Thursday, January 16, 2014

One Year Later...& Happily Ever After

Hey y'all!  I haven't blogged on here in over a year...which is sad.  I had gotten a teaching job in Hattiesburg, MS last school year, and I moved four hours away from my family and friends. 
This was really hard to write...
The truth is that last year was the worst year of my life.  Not only was I far away from my family and friends, I was tested  with my strength, my values, my beliefs, and my faith.  I lived through a year of hell, but I never gave up.  I can't go in detail....but it was really bad!  After a month of living there I wanted to quit.  If I did I would have lost my teaching certificate that I worked so hard for.  I didn't--I finished out the year, and I was SO proud of myself for not giving up!  I don't have a teaching job this year...

My Mom went with me to adopt a cat about a month after moving, which I named Louella Mae.  A lot of people think I'm a crazy cat lady now, and that's ok.  I thought I was saving her, but she really saved me!  She's my funny girl, and I don't know what I would have done without her!
Louella Mae's first birthday!

At the beginning of November 2012 I had one of the worst days.  I remember leaving school and feeling defeated.  I couldn't believe that God had given me a job that I hated so much.  I couldn't believe I had waited for a whole school year for a job, and ended up living through this nightmare.  Everyone said I was there for a reason, but I had no idea why.  I had thought that the job was the answer to my prayers, and that I had finally gotten what I had worked and prayed so hard for!
I was so discouraged and defeated.  I wanted to give up and move back home.  I remember crying out to God one night early in November, and being so angry with what I was living through.  I asked him why He had brought me here, and given me a heart for teaching and then bring me to a place that I had so much adversity.  He told me that I was there to become stronger and that He wanted me to wait and not give up, the best hadn't come.  I've never heard God so clearly, but that wasn't the answer I wanted. 
I didn't know then that at the beginning of November a set of troops had been deployed to Hattiesburg...

In January I went to an Emerson Drive concert and a college basketball game with a friend I worked with and her husband.  That was the night that I met Army guy from Chicago....

We went out a few days later, and after that we saw each other pretty much every day!  In March of 2013 I wiped a tear from a student's face...and I got mono from doing that.  {I don't recommend doing that now!}  That was the test of all face swelled up like a chipmunk and my eyes were almost swollen shut for a few weeks.  My whole body hurt, and I kept falling asleep every time I sat down.  There is no medicine to get over mono.  You just have to get a lot of rest and can take Tylenol for the pain.  Jon kept bringing me dinner, Tylenol, and Coca-Cola Icees.  He didn't leave me, he took care of me.  I knew that he was the one--and he wasn't going to leave if something bad happened.

In May, after school got out for the summer, Jon and I went to Orange Beach for the day.  It was my birthday weekend.  He was acting weird, and I had decided he was going to break up with me!  Instead, he told me he loved me {which he hadn't said before} and proposed!  I said YES!!! 

We got married on November 16, 2013...about a year after God had told me to not give up yet...

I think I made a difference in a lot of my student's lives last year.  Some had never been told they were loved--but they knew I loved them.  Others came in to my class hungry, and I gave out snacks all through out the day.  Others came needing a listening ear, and I gave them that.  Others needed encouragement. 
I needed to know that I was STRONG.  I needed to know that I could stand up for myself, and not let someone break my spirit.  I needed to know that when my values were tested, I knew what I stood for and I wouldn't compromise them.  I needed to know that I could teach my heart out, and sometimes that wouldn't be enough.  I needed to know that I could adapt with the adversity and battles that I faced everyday.  I didn't know I was as strong as I was.  I cried out every tear in my body because I haven't cried in over a year!  I cried every day after school, and some nights I'd cry myself to sleep.  I don't cry now{I didn't even cry when we got engaged or on our wedding day!  Jon did though!}God stood with me, and with every battle and struggle I faced daily He gave me the words to say and the courage to continue on.  He blessed me with a wonderful, thoughtful, man from Chicago!
One of my favorites!  I'll post some more pictures soon!

Our wedding was a shabby chic, country barn wedding and we had a lot of his family and friends from Chicago come to the wedding!  We have been married for two months today!  I can't wait to see what God has in store for us!  We both said we'd never move back to Mississippi....but we are moving back there on Saturday.  Never say never, right?!? 
I have days were I miss teaching, and then I have days where I think I'll never go back.  For now I'm praying for God to show me what he wants me to do whether it's teaching again or doing something else.  I have another blog about married life, that I've been writing on lately.  I've missed blogging on here...stop by our other blog and say hey!