I am a Texas girl. I was born and raised in a small town outside of Corpus Christi better known as C-Town or Calallen. I grew up chasing after my dreams, and seeing what love is meant to be in my mother and father.
Technically, I shouldn’t even be here. My mother, Susan, had a tubal ligation after her fourth child, and two months later she was pregnant with me. I was the fifth child born in six years, and I was a miracle child. It’s been said, God must have big plans for my life.
Fast forward to 2017 and here I am, a Texas girl living in a Georgia world. Living life on the Hill and bracing myself for the end of a chapter and a new season of life that will take me back to my roots and Texas soil. This is my "Life on the Hill" farewell.
Throughout all my life experiences, I have come to terms with the fact that moving cross-country with my husband, three children and a beagle is no joke. Leaving the Texas/Mexico border where we lived for eight years and moving to Georgia presented huge change. But turning down Highway 144 for the first-time, we knew Richmond Hill would be our home. It just felt right.
As I began to discover what this community had to offer and attempted to connect here, I prayed a very specific prayer. I asked the Lord to expand my territory and allow me to not just live here but really connect and know the community and people here.
Within 48 hours of that prayer, I had a freelance gig writing for Life on the Hill. My first piece was April 2, 2015, with a focus on an Easter event put on by New Beginnings Church of Richmond Hill. This interview would be the start of a wonderful journey and certainly enriched the past few years of my life here.
I don’t claim to be the best writer on the planet, but I do have a passion for connecting with people. I have had the privilege of sitting down with such a diverse group of people that interviewing, writing and hitting deadlines could not have been more worth it.
Sitting across the table from World War II veteran Paul Grassey and hearing him recount stories will always be priceless to me. His core message of "character counts" is a huge part of who he is, and it is a message I believe to be so valuable for our community and country.
There was the story of Charlie Penn in October of 2015. It melted my heart and made me so proud to live here. The photograph of him leading the team out on a Friday night reflected a story of acceptance.
Dec. 24 will be the two-year anniversary since my Life on the Hill with Kandi Jung. She is a local mom with a talent for decorating who used her gifts to bless a mom battling cancer. This one more than melted my heart – it changed me.
Had I not met Jung, I would have never met Jamie Cassady. May she rest in peace, Cassady impressed upon me faith in action. As she battled for her life, she still found a way to influence others and shine the light of Christ through a dark time.
I learned more about Cassady’s story and "Fighting Like a Boss" was printed April 7, 2016. Although she lost her battle, Cassady is with me always and I played a small part in sharing her story through my writing.
Each interview was unique and opened my eyes to how many amazing people live in this community. A champion horse rider, an Olympian, someone with an unconventional journey to health, cancer survivors, young actors, a woman coping with multiple sclerosis and how she still chooses joy – all of them are powerful and inspiring.
I was able to shine light on so many incredible nonprofits: SD Gunner Fund; The Love and Legacy Project; Family Promise of Bryan County; and the list goes on – organizations such as United Way that strive every day to combat the hardships of so many suffering in our county. I am so proud I got to know their stories and see the passion behind their eyes.
They each allowed me to connect with the heartbeat of this community. My heart is filled with gratitude for the opportunity to not only live here, but to connect here. I will always cherish the memorable connections I made through Life on the Hill.
May this community be blessed and never lose sight of making connections with those around you. Farewell. This Texas girl is headed home.