Chapter 26

Wow. I can hardly believe that I’m 26 years old today. I feel like it was just yesterday that I turned 25. To be honest, I feel like I’ve been through so many transitions in the past 3 years that time has just flown by. 

Just thinking about it, the year I turned 24 I had just met my now husband 2 weeks prior to my birthday, and by the time my birthday came around I practically already knew that we would be getting married. I spent 9 months of that year planning a wedding, dealing with family challenges (primarily due to my decision to trust and obey God about marriage), getting engaged (yep, I got engaged 4 months after meeting my husband), continuing my Master’s program and preparing for a big move to Austin, TX – away from who and what I had grown to know as “my life” and hometown. I was an emotional and mental wreck! The other 3 months of that year was awesome (of course, I had just gotten married), but not perfect. I struggled with missing the very family and friends I had just finished having challenges with months prior, felt rejected by the fact that some of the closest people to me drifted away, and I wasn’t use to not “having my own.” I was now sharing a space with someone that I consider to be my best friend and there was still so much to learn about one another – besides, we had never lived or shared a space together before then. Not to mention the thoughts that was going through my head because although I had relocated to be with my husband, I didn’t initially have a job. Let’s just say, thank God for a husband that builds you up like nobody’s business. All the prayers and encouragement allowed me to tap back into the faith that I knew I had tucked away somewhere, and such situation didn’t last for long. I later started a new job, was promoted within nearly 2 months and was shepherding the Life Skills Special Education program at the school in which I was employed.

Three months after being married, I look up and 25 was here. Now anyone that knows me know that I have always thrown myself a huge party or even an intimate gathering for my birthday. Yeah, but how could that happen for 25 when I’m miles and miles away from all the people I would invite. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the special day that Justin planned for me. It was filled with love, family, a long surprise car ride to Houston, good eats, thoughtful gifts and more; yet I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t been missing home like crazy. 

Just when I finally started getting settled in Austin, we heard from God toward the end of November of last year that we were to soon move to Louisiana (Justin’s home state) to do ministry. The specifics were not clear at the time but we knew it would be with our father’s (my in-love) church. 


God, you mean to tell me that I’m barely settled in Austin, and now that I just might be getting the hang of things here, meeting new friends and enjoying selfish hours of time with my husband, you want us to move? 

YEP! (talk about obedience)

Fast forward….

We spent Thanksgiving in Austin, Christmas/New Years in Maryland, returned to Austin and spent the next 5 months preparing to move, all while I completed my last course for my Masters (which was waived for me to not attend in person due to my relocation at the end of the program; hey FAVOR). 

It was very clear that once the academic school year ended for my job at the time, we were to relocate. Not even a year after relocating to Austin from Maryland, May came and we were moving again.

Now I will say, that transition was probably the smoothest of them all. Jobs came easily, we were at peace about where to live (with our parents) until we complete the building of our first home and finances have been flowing and increasing so wonderfully. That’s nobody but God I tell you. I can truly say that I am living a life purposed and planned by HIM!


Now back to 26! Ha, I can only imagine what this year will bring. We hadn’t been here in Louisiana for a solid month before I learned that I was pregnant (talk about cried like a baby – but that’s a different post for another day). I’m just hours into this year yet I’m still transitioning. I’m a Christian, Wife, Mother, Educator and Author (I bet you want to know more; and you will – I promise) but there’s no limit to what God has in store for me. Now more than ever, I look forward to the continued blessings, unmerited favor, growth, relationships and everything else that is headed my way. 


I’m grateful for where I am now, and that’s at Chapter 26. Don’t try going back too far because what you use to know may be the very page that Jesus let me tear out, for I am NEW (2Corinthians 5:17).  

Ashley LanaeComment