Dreams, Plans, and Miracles [My Story, Part 5]
Okay, so! Time to pick up from Part 4 of my story.
Before I get in too deep, I would just like to acknowledge that there is a very important part of my story that I have not yet mentioned – and that would be the part that tells why I started this blog, and what has kept me going with it since I began. However, since I’d also like to finish this story on a similar topic, I’m going to save that part for last… so hang in there! It will come.
To pick up where I left off, I mentioned that I’d gotten an itch for travel, and for learning. That started about two years into my cake business, when I heard from my cousin about a Bible school that she had attended in England called Capernwray Hall. I was inspired, and very quickly couldn’t seem to shake the desire to do the same; I wanted to go– but I also couldn’t go, or so I thought. Why? Because A) I didn’t have any money, except the precious little I had to buy cake supplies and ingredients (or to pay for wedding shows)– and B) I couldn’t leave! I had a business to tend to, and weddings are usually booked a year or two in advance. I was committed already for a couple of years locally, and I had no way of predicting where my income would be years in advance… so, I felt stuck. I couldn’t go anywhere.
To heighten my desire to go, my sister also heard about my cousin’s time in England and decided she wanted to go as well– so, she pulled together her savings, gave notice at her job, and left that very year– for another school by the same organization in Sweden.
When my sister returned after her year abroad, she also couldn’t say enough good things about her experience, which again, left me yearning to go… But, also again, I felt trapped. My business had me situated where I was.
My sister left for another year away (she went to volunteer at the Swedish school), and upon her return, I was so frustrated to find myself yet AGAIN in the same situation. I was doing something I loved, on the one hand- but another part of me yearned for something more, and no matter how much I might wish to go, I could not. Or so I thought.
I remember talking with my sister and her fiancé one evening when she returned about how I wish I could do what she had done– but no matter what I wanted, I couldn’t leave, and what’s more- I could never afford it. It was then that they said the magic words, the ones I needed to hear: “Why can’t you go? Stop making cakes. Get a job. Save up. And then go.”
…What? The thought had never occurred to me. Taking a leave of absence from my business for a period of time didn’t seem like an option. But lo, it was! So, I sat down and decided to do my research. I looked at all of the schools under the same organization. I wanted an English speaking program, at least 6 months long– somewhere in Europe. My options were England, Sweden, or Germany. Why not be different? I picked the school in Germany.
Next, I sat down and figured out the costs. At minimum wage, how long would I have to work to earn the money I needed to go? How much should I budget for my needs here between now and then? And how cheap could I really do this… would I plan for any extra traveling? Also, what were my options for saving some money? If I worked for the school while I attended, could I go for a reduced rate?
I contacted the necessary people and figured out my situation. I figured I would need about two years to save (working off my tuition was not an option). So, starting the moment I finished my last wedding cake booked at that time (I had them until the end of the following year), I would consider myself unavailable to make cakes and pursue a job. And then, two years from that point, I planned to hop on a plane and make that dream come true.
Still, plans are plans. And sometimes, even the best plans change. So, I prayed. “Lord, this is what I want- and if it’s your plan that it happen, provide for it to work out. And if not, lead me otherwise- I will go where you lead. Also, if you want me to go sooner than two and a half years from now- I’ll need you to miraculously provide the money. Otherwise I’ll plan to go in 2015.” This all took place at the end of 2012.
I needed $10,000, and I started with about $0.
Little did I know, however, I was about to experience a miracle. Or several.
To Be Continued…