Friends – “Is all you do with your time just look at maps of Virginia?”
Me – “Yes!”
Take me back to when I was 10 years old. A 5th grade student at Little Cypress Intermediate sitting in Ms. Allen’s science and social studies class. I learned the basics of the American Revolution – taxation without representation, Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, Patrick Henry saying “Give me liberty or give me death!” and George Washington crossing the Delaware. I fell in love with this nation a little more that year.
At 10 years old I declared to the world I wanted to be a history major in college. I knew this was what I wanted. I loved American History, I loved Washington D.C., and I wanted this to be my life. Nothing could deter me from this path. I even drew a big white plantation home as a class project one day and decided that was the house I wanted to live in.
Here I am, 21 years old, and a graduate of Baylor University with a BA in History. Yes, I have achieved a truly lifelong dream of mine. The funny thing is though as I have gotten older I have seen the dreams I had for my life have be molded to fit God’s plan for my life.
For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted in life was to live on the East Coast, work in D.C., and live my dreams, which at the time I thought meant working at the National Archives. I even promised my dad I would live in Virginia (Alexandria to be exact) and simply commute to D.C. every day so I would remain in the South.
Never in my life time did I dream I would actually WANT to live in Virginia, and not in the D.C. metro way, but in the Hampton Roads-take me to Naval Station Norfolk to see the U.S. Fleet Forces Command kind of way.
As I’ve gotten older I realized I simply assumed this is everything I would do with my life and that if I tried just hard enough to prove myself, it would happen. I never stopped to ask God what HIS plans for my life were.
Over a year ago, I began researching graduate schools. After five hours of looking up schools in over 10 states along the East Coast, I had to draw a line just to make it through my list. So, if a school’s page had technical difficulties or I simply didn’t like what I saw, I threw the school out (this included Harvard).
Another school that got thrown out of the running that day was the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. But unlike other schools I was frustrated with that night, W&M stuck in my mind, probably because they sent me to this page.
The more I explored grad school, the more I kept coming back to William & Mary. In fact, in the course of two weeks I had three different professors tell me out of the blue I should consider William & Mary. A couple more comments like those and I sat down to do my research and make a pro/con list. What I found was a school I was in love with, even though I wasn’t quite ready to admit it yet.
At this point in time, I was still intent on attending grad school at Georgetown University because I simply HAD to be in D.C. William & Mary could not have been an option because it wasn’t D.C. End of story. I was wrong (and I’ll thank the person in charge of the university website for that, seriously check it out, it’s hilarious).
I slowly had to come to realize whether I wanted to admit it or not, maybe, just maybe, this could be God’s plan for my life. Once I came to peace about this, my heart became set on Williamsburg. There was no turning back.
I realized at a very early age that God had some great plans for my life. I knew around ages 11-12 I would have to be very strong in my faith to handle what God had in store for me, but for the life of me I could never quite figure out what that meant. I firmly believe the journey God has me on is preparing me for where He will send me next. I am not afraid to admit I still don’t know exactly what that is. What I do know is wherever that is, God will use me to bring glory to His name. Plus without a shadow of a doubt I fall more and more in love with Virginia every single day.
Every single day I find myself asking God for guidance about my future. Attending graduate school at William & Mary, working for the university, or working another job in Norfolk and applying for graduate school at a later day. I’m not sure what my future looks like. I am sure there are very few things I have wanted in life quite as much as I want to live in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
The travel slogan for the Commonwealth of Virginia is Virginia is for lovers. I would change that slightly to Virginia is for history lovers. With an area so rich in history and with such beautiful beaches, what’s not to love? I love Norfolk because of the Navy, for some reason Chesapeake has always stuck out in my mind, Yorktown because that’s where Cornwallis surrendered and the list simply goes on!
Although it has been quite a journey reaching this point and it means putting my dreams of D.C. on hold for a little bit longer, I think falling in love with Virginia was an amazing thing to happen in my life. Virginia was placed on my heart for a reason and I seek God every single day in efforts to find out why. I am excited to see how God’s plan will unfold in my life as He uses me in the months and years to come.
Texas will always be home but I think deep down I’ve always known my heart longed for Virginia too.
P.S. What’s not to love about views as beautiful as this?