It is incredibly hard to believe that just four years ago I packed up everything that I owned and I moved to city where I only knew a few people. It was a huge risk. A huge leap of faith. Moving to Tulsa meant leaving behind everything that I have ever known. This has been and still is the greatest journey I have ever been on, and I fall more in love with this city and the people in it with each passing day. In these short four years, I have moved three times(and I'm about to do it again), been a member of two amazing churches, taught a bunch of kids how to sing, made some of the most amazing friends, and learned some of the most invaluable lessons.
Over the past four years, I have learned so much about myself. This might be shocking truth but I have always been an incredibly independent person. The about of pressure I put on myself to be successful can be a bit daunting and overwhelming. I always want to do everything with excellence, and it has been a driving force throughout my adult life. But many times, it can be crippling and sometimes way more than I can handle. One of the most important lessons that I have had to learn, is that it is okay to admit that I need help. Admitting that I need help isn't a form of weakness, but in many ways it is a source of strength. I'm a work in progress, and will always be.
But perhaps the greatness lesson, has been my relationship with Christ. I was the girl that went to private Baptist college, I thought I had the whole faith thing figured out. Boy was I wrong! Over the past four years I have experienced some of the deepest highs and lows in my faith. Throughout each time, I have walked away knowing that God has provided. My trust level, my belief, and learning how to do the irrational has greatly improved. God is a provider and He will always fulfill His promises. Trusting in God's timing has been the hardest. Going back to that whole independent thing, but really the "I think I know everything part of my personality": my plan is always the best. Or at least so I thought, but this plan God has for me, oh man it is just so good! Learning and watching it unfold has been both a joy and so scary at the same time.
My relationships are different too four years later. I love my family and moving away was really hard. To say that has been easy is an understatement. But they will still drop everything and show up when I need them. And we eat cheesecake when they come.
The greatest joy has been my friendships. Some of the most precious and dearest people have become a part of my life over the past four years. They have loved me, challenged me, shared their hearts with me, created environments where I have been comfortable to share my heart with them, encouraged growth in my teaching, and growth in my faith. Many of these friendships have taken me by surprised and they have given me such joy. They have allowed me to me and celebrated the funny ha ha hot mess that I can be, and they are just awesome. They are my people, my army of prayer warriors, and my weridos. I can't even begin to list you all by name because I am just so worried that I would forget someone, but you are greatest people on the planet. Thank you for listening to me, praying with me and for me, laughing with me, crying with me, and all of the in between.
So here is to many years with you Tulsa. Here is to new adventures in teaching, new adventures with new friends and old, new adventures to better myself and lifestyle outside of my classroom, new adventures in serving Christ and His church, and of course Josh's Snow Cones and Not Your Grandma's Cupcakes.