A Greater Blog

I have received an overwhelming amount of support for my blog and for that I want to say thank you! I never expected such positive feedback and I am feeling extremely blessed. For those who have told me how much they have enjoyed my blog – thank you so much for those kind words! They mean the world to me. And to those who are just reading this for kicks – thank you to you as well! Random followers are always fun! Plus, what is life without a little mystery?

I find it crazy how we are capable of reaching out to people without even knowing it. My advanced PR professor made this point in class last Wednesday. She told a story about how her boyfriend from undergrad contacted her not too long ago and knew what she was up to due to social media, even though they had not spoken in months. Over the weekend my mom acted as my personal PR representative and took to social media to promote my blog. A few hours after her post I had a friend whom I have not spoken to in months text me that they liked my blog. It is mind-blowing that I am writing and sharing my thoughts to the world and I do not even know who is reading them.

One thing my friend asked was why I had started my blog. Naturally I said it was for professional reasons – a way to brand myself. Yet I feel as if there is more to it. To be honest, I had been thinking about starting a blog for over a year now. I knew God was giving me a story to tell and I wanted to share that story.

Despite how much I wanted to share my story, I was still scared. I was scared of what other people would think. More importantly, I was scared of how my story would turn out. I never started my blog because I was more curious in how my current journey was going to end. The best example I can think of comes from an episode of Gossip Girl. In this episode, Blair tells her friend she likes watching the same movies because she likes knowing how things end. This was me, and to an extent it still is. I wanted to figure my future out. I wanted to see what God was going to do before I told other people about it. I wanted answers as to why things in my life were turning out they way they were.

The topic of a blog and my writings continued to come up in conversation throughout the year. I continued to push the thought aside and say blogging was not for me. I even joked with my best friend Haley that I did not even know what I would blog about. After spiraling a few ideas, we figured I would be a mommy blogger and just post pictures of the food I cooked. Haley likes to joke that I’m in MRS training. However, when it came down to the nitty gritty, Haley was serious about me starting a blog. Like a natural best friend, she gave me that extra push I needed. And the most beautiful part of all? I have started my blog without knowing how my story is going to end.

IMG_4510
I took this picture during a Skype session with New York freelance writer, Melanie Berliet, last November. This was when I seriously started considering the idea of a blog.

I realize now how foolish of me it was to wait for God to show me how my story would end before I took it to others. That is not how our stories work. They are a continuous journey with God. They are constantly changing. Our stories are always meant to be told, no matter where we may be at that specific moment. The bottom line is if I had kept waiting for the timing to right, the timing was never going to be right. I love knowledge and I love learning. Because of this, I would have continued finding excuses to keep learning. Overall, these were excuses to avoid opening up to the world again and making myself vulnerable.

As I worked through the wreckage in my life, I desired so many answers from God. I wanted to know why my life was where it was and where it would go from there. In best my interest, my Father did not answer these questions for me. I became desperate. I distinctly remember sitting on my bed one night and thinking “fine, I’ll just read my bible until I find what I’m looking for.”

Funny how those situations work. In the process of seeking answers from God, I found Him instead. My life transformed when I sought revelation from God and not explanation. My mind was elevated. I saw God for who He was and not my situation.

So, to answer my friend’s question – yes I have started my blog to aid my transition into the professional sphere, but I have also started my blog because God is working something in my life far greater than anything I could ever imagine. Exactly a year ago I went on a college retreat with my church (Columbus Avenue Baptist). One thing the college minister said that has stuck with me throughout this past year was whether we like or not, sometimes God works things in our lives for no other reason than to bring Himself glory. I believe this perfectly describes my situation. There were lessons I absolutely had to learn. I had to face the refiners fire and become a stronger person. I had to let God work me and mold me so I may bring greater glory to His name. Ultimately, my blog is for my Father.

Advertisements

Just Truckin’ Along

FullSizeRender
This is the flyer I designed for the Yeti Cooler giveaway. It is posted on the Allen Samuels DCJ Facebook page.

Rumble in Riesel. These three words have occupied my life for the past few days at work. What is the Rumble in Riesel? Well, Riesel is a town of about 1,000 people East of Waco, and the Rumble in Riesel is a truck and tractor pull. Ah yes, all of this is very, very redneck.

I had been preparing to work the rumble all week at work. The general manager at Allen Samuels DCJRF recently told me he would like me to coordinate all marketing events for the dealership. This was the first event I worked solo.

Preparation yesterday morning was crazy. The only tablecloth I could find had little doily patterns on it, which was definitely not suitable for a tractor pull out in the middle of nowhere. Eleven cars were going out to the fair grounds and each car had to have two dealership magnets on it. I could only find 15 magnets. Worst of all, I didn’t know which cars were pulled to go to the event. The whole morning was chaotic. I was so overwhelmed and I doubted my ability to handle it. I just wanted to prove to myself and my boss that I could handle being a marketing coordinator but I had no clue how I was supposed to do that if I couldn’t even gather the materials needed. I was a mess.

Thanks to the help of my boss and some pretty awesome salesmen, we got all the vehicles out to Riesel by 1 p.m. Minus the fact that I wore a skirt to work only to spend most of my day at the fair grounds (where I got rained on), the day was starting to look up.

The only problem with things looking up is eventually they drop down again. I was smart enough to change into jeans before heading out to Riesel for the evening, but once I got there I was the only person from the dealership present. This meant I had to set up everything by myself. I’m 5’2 and often mistaken for a 16-year-old. Sure I have no problem climbing into the bed of a truck to unload things or even carrying around a hammer in my purse in case I need to nail stakes into the ground. The big problem was when it came time to set up the tent there was no way I could do it by myself. Then I remembered I don’t have to do everything by myself. In fact, it’s often foolish for me to think I have to be SO independent. I rounded up an officer for Riesel PD, along with some other very nice men, and we had the tent set up in no time.

Things were certainly looking up. I put my hair up, threw a hat on and I was ready to get to work. With my sonic drink in hand and a huge Yeti Cooler in front of my booth (because who doesn’t want the chance to win a $400 cooler?) I felt unstoppable.

FullSizeRender (1)
Our set up for night one at Rumble in Riesel. Ram Trucks sponsored with Allen Samuels DCJ.

As the night continued, two guys I work with showed up to help out. What started out as an absolutely hectic and stressful morning turned into a pretty fun night. I still don’t know how a truck and tractor pull works. All I saw were big engines and lots of smoke, but hey new experiences are always fun, right? Plus the music was on-point. Remember when I said I listen to obscene amounts of country music? Well it helped that I got to spend the night listening to Cody Johnson sing about heartaches in pearlsnap shirts.

Internships are all about learning and I certainly learned a lot last night. I learned to never wear a pencil skirt and cute flats when prepping for an event in the boondocks. I learned that a Chrysler 200 is definitely not the car for me. But more importantly, I learned it really is okay to ask for help. I learned I cannot stress over every little detail. I just have to roll with the punches and keep moving forward. As I have said in previous posts, I am learning I cannot plan every detail of every day of my life. Sometimes, most of the time, it is so important to just sit back and enjoy life. Things will work out. Maybe not always in the way we expect but how else would we grow? I’m slowly learning I do not have to be type-A and a perfectionist about everything. I plan on making this my motto tonight. No matter what happens, the event will not be fun if I don’t try and make it fun. Who knows, maybe they might even be able to get me on the mechanical bull!

Serve Those Who Serve Us

We all have dreams for our lives. Whether big or small, I think it is safe to say everyone has an idea of the person they would like to become. Little girls want to be princesses, little boys want to be firefighters. Those in business dream of becoming CEO’s while those in sports dream of making it to the big leagues. We all have desires and we all wonder what we can do to make these desires become a reality.

Maybe I’m different, maybe I’m not, all I know is starting at a young age I always felt God had greater plans for my life. When I was 10, I quickly realized I had a passion for history. Possibly I was under the influence of National Treasure, or I just woke up one day and decided what I wanted to do with my life.  I just know I recall being in the 5th grade and deciding I wanted to be a history major. I wanted to incorporate history into my life somehow. I wanted to live and work in D.C. I loved the National Archives and the American Revolution. For the next 10 years of my life, I knew this was what I wanted.

Many people told me I would change my mind. I often received responses like “that’s cute but you’ll see how you change when you get older” when I told people I wanted to be a history major. Me, being the wonderfully stubborn person I am, wanted to prove these people wrong. I wanted to prove that I could go to college, be a history major, and end up in D.C. when I graduated. I set my sites on the goals I created for my life and never looked back.

Me at the Jefferson Memorial when I was 14
Me at the Jefferson Memorial when I was 14. The Tidal Basin area is one my favorite locations in D.C.

While I have maintained the gist of my life plan throughout the years, God must have looked at my five, 10 and 20 year plans for my life and said “LOL just watch.” I basically had my entire life planned out and things were not supposed to deviate from that plan. But things did change and I am so thankful for the shifts my life took.

I have absolutely loved my undergraduate career as a history major at Baylor, however, I initially wanted to go to UT. I can distinctly remember the Baylor at UT game in 2010. I sat on the UT side but my seat was directly across from the Baylor student section. I did not want to admit it, but that night I realized how easy it was for me to picture myself as a Baylor student. At one point I even remember saying in my head “that could be me.”

Baylor was the first college I applied to. When it came time for me to make a decision, I was torn between Baylor and A&M. I never even sent in an application to UT. I cannot count the amount of times I wondered if I made the right choice by going to Baylor. My freshman year was a crazy whirlwind of thoughts and so many times I thought life would have been so much easier if I just transferred to A&M. But I stayed. While I do not fully understand everything in my life, one thing I know for sure is staying was the best decision for me.

I had pondered the idea of PR since my freshman year, but I never fully committed. Finally during my advising session for Fall 2014, I declared a PR minor with the Baylor school of journalism (which is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication). This is quite possibly one of the best decisions I have made during undergrad. If I had not stayed, I probably would not have entered into journalism, at least not with a program as amazing as Baylor’s.

As I began my PR classes, I quickly realized how much I loved journalism. It was not long before I was corrupted. Throughout the next couple semesters I realized I loved history, I loved journalism/PR and I wanted to find a way to make these things combine in my life. You guessed it, once again my plans had changed. While I would still love to work for the National Archives, I soon came to realize this was not entirely what I wanted with my life. I realized my heart rested in other places and these places were where action would happen.

I had some pretty big self-revelations specifically concerning things I’m passionate about. Obviously I’m passionate about history and PR, but another thing I have a huge passion for is this nation and more specifically the military. I honor the military. I believe those who serve have some of the greatest aspirations for life. I knew I wanted to serve those who serve us. It took a while for me to figure out how to combine these things, but once I learned about public affairs I knew there was no turning back. I already knew I suffered from a huge case of Potomac Fever, then I came to firmly believe public affairs is a way to make all the dreams I have for my life come true. I transitioned from a little girl with a dream to a woman with a vision.

Coming upon public affairs has been a journey, but the more I explore the topic of working with the government and our military, the more I fall in love with it. As I have said, I’m just trying to figure out God’s plan for my life. One thing my journey has taught me is how God works desires into our lives. Psalm 37:4 gets quoted a lot – “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” For many years I never thought profoundly about this verse. I figured it meant be a good person and God will give you what you want. One day I finally sat down and read this entire passage. My thoughts completely changed. Starting with verse 3 and going through verse 5 – “Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” Once I read that passage, the verbs hit me across the head like a coconut. I realized this has absolutely nothing about me getting what I want. Instead I realized when I chase after God, His desires for my life become my desires for my life. I firmly believe that there are desires God has placed in my life because they are supposed to be there. I also believe that as I have grown and chased after God, he has shown me who I am supposed to become.

As I said in my first post, I love people and I just want to make a difference. I’m 21 years old and I’m just really trying to figure out where to go in life that will make me happy, but God is guiding me. After the journey I have been through, I do believe public affairs is what I am called to do. These things I have realized, the things I am passionate about, they are not coincidences. They are absolutely a work of God. I firmly believe that somehow I am called to serve those who serve us.

In Christ Alone

As I said in my previous post, my faith is the most important thing in my life. Because of this I believe it is important to glorify God and the work he has done in my life. I cannot think of a better way to do this than sharing my testimony.

It would not be a stretch to say I was born in the church. As the daughter of a preacher, I was at church every time the doors opened and then some. This made for a slightly different childhood, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

By the grace of God, I was saved when I was eight at VBS. My little, eight-year-old self thought that was enough and I was good. Years later, as an emotional 13-year-old girl, I realized there was so much more to this life than just going to church and being a “good person.” After having quite the conversation with God one night, I knew things needed to change. I guess you could say I rededicated my life that night. I have never been the same since.

Jump forward two years to my sophomore year of high school. Moving. Not exactly the words every 15-year-old wants to hear. In my case, however, I saw it was a blessing. Moving was an answered prayer and something I really needed at that point in my life. I was excited to start a new life.

I moved June 10, 2010 and little did I know the crazy rollercoaster life God soon had in store for me. I started school at my new high school. I never really established myself there because I figured two years was not a long time. I simply needed to make it to graduation. Where I did end up establishing myself the most was just a block down the street from my house. If you know anything about the song “Meet in the Middle” by Diamond Rio, this soon became the theme of my life. I fell in love with a boy (who I now consider one of the greatest men I know). We dated until the end of my sophomore year of college. I could not have asked for a greater three years of my life, or a better first love. I was dreaming of the day we would get married, but God had other plans.

Our breakup was hard. It would be an understatement to say I struggled. However, when I look back in hindsight, I know everything about that night was an act of divine intervention. When things first started to change, I screamed and cried to God that everything was all wrong. Oh but how I was the one that was wrong. God had plans for him and he had plans for me. Part of these plans required us walking away from each other. At the end of my relationship, I found my identity in my boyfriend, not in Christ. This needed to change. I guess you could say my world fell apart. However, now I would say that night began the process of my world falling into place.

I know now that as much as it hurt to leave the life I had behind, it was ultimately what was right. God had to shape me and mold me for something greater. He was trying to get my attention, but I simply kept ignoring him. The walls of my life had to be torn down and everything I held close had to be taken from me. I had to learn how to stop trying to control everything in my life before He and I would finally be able to walk forward in this life together. He may have “wrecked” my life, but He was also the first person there to help me rebuild it.

Letting go is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, yet in the process of letting go, I found that God took the emptiness I felt and filled it with Himself. This is easily the greatest blessing in my life. I had to learn to put my full trust in Christ and find joy in Him alone. I had to have the faith He would give me the strength to carry on and know He would protect me along the way. When I finally came to realize all of this, I realized I was never abandoned. God had been with me the entire way.

I bless those who have come in and out of my life. I am thankful for meeting them and the time we spent together. What my journey has ultimately taught me is that everything in my life is for God’s glory. I would have never been able to reach the point I am at currently if He had not shown me how much He needs to be the center of my life, not everything else.

The things I have been through in this life are crazy, at times they seem so surreal. Daily I find God making Himself greater in my life. There is nothing more I could ask for. Everything I am is found in Christ alone.

Hey Y’all!

IMG_6712Hey y’all and welcome to my blog! All of this is pretty new to me, but what I have realized in the past few days is that this is going to be a fun journey and I’m excited to share it with you!

So who am I? Well, first off my name is Abigail Gilliam. I am 21 years old and a senior at Baylor University. I will graduate in December with a history major and a public relations minor. (And Sic ‘Em!) I am a marketing and public relations intern at Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat. My goal in life is to work in government and military affairs at the federal level. I desire to one day be able to call D.C. my home. But most importantly, I’m a simple, fun-loving woman just trying to figure out God’s plan for her life. After all, everything I am and everything in my life is for His glory alone.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30

Here’s a little bit more about me:
1. My faith it the most important thing in my life. God is my rock and without Him I am nothing.
2. I love the little things in life. It does not take much to amuse me and I enjoy finding joy in the random things of life.
3. I am an incredibly motivated and ambitious person. I have had certain dreams for my life since I was 10 years old. I am still pursuing these dreams and watching them become visions.
4. I strive to be a positive person in everything I do.
5. I am extremely detail-oriented and super organized.
6. I am an overall introverted person, but once I begin speaking on a topic I love, you will never be able to get me to stop.
7. Baseball is the greatest sport known to man. (#RangerNation)
8. I grew up as a classical ballet dancer and I often find myself listening to composers with Russian surnames.
9. I love to read and I currently have a list of over 100 books I wish to read. (Stay posted, I’ll try and keep those updates coming)
10. To quote Buddy the Elf – I just like smiling, smiling is my favorite.
11. Gilmore Girls is my all-time favorite TV show.
12. I listen to obscene amounts of country music and Josh Abbott Band is my favorite.
13. I am thoroughly convinced a Kit-Kat can make anything better.
14. A perfect night is one where you can see all the stars.
15. If I could live on a beach, I definitely would.
16. It is impossible for me to go a day without coffee.
17. I try to run. I’m not always the best at it, but running is still something I am very passionate about.
18. I promise I am one of the biggest Disney fans you will ever meet.
19. I have a huge desire to travel and see the world.
20. I have a heart for people. I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to be able to remind people there is always hope.

I am super happy to meet you! Those are some pretty basic facts about me. I am sure more will come out along the way. For the remainder of my time at Baylor, this blog will mostly be about school, work and life. After that, I will simply take this wherever the wind takes me.

As Peter Pan says – To live will be an awfully big adventure!
I am excited to share this adventure with you.

For more random thoughts I have during the day, feel free to follow me on Twitter! @abigail_gilliam