Dear Nashville,

on August 4, 2009 in Nash-livin' with 36 comments by

Happy anniversary. One year. What am I supposed to get you for a one year anniversary? Paper? Silver? How about just a blog post? Sounds good to me.

Today I went back and watched the first video I made here and I cried all over again. It still feels. Know what I mean? There’s a deep place in me that will never forget THAT feeling. At the end when I said, “I hope I survive this”, in that moment, I wasn’t sure I would. I was so scared of you, Nash. And I missed Marietta all the time. In fact, here’s what I wrote two days later:

I’m heartbroken and I miss my life at home so badly it physically hurts. But somehow, God will be enough for me. I don’t know what that will look like or feel like. I have no idea how. I truly don’t. But His promises are sure, even when my heart is so sad and my keyboard soaked.

I’m sorry, Nashville. I didn’t trust. I didn’t trust that you were the best thing for me. But let’s be honest. We had just met. That’s a lot to ask of a girl who completely lacks bravery and courage. And Marietta had loved me well for 28 years. That’s a serious commitment.

Yet somehow, in one year, Nash, you have stolen my heart. For realz. Your skyline. Your people. Your coffee shops. I’m a better me now that I’m with you. You hear that? The city that used to be the source of my insecurities is now the home of my confidence. The place that used to hurt to arrive in now hurts to leave. You, Nashville, are my Ebenezer stone– my point of faith I can come back to as a reminder of God’s help in my life.

Thank you, Nashville. The people that live here have changed me forever. The skyline that comes in to my view with I’m only 10 minutes from home brings a smile to my face. I’ve become a legit writer here, Nash. You’ve been a part of my dreams coming true. And I’ll never forget it.

Nashville, I have no clue what our future holds, if we are short-term or long-term. I just know that you were right for me for now. I’m so happy here.

But one quick thing, Nashville. Sorry to tell you this- it’s not about you. Actually, this hasn’t been about me either. This has, and will always be, a story God is telling about Himself. How He loves. How He leads. How He pursues. How He provides. How His dreams for me are far greater than any I can conjure up myself. He is faithful and trustworthy and good. All the time.

Trust me, Nash. I wish it was about me, too. But I guess, if I was really honest, I’m glad we’re just playing the supporting roles. Because when this show is over, there is only One who deserves the standing ovation. And it ain’t us.

Happy ANNIE-versary, Nashville. I can’t thank you enough for being in this story with me.

psalm 107


  1. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 2:26 AM  |  reply

    Happy ‘Annie-versary’ Annie. That was really lovely.

    I need to ponder some of those thoughts when I’m feeling a little less than grateful for my home-of-the-moment. I know we’re where we’re supposed to be, but I’m not sure I’m a better me here. I miss the places where I felt that and need to figure out why it’s not so here.

    I love your outlook on things.

  2. Ellen
    posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 4:14 AM  |  reply

    Annie, you are so “strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9) to stick with it the way that you have – of course always remember that He is with you everywhere you go.

    God is being glorified moment by moment – as you hold His hand and walk toward the unknown. It is a beautiful thing to see even from a distance.

  3. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 4:41 AM  |  reply

    This was quite beautiful, and I especially loved the part about God’s dreams being bigger than anything you could conjure up yourself! It is so very true and resonates so deeply within my own life. And just imagine what year two will bring πŸ™‚

  4. Face
    posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 5:20 AM  |  reply

    Oooo, girl– I’m gonna tack this to my wall when we move to Prague.

  5. Merideth Schoolcraft
    posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 6:44 AM  |  reply

    HAPPY ANNIE-VERSARY!!! Boy time flies, doesn’t it? What is this about you not being brave or couragious??? So not true! I think you are incredibly brave and couragious to make the move to Nashville like you did. I appreciate the honesty, too, in the part of this post where you talk about your fears and insecurities when you first moved there last year. The Lord’s done some awesome things in your life over the past year, and he is using your experiences to encourage and inspire others.
    By the way. I was curious. What was the process that got you to Nashville? I’d be interested in hearing the story of how you came to the decision to move there, and how things fell together for you, etc.? Hope you have a great day!

  6. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 6:51 AM  |  reply

    Oh, what a happy day! Thanks for sharing this part of your journey- I love hearing about it. And I totally think Nashville should get you a present now- it’s only fair.

  7. Southern Gal
    posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 7:26 AM  |  reply

    Nashville is a better place because of you. Happy Annie-versary!

  8. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 7:30 AM  |  reply

    What a testimony of God’s faithfulness when we are obedient. When we trust Him more, we are blessed more. It’s part of His law of multiplication.

    So glad you are happy there. But a little bit sad for Marietta….

  9. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 7:53 AM  |  reply

    Loved this, Annie! Happy Annie-versary. You know, I just say Happy Anny anyway for short, so that will work for you, too.

    This was my favorite part of the post: Sorry to tell you this- it’s not about you. Actually, this hasn’t been about me either. This has, and will always be, a story God is telling about Himself. How He loves. How He leads. How He pursues. How He provides. How His dreams for me are far greater than any I can conjure up myself. He is faithful and trustworthy and good. All the time.

    I love that God pursues us. I’m unsure why sometimes (really? has he seen me dance?), but I am overwhelmed at the thought.

  10. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 8:53 AM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie, I don’t know you in person but I am so grateful for you and so PROUD of you {did that sound too Mama-like, ’cause I didn’t mean it too πŸ™‚ } It’s been so encouraging to be in on this grand adventure of yours and to watch God’s faithfulness. Your story has been a timely reminder for me, I’ve borrowed the faithfulness and trust you’ve shown when I couldn’t believe it for myself. Still doing that, I suppose. So thanks for sharing…

    Happy Anniversary!

  11. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 9:29 AM  |  reply

    Happy Annie-versary! So thrilled to be here to witness.

  12. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 9:50 AM  |  reply

    I just found your blog through a post @Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. I love it! I am so glad I found it. I loved your post and I can’t wait to check out more.

  13. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 10:24 AM  |  reply

    Love this. I feel the same way about The ‘Ham.

    Happy Annie-versary, sweet friend!

  14. ash eich
    posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 10:33 AM  |  reply

    UGHH!!!! I LOVE this post. I miss you interesting to read your thougths from a year ago as I have ventured into a new place for just a month. I’m wondering what is ahead. Would love to chat soon…love you sister.

  15. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 10:45 AM  |  reply

    so glad He wrote a small role for me in this story, too. i’m super thankful for you in my nashville life. love u.

  16. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 10:48 AM  |  reply

    Happy Annie-versary (love that)! How perfect is that verse?? I watched several of your videos after watching the one you linked to. So fun. πŸ™‚

  17. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 10:51 AM  |  reply

    Annie-versary? Really? Cornball.

    Proud to see how you handled everything over the last year — especially when there was an “easier” way to go. Here’s to year 2!

  18. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 11:47 AM  |  reply

    Oh Annie, I heart you…and TN!


  19. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 12:17 PM  |  reply

    Congratulations Annie! πŸ™‚

  20. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 12:21 PM  |  reply

    Surprising, the way the road turns, ey? God is GOOD. Annie, I don’t know if you like the nature, but have you been to Fall Creek Falls yet? If you like hiking, check it out- beautiful green with waterfalls and glorious nature.

    It was good to meet you at She Speaks, and I am still prayin’ for ya- can’t wait to see what Annie will do in this big bad world with all her words πŸ™‚ Happy Annie-versary in my hometown- Nashville is pretty great πŸ™‚

  21. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 1:27 PM  |  reply

    happy ANNIE-versary πŸ™‚
    that’s so cute, and your name is probably the only name that can do that πŸ˜‰ haha.

    i’ve barely jumped on this journey with you, but you’ve already made me a witness of how God’s been providing in your life. i hope to stick around a lot longer.

    P.S. Secretely, we were already on a journey together. The one where we trust this special person up above, to care for and help us. Yupp. God.
    We just hadn’t met. So glad to have met you though! πŸ™‚
    Btw, i baked the cookies, ill do a blog and let you know when it’s up πŸ™‚

    much love,

  22. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 1:33 PM  |  reply

    I found you through Balancing’s blog…so glad I stopped by! I’m excited about the in-courage site and look forward to reading more!

  23. Mandy Mann
    posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 1:45 PM  |  reply

    WOw….one year already?… faith is encouraged, as it was when i moved here…., to see your story unfold. GOD is good…he takes care of us. So glad you are loving Nashville….im loving you being here.
    Happy Annie-versary…..

  24. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 1:52 PM  |  reply

    Hi, Annie, you don’t know me, but we have a lot of friends in common. Looking forward to getting to know you though your new endeavor with Incourage too. Congrats! I’m in B’ham by the way.

  25. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 3:46 PM  |  reply

    So many times I question if I’m in the right place, if I’ve made the right choices, if this is where He wants me to be. Thanks for documenting your journey – it helps to know I’m not the only one wondering, being reassured that something bigger is at hand, rinse and repeat.

    I remember looking back at my first year in Washington and sighing with relief that it was over. Now, after three years here, it’s become almost like home. Happy Nashannieversary, dear friend. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next!

  26. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 5:08 PM  |  reply

    I cannot believe it’s been a whole year…


    God is sooooooo good.

  27. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 5:31 PM  |  reply

    What a neat story, Annie! I can say so many of the same things about Atlanta. And…for the record…the biggest smile just came across my face when I saw your reference to 1 samuel 7:12…I just wrote about that in my journal on sunday before I left Atlanta for the last time.

    God is so good. So happy that you have been able to reap the benefits of His goodness when we are obedient…even though we don’t know fully what we are going to be receiving.

  28. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 7:28 PM  |  reply

    HE does lead us right where we should be…or sometimes HE drags me kicking and screaming! But, I’m always glad HE did.

  29. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 8:21 PM  |  reply

    Wow, I never watched that video, but can I say that I (and the husband Big A) were dying laughing at the leopard print key!!! Definitely opposite of my personality as well.

  30. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 9:12 PM  |  reply

    than you for sparking my own mini-journey this afternoon of what it has been like since i moved to nashville. and for the reminder that it’s not about me.

  31. posted on Aug 04, 2009 at 9:45 PM  |  reply

    You’re so good for my heart.

  32. posted on Aug 05, 2009 at 9:45 AM  |  reply

    Isn’t it a God thing when a place becomes a character in your life? I feel the same way about Newport, RI; Honolulu, Boston….It’s a beautiful thing when a place becomes a home. This was a wonderful post, Annie. Thank you.

  33. posted on Aug 11, 2009 at 9:09 PM  |  reply

    Hi! I found your blog on (in)courage! I was born and raised in Nashville! Actually I guess you could say me and Ol Nash will be celebrating our 30th next March! Ha!

  34. posted on Aug 16, 2009 at 4:28 PM  |  reply

    There’s no other place like it on earth.
    Have a wonderful week,

  35. posted on Aug 22, 2009 at 8:35 AM  |  reply

    Upon seeing this I couldn’t help but comment. As a courier ( you can find me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4th and Church) Nashville is an amazing place to just watch go by. It really is a friendly place to live.

  36. posted on Sep 08, 2009 at 3:39 PM  |  reply

    Hey Annie,

    Found you through Sarah Markley and am actually just looking for any tips you might have on getting a chance to “start over” somewhere new at single and 28. I’m moving from Southern California back to Texas in a couple weeks and this post is JUST WHAT I NEEDED as a reminder that it’s so about Him and what He’ll choose to do in and through me there, but any tips on starting over? What worked? What didn’t? I haven’t done it since I was 21 and fresh out of college – a little bit freakin’ out πŸ™‚ Thanks!

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