In March of 2023, two friends from college and I visited one of our other college friends, Candy, in Montgomery, Alabama. I had never been in or even driven through Montgomery and had no idea what to expect.
For three days, we reminisced, told stories, and ate lots of good food, and Candy shared with us about the nonprofit Hope House Montgomery, where she and her mom lived and ran a neighborhood ministry. They have an after-school reading program for kindergarten through fifth grade and two college-age interns who live there to help in the community. Candy worked full-time, cared for her 91-year-old mother, and then started this neighborhood nonprofit to benefit the community.
On my drive home, I thought about being a monthly donor as that would be a way for me to help. Even four weeks later, there continued to be a stirring within me that perhaps there was in front of me a new purpose to help Hope House Montgomery. Although I had things perfect in Murfreesboro, a paid-for house, a good church, and many friends, I heard this call to find a new purpose. I called Candy to inform her of my thoughts. I called Teddie for advice about selling my house as she is a realtor, possibly buying a home in Montgomery, and helping with the work at HHM.
On one hand, it felt crazy, but on the other, it seemed like exactly what I had been praying to see and hear. Within five months, I had visited and toured houses for sale and sold and bought a home in Alabama. There were many challenges in those months, but I pushed through. I believed this move and work were my answer to God’s call.
I love being here! It is hard to believe I visited in March of this year and moved here in August. One of the things I remember that Candy shared during the March visit was that she felt called “to learn to love and serve the community as Jesus did.” That saying changed my perspective on living in my neighborhood, loving people, not judging and serving them.
Being a regular volunteer at Read Around the Block and the chance to help one child read and grow up and impact their world positively fills my heart.
Psalm 63:1: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”