A couple months ago, my husband decided to randomly turn the TV to HGTV. There wasn’t anything else on TV that caught our attention, so that’s what we ended up at. I had never really been one to watch HGTV, even though (and not to brag) my crafting skills are pretty up there. Well, the show that just happened to be playing was none other than “Fixer Upper”. Now, I had heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines before via social media, and had personally watched Joanna give her testimony. But, that was the extent of my knowledge to them. They were a hot shot couple in Texas making some killer home renovations. So with my curiosity to a peak, I decided to watch some more. Let me just put it that way, if you have never watched their show, you’re missing out.
Naturally, when I heard that they had a book out, I was ecstatic. This couple was so sweet and chipper on TV, and to see them publicly profess their faith, they were great icons to look up to. So, after finally finding the book, this is where I find myself tonight…
The Magnolia Story started off introducing Joanna and how she met Chip, their dating life, and marriage. I haven’t made it too far into the book, but Joanna mentioned a couple things on page 44 that caught my attention. (Just a little back story, Joanna is referring to her previous work in NYC):
“It’s difficult to put into words, but there was something about that experience that helped me find myself. I would go home every night and write about my experiences- what I’d seen, what I’d done, and sometimes just about whatever I was thinking or feeling. And as I did that, something shifted in me. I started owning who I am, realizing that I was unique and that God had a unique purpose for me. I’d spent my whole life worrying about what people thought about me or whether I was good enough or thinking about what I should be doing instead of really digging down to find out what I wanted to do.
I had always been a religious person. I was brought up in the church, and my parents were very committed to getting the family there every Sunday without fail. So from the age of five to about twenty, religion to me was a matter of, “you do this, and you don’t do this, and you do your best to walk the straight line”
I was good at that. I’m good at following the rules, most of the time. But once I was on my own in New York City, my faith became something very personal. It was no longer about what my parents knew or what my pastor knew. I came to think of God as more of a gracious friend who was accompanying me on this journey, a friend who wanted to carry my burden and speak into my life and shape me into who I really was and who I would become.”
Wow. Major applause to that little section! I, personally, can compare and relate to everything Joanna just said. I was raised in the good, Christian home, followed all the rules, and never found myself in major trouble. I had set myself up for success in my chosen field. But, I wasn’t happy. I was finding myself questioning everything I had accomplished thus far. Not to mention, I kept finding myself hitting road block, after road block. I knew I needed to go back to the drawing board and get God involved more in my life.
Lucky for me, that’s when Jacob came along. Aside from my faith in God, I consider him my second saving grace. When I met him, it was like the big, obnoxious, flashing neon signs going off. Pretty sure God was trying to make sure I didn’t miss the opportunity. Since that day, life has taken a completely different spin for me. Difficult at times, but nothing that I would change.
Being a new wife and have moved to a new town, with new people, new surroundings, new opportunities, it was a bit overwhelming. And with the shocking thought that my husband was going to be gone for several months, I was scared to tackle this alone. But beside the fact that I felt overwhelmed, I had never felt more confident in the person God had made me to be. I actually told Jacob this a few days ago, when I was younger and going through break ups, guys always told me that I was going to make one lucky guy really happy one day and be a great wife, it just wasn’t going to be them. (And boy am I glad). But they were totally right! I did, and I am. There’s not a day that goes by, that Jacob and I are fortunate enough to talk, and he tells me how happy he is that I am his wife. Talk about a total heart-throb!
My faith now, is stronger than ever. I find myself needing guidance from God every single day. There is something new I learn, every single day. Being Jacob’s wife, has become what I love to do. Even though he isn’t here right this minute, it’s the purpose behind it, and knowing I am keeping our home safe while he is away keeping his country safe. It’s totally normal to be in a place of absent mind and question the plans that God has for you. We’re human. Take a step back, and go to the drawing board. There is nothing in the world stronger than prayer, and faith.