I graduated. I got the job. I moved Amanda and me 7 hours north into our very first teensy, cinder block, rental house. I was excited about everything that God was going to do and gave that job all I had. I set guidelines to fix every problem that the pastor said they had, I taught new songs, I set practice times- tons of practice time. And I pissed everybody right off. I didn't know what I was doing, exactly. I'd learned how to conduct rehearsals, read music and everything else a minister music should know how to do technically but I didn't learn how to deal with people and change.
Now here's where I feel like I'm teetering on a fine line between being godly and professional. Between explaining what happened and just sounding vindictive. So I'm going to have to go with my gut here. And say that my life there was a living hell. But I'm not going to place blame. I'll accept the responsibility that I didn't do everything right and leave it there. On the recommendation of some godly people that were in my life I didn't defend myself then and I'm not going to now.
About six months into my stay there I was praying during our morning prayer time in the sanctuary and the Lord spoke to me and said, "you're going to meet your husband this weekend". Seriously, just like that? I'd been praying for years about this and God was gracious enough to let me know before it happened. Well, it just so happens that it was a few days before my birthday and I was going to be able to go home for the first time in six months. I had seen a couple of college friends that visited me since I'd been in my new location but other than that I'd only seen my family that visited. I was very excited about a lot of things. First of all, I was going to get to drive on the Interstate! My new city was a-whole-hour from a major interstate so I felt like I'd been dropped off in the middle of nowhere. The area was beautiful but I felt secluded or trapped, however you want to look at it. There were a thousand things I wanted to do when I got home but one of the first things I was going to do was to go to a chapel service at Southeastern. I needed the warm embrace of my Alma Mater. I felt at home again and safe. After chapel I decided I'd pop in and say hi to my voice teacher but on my way to her office I noticed that my piano teacher's car was there and his office came up first so I stopped in there on my way. He was really happy to see me and we jabbered on for a while. Then we heard a knock at the door and he said in a hushed tone "Travis is my next lesson". I answered the door and he was shocked! We hugged and I don't think I've ever been so happy to see someone in my entire life! We all talked and laughed like old times. And Paul (piano teacher) suggested- several times- that Travis and I should go out to lunch. I already had lunch plans with another (guy) friend and said that Travis should come too but he declined- and asked me out for lunch the next day.
So the following day we had lunch at Crisper's and had a great time. I apologized for the way I treated him when we were dating and he said it wasn't necessary. So we parted ways and said we'd catch-up sometime.
Then after just a few short days my trip was over and I was headed back to the new city. Amanda was 8 and had just learned that if you sleep on a trip it makes it go by faster. So while she was sleeping the Holy Spirit was dealing with me. I figured that I was wrong about he whole "meeting my husband thing". But as I was praying I heard the HS say "Travis". I was freaked out a bit figuring I was going crazy so I "rebuked the devil" or something and kept praying. My prayer went something like this.
Etc. until I finally said "OK, I'll pray about it!" Now, I was certain that God was speaking to me but I wanted to be very certain that God was telling me to marry him and not that I should donate a kidney or something. So I did pray, and pray, and pray, and pray- for ten days. I wasn't going to take this lightly and I knew that his plan was to move to Nashville to write music and I wasn't going to screw that up for him. So to make a long story short we did get back together, got engaged and did the long-distance thing for about 5 months.
It really helped the situation I was in to have someone on my side. To have someone to vent to and to have someone to pour life into me that was being sucked out by my circumstances. The Amy Island mentality was quickly deteriorating and I was trying to get used to the idea of happily ever after.