So many of you reader-bloggy friends have jumped on board in the last few years. Which, I’ll have to say, is just awesome. Welcome.

Most of you only know me as Annie in Nashville. [Or, I guess, Annie in Edinburgh.] I’ve been in Nashville since August of 2008, but before that, I was a hometown girl- Marietta, Georgia. I lived ten minutes from my parents, two minutes from my best friends, I owned a home and taught elementary school and I was totally content to stay there forever.

But that was not God’s plan.

And to date, moving to Nashville was the most difficult thing I have ever done. Bar none. Significantly harder than moving to Edinburgh.

It took more courage than I ever knew possible.

So I thought today I’d tell you the story of when I moved to Nashville.

. . . . .

In October of 2007, I started feeling this weird unsettled feeling. Not like something bad was going to happen, more like God was talking but I wasn’t listening. I sat down one night with my journal and began to write. Suddenly, on my page, at the bottom of a list of questions, it said this:

“Am I supposed to move to Nashville?”

And I was stunned. Why in the WORLD would I even write that? I loved my house, my job, my friends, my family- everything about Marietta. Why would I leave? In fact, I have NEVER been to Nashville and had approximately zero friends there. 

So I tossed the idea, though I felt an unearthly peace when I read that in my journal, and I told the Lord, “Ok, if this is YOU, bring it back. But if it’s me, let’s just forget the whole thing happened.”

[I think I even shook my hands out after this. You know, from dramatic “let’s forget this” effect.]

I told no one. I just prayed. And it wouldn’t go away, though secretly, I really wanted it to…. more than anything, I wanted that gnawing call to courage to go away.

At Thanksgiving of that year, I emailed my friends Kevin and Mandy [folks I knew from UGA] to see if I could stay with them over MLK weekend in Nashville. Very nonchalant. Very “of course I’m not MOVING there, just visiting… of course.” [Now, we laugh. Because they knew.] I thought if January came and I still couldn’t shake this idea, I should probably visit Nashville. Since I had never been there before, and all.

I told my family at Christmas of that year. They all loved it, I don’t know why. Probably because of Jesus speaking to their hearts, too. But I still DID NOT love it and was pretty certain I had lost my marbles or was in some sort of phase. Why didn’t anyone else agree?

I then told my two best friends and it was horrible. [Good. I wanted it to be.] I wanted someone to say that this was a terrible idea and brainstorm for hours other ways to accomplish the same goal. Or set a timeline. Or cancel the plans all together. So we did, to no avail. They knew. I knew. I was moving.

I never doubted that God was doing this, I just wished He wouldn’t.

I visited Nashville in January, let my school know I was leaving after that year in February, sold my house in March, moved out in April, came on a mission trip to Scotland in July, and moved in August.

My heart broke for those months. Over and over again. From that day in October until the day I drove away from Marietta, my life was filled with moments of courage, moments when I knew I could change my mind, but I didn’t. I just kept taking the next step.

August 2008 arrived before I knew it. And I moved to Nashville.

Here’s the video I made on my first day alone in Nashville. I acted like an idiot because I had no friends and was bored and was mainly putting on a show for myself. You’re welcome.

. . . . .

Part 2 :: how courage… and Nashville… saved me.