I prayed a lot. Answers came from many places. I started listening to songs like, “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten (https://youtu.be/xo1VInw-SKc ) and “You Haven’t Heard the Last From Me” by Cher (https://youtu.be/LD7UtPtyuV8). I stumbled upon a book called, “BreakOut” by Joel Osteen (https://youtu.be/tehjQ4lE8GY). It may sound silly, but that music and that book were tools that helped change my negative, destructive thoughts into positive, creative thoughts. We never know when an encouraging word is needed by someone. I will always be grateful to a girl I went to high school with. We casually commented on Facebook one day about our Jeeps. We ended up talking on the phone, and I poured my heart out to her. She said some comforting things, and she started calling me, Sis. Her friendship was exactly what I needed. Thank you, Tammy.
It took about a year to get over the hurt. I not only survived, I learned A LOT. I learned who I really am. I learned that I’m not just this physical body. I learned we are spiritual beings have a human experience. Our Spirit is strong and is what gets us through our most difficult challenges and what connects us to God. I learned that even when we feel alone, we are not alone.
I’ll never forget New Year’s Eve. We were at the bowling alley with our children in Bartlett, TN. When the clock counted down, and the New Year (2014) rang in, it was like a million tons lifted from my shoulders. I have never been so happy to see an old year (2013) go into the past! I knew that 2014 was going to be a year of grace and healing. I knew it was going to be an incredible Gate of New Beginnings, and it was!
Kevin and I decided to start looking again for a place to move. We found a business online that was for sale in Roan Mountain, TN. As soon as we saw it online, we had a very strong pull to go look at it. We drove there the next morning. It was about a 16 hour round trip, I think. That didn’t stop us. Because of the pull, we seriously considered buying this store and small mini-storage. We told the seller that we would look at the numbers, and get back with him. The numbers weren’t strong at all, but we wanted to go look at it again. We drove back to Roan Mountain and thought we would go ahead and sign the contract and would somehow make it work. (After all, neither of us were afraid of working hard.) We stayed in a hotel near there, and were set to sign the contract the next morning. I got a phone call that my grandmother passed away. I didn’t want to rush it, so we postponed the meeting to sign the contract and returned home to be with family. When we ran the numbers again, reality set in. We knew that we would work ourselves to death (and still go broke) if we bought this business. We were disappointed, but we knew this was not our answer. I went to my dad, as I usually do when I need wisdom. I told him how discouraged we were. I told him that we had been looking to move for three years, and we just couldn’t find where we needed to be. He said, “You need to stay where the people are.” He told me that in order to operate a business or make money, we needed to be in a populated area. Memphis has LOTS of people. It was easy to operate a business there. I thought, “I guess we are staying in Memphis.” I reluctantly decided that must be where we need to be, and I let it go.
The very next morning I woke up and sat straight up and thought, “There’s PEOPLE in Knoxville!” I knew this, because we drove through Knoxville FOUR times while driving back and forth to Roan Mountain. I started researching the surrounding areas of Knoxville. I found one particular area that got my full attention. I called Kevin. I asked him, “Have you ever heard of a town called, MARYville?” That’s when the magic began to happen. This next Gate PULLED us. It was incredible what happened over the next three months…