to Gina, Emily and Lara. I’m sending you all big hugs right now as I think of the many ways I am thankful for you three and how you’ve inspired change and self-reflection in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!