There is something to be said about being surrounded by a loving supporting community. Some people call it the village; others call it their tribe, their peeps, their crew or whatever name they’ve decided upon. I am fortunate to have two villages! Almost three years ago I followed God’s prompting and moved to Daytona Beach, where I didn’t know anyone. Back home, in Kentucky, I had tons of family, friends. Coworkers and plenty of people who loved and supported me. Tanking a huge leap of faith and leaving everyone was not easy but God didn’t let me stay alone for long.
My third day in the apartment I was out grocery shopping and pumped into a lady at the produce section. She started up a conversation and asked my name and if I was from the area. I told her no, I’d only been here three days. She was elated to hear my story. She wanted to keep in touch and get together once I was all settled in. Over the course of the next few weeks she called to check in, share job leads, resources, and simple kindness. She even invited me to visit her church. She’s a sweet lady and I can say almost three years later we still keep in touch.
I ventured out to a writer’s workshop and met some more amazing people who would soon become a part of my village. The ladies I met at the writing workshop took me in as family and invited me out to events, to church, their homes, and celebrations. I was afforded access and opportunities to meet city officials, sit in on banquets, meet judges and presidents, doctors, state representatives and community influencers. When the fall rolled around and I was facing my first hurricane one of the ladies invited me to come and stay at her house. We played games, Grilled, prayed and had an amazing time reflecting on God’s lessons through the storm.
All of this may seem like no big deal but when you look at the current state of community in our country now compared to what it was 20-30 years ago, it’s huge! I received more support in 3 months of being in Daytona Beach than I did in over 30 years of being in my hometown. Where God sends, He always provides. Not only did He provide me with a sense of community with these great people, but He kept adding and adding. He opened up opportunities for growth in business, personal growth, networking within the population I serve on my job, educational opportunities, and created an environment for me to thrive in.
As much as we like to be in our comfort zones, our biggest blessings are usually waiting right outside of it. God is always stretching us and expanding us so that we have the capacity for the next level. I’m grateful for the village, the community, and the obedience that made me go!
Who knew a group of strangers would become so loved…
Daytona Beach, FL