It’s been a little while since I last wrote. My apologies, but I forgot how much work it is to move! The weeks leading up to the move were busy and so stressful, but there were so many confirmations along the way that this was what I needed to do. My house was rented out by the first person that saw it- 4 hours after it was posted! I sold a lot of my furniture and scheduled movers to come and do the rest the Saturday before I left for Rome- which was 2 days later. Well on Saturday at 2:00, we hadn’t heard or seen anyone so I called. They had me down for the WRONG date! The fact that they were able to get movers there by Saturday night AND get it all moved was a miracle to say the least. Thankfully my sister and a long time friend came to help pack, move and clean and I could not have done it without everyone’s help!! I was literally packing (for trip) and moving stuff to storage up until the morning I flew out!! Talk about stress!! Yes, let’s talk about that for a second. So after all this, I get to the airport and I had the biggest runaround with my passport and (lack of) visa. The visa thing is still in the air and if I can’t get one here, then 90 days in Italy is the max I can stay. Because I had a flight to London during the summer, they accepted that at the ticketing counter and issued my tickets. Then as we are boarding- 2 hours later- they call me to the counter and say a note won’t suffice and that “there’s no way I can board the flight”. I literally had a meltdown. From being exhausted to just plain desperation to get on the plane. I told the lady that I didn’t have a car or a place to stay and that one way or the other I was getting on this plane. By the way, I DO NOT recommend saying that but she somehow worked her magic and held the plane for me to get on after making a call to someone. Once I got on, sat in my seat and buckled my seatbelt, I felt an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders and as soon as we got in the air, I cried. I did it!!!!
So fast forward…yesterday I arrived in Rome and the smile has not left my face since I landed. I got upgraded to a ridiculous sports car for free because it was the only automatic they had at the time. Secretly I really wanted a tiny Fiat!! I still may go and exchange it. J I managed to navigate my way to an Autogrill for some caffeine and made my journey on to a small town outside of Florence. The weather has been amazing, but chilly. I have one sweater and one long sleeve shirt since I’m here through the summer, so I’ll be wearing those things every other day til it warms up!
The views are something out of a movie. I just stand and look around because I can’t seem to take it all in just yet. Remember when I said I feel closest to God when I’m here? It’s true. I have moments where I can feel him and I am so grateful He gave me the courage to do this!! I’ll share some pictures from yesterday and today under My Adventures. They really don’t even come close to what it actually looks like here. I am in my happy place.
Today was an adventure. I got creative and found a way to make a decent coffee this morning and watched the two labs here run around and play. It made me miss Bailey. I ventured out and had lunch with another incredible view and then ran to COOP to get some groceries for the next few days. THAT was trying. No one spoke any English. I had to google words on stuff because I wasn’t sure what some things were. LOL. You have to weigh fruit and veggies BEFORE checking out, so guess what? I held the line up and people weren’t so happy. Then on the way home, I got stuck on a roundabout and couldn’t get over to exit. Yes. Just like Chevy Chase in European Vacation. I rode around that thing 3 times before I could get off!! Now, it’s hilarious to me but not so much at the time. Lastly, I was praying on the ride home because the Italian drivers y’all!!! OH. MY. GOSH. I was positive they were going to send me over a hill riding my tail around these winding roads. And doing like 3X the speed limit. And yes, I know that makes me sound like an old lady but I got wheezy on the roads here and they are SO NARROW. Yikes. I have to actually laugh at it now that I’m typing this! I got home sweating. LOL
Tomorrow I need to start some sort of schedule/cadence. I plan to start working out again and read my bible every day as I have missed a few days. There is no TV here and I am a way from town, so I have lots of free time to read, cook, blog and just be for now. I’ll be connecting with one church this week and hope to attend their Easter service Sunday. I was even invited over to have dinner with one of my contact’s family. The connections made here already with new friends over FB and with the churches has eased this move so much. I pray for more divine encounters with people while I am here.
So as I wrap up the day making pasta and relaxing, all I can think is how grateful I am that God gave me the courage to do this. I seriously COULD NOT have made this all happen without His hand on it. I am so encouraged tonight about the upcoming months. I’m proud of myself. I grew in this one step alone. I didn’t let fear win and I will continue to listen for God’s voice and direction in all this. Let the journey begin!!
Angie – one tired chic
Today was a day that has absolutely tested me. This is shaping up to be what would be a massive year for me at work after 2 years of laying the groundwork. Like I would WAY exceed my quota potentially. And that is VERY hard to walk away from. I have received the nicest emails from customers and that alone has been bittersweet. To know you’ve done a good job and built good, honest relationships with people is so rewarding. I have had people call and reach out to me saying that they are praying for me. That they want to keep in touch and follow my blog. That they want to see me before I leave. CUSTOMERS y’all. People that have become friends. And THAT has left me in a puddle of tears at one point this afternoon.
But the test is to walk away from the money. To do that and not know what the future holds even when others can so easily say “Oh, you’ll find something! Don’t worry about it.” is scary. I know friends have the sweetest intentions and just want to encourage me, but man, this is DIFFICULT. All the "what ifs" start flooding in and I have to choose to push them aside. I have been so blessed to be in IT and work the past 2 years for a great company. I have to believe that something will be available somewhere when I get back or that God has something so big and exciting, that I can’t even imagine it at this moment.
After my meltdown, I had to take Bailey outside. You know what I saw? 2 red Cardinals fluttering around. I have mentioned this before in posts on Facebook or Instagram, but when I have been in really difficult situations or had a really big decision to make or just been sad, Cardinals show up. Because both my parents are gone, I like to think that it’s them stopping by to remind me to smile and keep going. Or give me confirmation to keep going. Call me crazy, but that’s what I choose to believe. That instantly makes me feel better.
Some good news that came late this afternoon is that I have several people in line to look at my house! If it gets rented before April 1, that would be great!!! Fingers crossed. So, I move forward. I keep packing and planning and doing what I can here to get ready for the next phase. Whatever that may be.
God knows my heart and what I am having trouble letting go of. Security is such a big thing for me after having been brought up as a child in low rental housing and struggling for so long. There will always be highs and lows and it’s just time to turn the page and see what’s next. And I will trust in His promise of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” And that is enough.
Hey, y’all! Well here goes nothing. This is a vulnerable moment for me and that says A LOT! I am typically an open book and actually catch some grief for that from people. But I wanted a place for family and friends to be able to follow me and the experiences I have while in Italy. I also hope that maybe this reaches someone that is nervous about making a jump. Let’s be honest, it’s SCARY to leave your comfort zone. And really hard. Nothing about this is easy for me. But I also know, it’s the only way to grow. I have prayed to find my purpose. To grow my faith. To help and encourage people more. And although I know some may find this crazy, I am at peace knowing God will meet me there in Italy. And that makes me excited and it eliminates much of the fear! I’d like to say all the fear, but there’s still some nervousness if I am honest.
I am leaving a place that I actually really like and leaving friends that have become family. I’m leaving behind a church that I absolutely love and believe in. Along with my daughter (although she’s grown), my house, my car, my Golden Retriever and my job. Yep, all my belongings that will fit in a storage unit are getting packed away and/or sold. I’m leaving the US for a foreign country. I don’t speak the language. I don’t know anyone. I won’t have any sense of security while I am there, so I HAVE to trust God. That’s the only way I can do this. But I know He wants me there for some reason and I know I may not know until after I come back or maybe not until we are having coffee up in Heaven watching the movie of my life. (Hey, that’s how I picture my heaven!) Again, have I mentioned I am scared to death but full of faith??!
I have started packing and moving things and let me tell ya, there’s a TON to do before I leave Birmingham. Lord, like a TON! But it will get done. I’m having to take it one day at a time. I plan to write about my thoughts as I prepare myself the next few weeks and then while I am over there. I know there will be nights of loneliness. Even days. I know I will be overwhelmed with getting around and getting lost. But I also know that I can’t wait to experience what has drawn me to Italy and that’s the sound of the church bells. Watching older couples with arms linked walking down cobblestone roads. Seeing younger people come to these amazing new church plants and start a relationship with Jesus. I hope to love on people that are having hard times and running away from things we can’t even imagine as Americans. May I never miss an opportunity that God puts in front of me while I am there.
I hope you enjoy my blog and if I can be so bold to ask, please pray for me as I make this move. I’m excited to share a little of my past with you and how God showed up out of nowhere in my life when I really was at a low place in life. May He be glorified in all that I am about to do.
Hey, everyone! I'm Angie and I hope you enjoy my blog about how and why a single woman in her 40's decided to drop everything she was doing and follow her God sized dream to Italy. I may be scared to death but I am FULL of faith as God gives me the COURAGE TO JUMP!