Moving to Nashville has been the adventure of a lifetime. I knew when I packed up Katarina Nicoli, my red Jeep Liberty, my life was about to change forever. Naturally, I was right. Four hours into my nine hour drive, my air conditioner gave out. It was the end of July. No worries-I rolled down my windows and cranked my radio as loud as it would possibly go. Nothing was going to stop me. This is the mindset I carried into the months following my move to this new city. Every time I saw a sign that said “Nashville” I stopped to take a picture and upload it to Instagram, being sure to select my location. I was so proud to live in this new city!
I was ready for something fresh and exciting. My expectant heart could hardly wait to discover all of God’s plans for me in this next phase of life. Sure enough, I’ve seen God show up in mind blowing ways. The transformation I’ve watched take place in my own life has been drastic. The Lord has shaped my understanding of what intentionality looks like.
I’ve gone from casually hanging out with people, to specifically carving out time for people I can invest in. From sitting down and reading a random chapter in the Bible before closing the book and opening my laptop, I now enjoy picking apart Scripture, studying it verse by verse. In a crowd, my eyes now search for the person who might be feeling left out. At Preston Taylor Ministries, it looks like me sitting down next to one of my 5th graders at Community Dinner, and not accepting little one word answers to describe how her week was. It looks like asking the hard questions, getting a little [or a lot] uncomfortable, and it looks like asking a stranger from the side of the road to eat lunch with me at Subway.
Intentionality and Prayer go hand in hand, and I’ve come to understand prayer on such a deeper level over the past several months, thanks to my students at PTM. I remember one of the first conversations I had with a student was problem solving with a 3rd grader. We talked through the issue, came up with a plan, I hugged her, and was about to send her back outside to play. “Wait, Miss Amy. Can you pray with me first?” *heart melting* Bowing our heads, we prayed together. Students prompting me to pray is never something I expected to encounter, but it has become some of my most treasured moments at Preston Taylor Ministries. I used to question the verse in 1 Thessalonians that tells us to pray without stopping. How in the world would I get everything done throughout the day if I was always praying? The students have taught me what it looks like to incorporate God into every day conversation. I’ve learned that with a prayerful mindset and the desire to hear God’s voice, it is possible to continually pray. I have to intentionally choose where I’m going to let my mind wander-Jesus, or this world.
The cool thing is, I’ve still maintained my fresh eyes perspective-nothing is going to stop me- mindset. The Lord is just getting started with everything He’s going to do in and through me in Nashville and I’m so excited to watch it play out. SO here’s to more hard conversations, more coffee dates, and more learning from the students I’m supposed to be teaching.
Ps. The air conditioner in my car started working again right as I pulled up to my new house in Nashville. Timing is a funny thing, isn’t it?