Saturday, August 9, 2014

Because of Winn Dixie.....

To fully understand our story, to know how this Tide Life of ours began, to realize the true impact of it all, I first need to take you back in time a bit......  About a year ago, I found myself at the biggest crossroads of my life.  The woman who always had the answers, the one everyone turned to for their answers,  had absolutely none of her own. 

It's funny to me how people can go through life, day after day, not even realizing they are not living, not truly breathing, not truly being, just going through the motions, just existing.  How does that happen to us and we don't even notice?  I can't answer that question either.  I don't know how it happened to me, but it did.  I remember thinking, I used to like me....what happened to her? 

I believe it happens to many of us at some point in our lives.  We don't mean for it to, but it just somehow happens.  Somehow along the way, I lost me.  I didn't mean to, but I did.  When I think back now, for as long as I can remember, I had been one of those people who wasn't truly living.  I didn't even realize it happened.  I guess it happened when I wasn't looking.....maybe I just didn't want to look.  Maybe I did, but I was too scared to look.  All I know is I had stopped living, and I hadn't even noticed it. 

And that is precisely where I was that day in the middle of summer when I literally ran away from home.  Yes, a grown woman did that.....  I ran away.  I really didn't know what I was doing, where I was going, what I was looking for.....So there I was, caught somewhere in the middle of not living, not loving, just existing and going through the motions when I ended up in a Winn Dixie parking lot in Panama City Beach.  I remember thinking that the beach had always been my happy place, so why not? Little did I know that I was about to find what I really wasn't even looking for.

From the time I met Kenny that sweltering summer afternoon, I felt more alive than I ever had in my life.  Without even meaning to, Kenny made me remember the girl I used to be, the girl I wanted to be again.  Through him, I remembered how to just breathe, how to live again, how to trust, how to have faith, and how to believe in people again. 

The day we met......

It was like we were kindred spirits right from the very beginning.  We loved all the same things, had the same taste, even finished each other's thoughts and sentences.  It was like we had always been right there together our entire lives.  But, I could tell he had walls, too.  It takes one to know one they say......Even those first few days together, I could see his walls crumbling as quickly as mine when I looked into those deep brown eyes.  Without ever really saying it, we both knew from day one we would end up sharing a life together.  Our hearts were entwined from the very beginning.

I have no doubt that God brought Kenny into my life and me into his.  I had prayed for God to send someone to love me, to remind me of the good still left on this earth, someone to share a wonderful life with.....  Ironically enough, he had been praying the same prayer for about six months.  He later showed me where he had written out a prayer, asking God to send him an angel.  I really wouldn't stretch it that far to say I'm an angel; this old halo has some dings and dents in it, LOL!  But I do believe he is my angel. Kenny saved me in more ways than he will ever know or imagine.  That summer afternoon we found each other in that Winn Dixie parking lot, I  was at the end of my rope.   I felt all alone in the world, and I can promise you there is no worse feeling than to feel all alone.  Every day I was surrounded by people, but I was still alone.  Kenny saved me, and I will be forever thankful to God for sending him into my life. 

Our first day together....Seaside, FL

Kenny had always worked out of town, traveling the country as an industrial power plant supervisor.  It was a very difficult job that had long hours and weeks away from home.  We knew we wanted to be together, and we did not want to be separated from each other one minute, much less for months at the time.  So, we began praying fervently again.  Kenny and I both began to pray for God to send a way for him to be able to walk away from that life and for us to be able to build a life together, here on the Gulf Coast. 

When he built me my beautiful headboard a few weeks later, we knew God had given us our answer.   From the very beginning of this relationship, we have let God direct our paths, and He continues to do so.  We gave this business we created to Him, and His blessings have steadily flowed. Our online sales have been beyond what we could have ever imagined.  We continue to receive custom orders daily, and we love every single second of this life together, creating, building, and blessing other people. 

I thank God for Winn Dixie, for angels unaware, for the beach I have always so dearly loved, and for answered prayers.  Thank you, God, for blessing us and answering the prayers of two people who needed it the most. 

Doing what we love best....eating oysters!!!  Wintzell's   Mobile, AL


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