As many of you know, the theme of my wedding was “A Modern Day Fairy Tale”. Many may say that fairy tales are only found in storybooks or in movies (Disney) and that fairy tales don’t exist; probably because most fairy tales involve magic and perfection. My fairy tale story isn’t quite like that; there’s no magic, fairy godmother or perfection. Just God and two people who fell in love and stepped out on faith only to witness the unimaginable. I’m here to tell you that my life, well at least the last year of it, is definitely a fairy tale. It’s a story of impossible to possible. A story of doubts, fears and uncertainties to faith, trust and complete surrendering.
My journey began in June of last year (2012) after my now husband Joseph proposed. Prior to his proposal I had been praying to God for a job in Huntsville so that I could relocate and be closer to Joe. I was certain that God would answer my prayer with a job and send me on my way, but He clearly had another plan. (I’m going to insert this throughout my story >> it’s funny how your plans for yourself are totally different from the plans God has for you.) After Joe proposed my birthday weekend I was more eager to relocate and be closer to him in preparation for our marriage. We prayed and fasted for a month for God to show me, us, exactly what and when my next move would be, again looking for a job as a sign. After much prayer and communion with God, he gave me my answer. One morning in my devotion I read the verse, Acts. 9:6 that says, “Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do”. I will say that I did fight God on this (lol). I wanted to know right then and there what he wanted me to do, whether I was going to get a job or not and how I was going to afford LIFE! LOL. Anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, knows that I’m a planner, I’m a control freak and I like order. So, when God told me to get up and go and then He would tell me what I needed to do next was a complete step out of my comfort zone. I was doubtful, fearful and very uncertain if I could make such a huge move of faith. Not only were my own doubts plaguing me, but the doubts, thoughts and opinions of others as well. I’ve always been a people pleaser, especially wanting to please and have the approval of those closest to me, so this became difficult for me. I didn’t take heed to God’s initial directive so I prayed and prayed again for another sign, really just hoping that his answer would be “wait until you get a job”. (It’s funny how your plans for yourself are totally different from the plans God has for you.) However, God told me once more to go, leave my job and relocate to Huntsville without another job waiting when I get down there. Again I questioned God, “are you sure Lord?!” I went to week of prayer at my church and this particular evening the pastor spoke about Abraham and his faith in The Lord. He talked about how God instructed him to do something that was uncomfortable, out of the ordinary and probably wouldn’t make sense to others. He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. The pastor talked about how Abraham took that long painful walk up the mountain thinking about what God asked him to do, maybe even wondering if he heard The Lord correctly. Regardless of how painful this was for Abraham he proceeded to do what God asked him to do until He stopped Abraham and told him He was testing his faith. This story was yet another indication that God was speaking to me and was indeed wanting me to trust him and step out on faith no matter how painful, uncomfortable or out of the ordinary it seemed. I think that was the moment for me when I accepted God’s directives and claimed proudly that I was quitting my job and moving.
I have to tell ya’ll about my moving truck! I reserved a 10 foot moving truck for all my stuff. Got a great deal on it. The day before going to pick up the truck, the company called me and told me they were out of 10 foot trucks and was going to give me a 16 foot truck as a free upgrade, no additional cost. I accepted that but begged them to find a 10 foot truck because I thought the 16 foot would be way too big! Needless to say I drove away the next day with the 16 foot truck asking God “why so big?!” When I say all my stuff was loaded in that truck front to back full capacity, I was in awe!! God knew what he was doing! Shame on me for questioning!! Still shouting about that one!!!
Ok, so when I got to Huntsville I went on several job interviews. I would say I had at least one to two interviews per month, but nothing worked in my favor, or so I thought. After being in Huntsville for 3 months without full time work, I started to doubt. I started to wonder if I jumped the gun in moving, if I should have waited a little longer. Oh and let’s not mention that I was planning a wedding.. with NO JOB!!! I moved in August, so about November I’m like “alright Lord, what you got for me?” He told me to sit back, relax and wait. During my time of unemployment I got to spend time with family, reconnect with friends, make new friends and build a relationship with my new family. Best of all, Joe and I spent a lot of time together, so this downtime without a job wasn’t in vain. Three months soon turned into five months. In January I was asked to work as an adjunct professor at Oakwood University in the Social Work department. This was such a blessing!! I was honored to be asked to teach, but will admit that I asked God how I was going to live off part (part) time work. Even though uncertain of how God was going to make that work, I pressed on and had a very good semester.
In this time, I was still going on interview after interview and just hoping one was THE job! To my dismay, none of those jobs were for me. The school year was winding down and I was desperately in need of full time work. The help I was receiving for living was slowly depleting. I was in desperate need of help and soon began to feel doubtful again. However, I kept pressing on. I kept planning my wedding even with the few coins I had (lol). Had those feelings of doubt and whether or not I was on the right track with God, but I kept pressing on regardless. I must say that Joe had my back through all of this and stepped up for me at a time I needed help the most.
Before I knew it, time was winding down to the wedding and I still didn’t have the money I needed to make things happen, let alone get a new vehicle as the end of my lease on my Nissan Altima was rapidly approaching. Up until the week before my lease was up I prayed and prayed for God’s blessings on my transportation. I even asked for peace and acceptance even if I wasn’t able to get a new car. Joe and I went to the Nissan dealership to check out a car (mind you, I had already picked out the car and color I wanted back in November). All I kept saying to myself is, “they’re not going to give me a car without a job”. I promise you God said to me, “stop! You’re going home with a new car.” At that moment I calmed down and said whatever happens happens, I’m going to trust God. Soooo, Nissan had a great deal going on for buying instead of leasing a car, when it was time to complete the paperwork and it got to employment I was so scared they were going to laugh. I put my most recent employer down and asked if I needed a co-signer. They came back to me with the keys to the car and said, “you don’t need a co-signer”. I told them my monthly bill couldn’t be anything more than $100 more than what I’m paying now. Done. I asked them how legit this was, read over the paperwork and asked if I could have the weekend to review before I made the decision (look at me, still doubting smh). They said, “that’s fine Ms. Palmer, why don’t you take the car over the weekend while you decide.” WHAT?!!! Who does that!?! The car wasn’t officially mine! I didn’t sign anything, but they let me take the car for the weekend!! I didn’t have a job, NO INCOME, but I didn’t need a co-signer?! Nothing! I had NO money to put down on the car, but they still let me drive away with it?! Really?! Won’t HE DO IT! Who gets a new car without a job?! A brand new car with no money down and no co-signer?And first payment not due for two months?! Mmmm Needless to say, I went back and accepted the new car 🙂
Now, it’s about July, two months before the wedding and I’m like “alright Lord”, still didn’t have a job. By this time I was wondering what God was doing and how things were going to work out. I still had some doubts floating around in my head (hey, I’m human) along with doubts and opinions of others that always seemed to make their way to me. God wouldn’t allow me to fall prey to the doubts, fears, uncertainties or limited faith, He held me up and helped me to keep pressing on because there was something bigger that needed to be accomplished. I went on one last interview and knew in my heart this was the job for me. I had a feeling in my heart different from the feeling I had with any of the other job interviews I’d been on. I was without a full time job for ONE YEAR! The same week I quit my job last year was the same week I accepted my new job! You can’t tell me my God isn’t good!!! Who quits a job, relocates, maintains an apartment, apartment bills, car note and purchases a new car all within one year?! Who does that?! I quit my job last year July 25, 2012 and started my new job July 29, 2013.
So, now I’m like “whew!” Time to finish planning and paying for stuff right? Wrong. Even though I was now employed, I still had no money LOL. Well, not the money needed to pull off a wedding within two months. I didn’t get the help I was expecting, but God had a different plan in mind. (It’s funny how your plans for yourself are totally different from the plans God has for you.) One day, while trying to figure everything out I broke down. I felt like giving up. The wedding was a little over a month away and I still had so much to do, so much to pay for, but no money to do it. I truly could not see how God was going to work this thing out. I remember my mom telling me, “you’ve come too far to give up! Keep going! A lot of people are going to need to hear your testimony.” At that point, I felt the peace of The Lord. He told me to write down a certain amount. This amount he told me to write down was less than my original budget, so I said “are you sure Lord?! What am I going to do with that?!” He said, “you’re not going to do anything with it. I am. Just watch.” So I wrote down the amount He told me to write down (you would think that by now, I would have learned to stop questioning God lol). ***PAUSE right here, hold this thought***
A few days after my breakdown, I went to Michigan for my bridal shower. With the wonderful gifts I received I had the money to put towards certain things for the wedding, including my dress. I returned to Huntsville and went to the bridal salon to pay for my dress. When I went to pay the lady told me that my balance was “zero!!” I said “what? What you mean zero?” She said, “your balance was already paid in full, you don’t owe anything!” I started shouting right there in the bridal salon! I couldn’t believe it! I asked the lady who paid for my dress, all she did was smile and say “it’s a secret”. And what’s funny is, a few months before I had a dream that I went to pay for something for the wedding and the balance was zero. I guess God just went on ahead and brought that dream to pass 🙂 (I could tell ya’ll some stories about my dreams, but I’ll save that for another day and time.)
***Finishing thought*** Ok, so back to the amount God told me to write down. This was a few days after my wedding dress blessing..when I tell you exactly a week after I wrote down that amount, I randomly checked my bank account (something I normally didn’t do since a sista was broke for the last year lol), the same amount that The Lord told me to write down a week before was exactly what was in my bank account. I don’t think you read it correctly! The SAME amount of money God told me to write down was the amount that appeared in my bank account. Don’t ask how, why, who… the answer is GOD!!!
At this point is when blessings started coming out of nowhere. Joe and I had vendors doing service for our wedding for half of what they normally charge and/or FREE! Yes! We had vendors agree to do a service for us for free! Our vendors, our team was truly amazing! I did a lot of DIY stuff myself to help save money. I did our save-the-dates, wedding invitations, favors, guest box, my shoes. My wedding planner did our programs. A lot of stuff that would have cost us thousands of dollars, God cut that in half and then some! Things we were planning to pay for, one of our vendors already had and we didn’t have to rent. Joe and I got some wedding gifts early and money AGAIN appeared into my bank account to cover final payments. My mom and my in-laws were also blessed indirectly because of our faith walk. By the day of our wedding everything was paid for!
I’m not ashamed to say, yes I was doubtful. Along the way, so many scenarios about what I should have done or could have done went through my head, but that’s human nature. I had to push myself beyond human nature to continue pressing forward. It wasn’t about the wedding, it was about showing others (myself included) what The Lord can and will do through you when you are faithful. Two months ago, we didn’t have a down payment on our venue. Two months ago, my dress wasn’t paid for. Two months ago, I felt like giving up. BUT GOD!!! God worked a miracle in our lives. He did the unimaginable, the impossible. We planned a wedding on faith and God paid it all!
I have to ask the questions again…who quits a job and relocates without another secured job?! Who lives comfortably, rent paid, bills paid, for a year without a full time job?! Who buys a brand new 2013 car without a job and no money?! Who takes trips back and forth to Michigan and Georgia without a job and no money?! Who plans a wedding without a job and no money?!….If I can do it, anyone can! Don’t let your circumstance stop you from doing something God has already set out for you to do! What God has for you is for you! He already knows how things are going to turn out in the end, He’s just waiting on YOU! Don’t allow ordinary to hold you back from the extraordinary blessings that God has in store for you. Don’t allow your doubts or even the doubts of others hold you back from the blessings that God has in store for you. Go get your blessing!
I want to leave with some closing words about faith…. When God asks you to do something in faith, to trust in him and surrender you’re own knowledge and understanding in exchange for His, do it! When you are on your faith walk, don’t expect everyone to walk with you. Don’t expect everyone to understand or even agree and don’t look for the confirmation or approval from others. As long as God gives you the approval to do what He’s asked you to do that’s all that matters. Your faith walk is not supposed to be understood by all, that’s why it’s called faith. It’s the impossible, the unseen and if everyone could see it then everyone would be faithful. Just because people may not agree with your decisions or they give you the “if it was me, I would have..” doesn’t mean what you are doing is wrong. Satan will try to throw you off track especially when you are getting closer and closer to what God has for you. Satan will throw every attack your way, including those close to you. But you must stand your ground and stand firm in what you believe in and what God has called you to do. When God tells you to “get up and go”, you do that even if you’re going along. Let God be God, his glory and his goodness will show through in the end, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone if you are in the will of God. On my faith walk, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about my husband, my friends, family, myself and most importantly God. I couldn’t be more thankful for the year of preparation that God had me on. The year prepared me for my marriage and helped me and my husband to truly exercise our faith. That is something we will forever have to stand on and to share with others. Just keep watching because God keeps on blessing us with a story to share. This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to see what God continues to do in our lives. Don’t believe us, just watch!
Thanks to our family and friends who have truly supported me and Joe on our journey to marriage.