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Follow me as I follow Jesus

A Year in Alabama

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I still can’t believe this is my daily view.

A year ago today, I was driving from Kentucky to Mobile, Alabama. 

With the bluegrass in my rearview and palm trees in front, I drove 496 miles to permanently stay in the same city with the man I loved, the community of friends that welcomed me with open arms, hearts, and homes, and the church family God had used so greatly in my life even before I moved.

My heart was full yet bruised and aching, and the Lord knew exactly what ointments to administer to produce healing, growth, and deeper experiences of His grace and kindness than I could ever fathom.

Saying goodbye to my family, the girls I discipled, the babies I nannied (and their dog), and the friends the Lord gave me in Kentucky was not easy. I still miss everyone. But the Lord has shown me how, in His crazy design, one’s heart doesn’t replace people as more enter your life, as if there was a limited seating capacity, but rather it expands to hold more. More love, more joy, more laughter, memories, friendships, and grace upon grace.

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Some of our Alabama fam. AKA, some of the greatest people in the world.

And now, 366 days later (#leapyear), I’m in tears thinking about all the Lord has done.

It has been the best year of my life but it has in no way been an easy one. There have been excruciating, heartbreaking seasons and circumstances that have brought depths of pain and sorrow like I’ve never before felt (and never want to feel again). But I can tell you with absolute certainty that I know, love, and treasure Christ more because of the affliction, the friendships, the church, the jobs, and the community He has given. As I was reminded this week, “Both the thorn and the rose come from the hand of God.” Shall we not praise Him for both?

This is not what I could have ever imagined for my life. This was not the plan. It is so much better than anything my little brain could dream up. I’m so grateful for this story the Lord is writing and that, in His providence, He has allowed me to be a part of it. It is exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all I ever asked, thought, or imagined.

“How happy shall I be if this true story of mine is permitted to win some restless, doubting heart to fuller confidence in the unchanging God, and to a more complete surrender of life’s cares, as much as the interests of eternity into His almighty hands!”
-Susannah Spurgeon

(Keep scrolling for more photos from the last year.)

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We get married in 52 days! What a gift and joy it is to know and love (and be loved by) this man. For all of our engagement photos (taken by the AMAZING Amy Patterson) check out our wedding website.

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So, so grateful for the love, friendship, and sacrifice of these two for letting me live with them for almost the entire last year. Ryan and Hannah, thank you for letting me third-wheel as your basically permanent roommate and for being two of the best friends.

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Introducing my parents to Pizookies.

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Speaking of food, we’ve definitely tasted and seen that the Lord is good, if you know what I mean.

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Perks of your future father-in-law being a (now retired) fire chief: sitting in a fire truck and wearing a pink fire hat. I mean, hello, major perks.

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Three of the best humans and friends anyone could ask for.

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My first Mardi Gras in the town where it all started. 

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Road trip to Louisiana to eat at Darrell’s see Philip and Kahlie. So thankful they’re only five hours away now!

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Grateful for these little elves and getting to spend the summer with them last year.

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The gratitude continues and overflows when I think about the women of Mars Hill and their heart to study God’s Word for themselves. What a gift it has been to walk through Scripture with them through our monthly gatherings.

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Throwing pottery with Hannah was certainly a highlight of this year. SO MUCH FUN.

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Teaching through 1 Thessalonians with some ladies here (and all around the country, via zoom) has been another highlight of this year. Every week with them has been one gift after another. My cup overflows.

“Yes, I truly have reason to bless the Lord for abundant supplies; His treasury has been wide open to me, His riches have constantly outweighed my necessities. He has multiplied His mercies above all my desires.”
-Susannah Spurgeon

One comment on “A Year in Alabama

  1. Rachel says:

    Ahhh! Such a blessing. We both (midwesterners) moved to AL never imagining we would end up there for a season and also no knowing the blessing that would overflow from it. I love your story and am so excited for you to continue to live what God has for you with your man by your side. I’m also a pizookie fan 😉

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