Years ago my mom bought me a clock. On it, the words God's timing and his ways are always perfect.
It's funny how many times I have felt that was not true. I mean, how much of our lives is made up of waiting? Waiting for the perfect guy, the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect time to have a baby?
And in the middle of the waiting, nothing about any of it feels perfect.
But then there are other times when, after the waiting is done, you feel like you're pushed off a cliff, learning to parachute in mid-air while taking fire from an enemy combatant...all at the same time.
That was how it's been going with The Studio.
I suppose anyone who starts a business has moments of feeling like they're plummeting face-first toward the ground with no way to steer, but when you get your bearings and you fidget and fuss and push...sometimes, just sometimes...you can soar.
And it's in the soaring that you gain perspective. You start to see what all the waiting was for. You start to look back on your twelve years in ministry, your degree in theatre, your time working in PR, your husband's training writing curriculum, your cross country gallivanting...you start to realize all those days/hours/minutes were preparation for something bigger.
Not a single moment of the waiting had been wasted.
Even though we've talked about starting this business for fifteen years, I don't feel like we were ever supposed to until right now.
Along the way, we've made lots of plans. Some of them have come to pass. Others have been completely sideswiped by something better.
For instance, we were going to wait until fall of this year (like, now) to start looking for a building. We sort of casually looked around town, learned what things would cost, crunched numbers...talked to a few people, and one day a friend of a Realtor (not OUR Realtor, just a Realtor who opened a space for us) called us. He had a space he thought we might like.
It's three minutes from our house.
Right next to the mall.
Right off of the interstate.
So we went. And we looked. And we weren't in love at first sight. It would take a miracle to be able to make it all work, especially since the space was a Zumba studio with literally an office and a HUGE open studio.
Sorry for the grainy iPhone photo. It's all I have. I told you I've been bad with pictures.
And the walls were this weird orange color. And neon green.
We needed practice rooms and a place for art workshops and the rent would be hard and we honestly kind of just walked away thinking we shouldn't get our hopes up.
But we prayed. And I specifically asked God for closed doors because I know in our life those are just as good as open ones. I believe a closed door is a GREAT way to keep you on the right path...and I practically begged for one. Because I was terrified.
We didn't pay rent in our home studio.
The next day, I got a call.
Over the years, the person we've dreamed with the most is our friend Holly who owns a dance studio here in town called Steps to Grace. We have the same vision, the same heart and the same love for kids and there is no one we'd rather work with than Holly. So when she called us and said, "What would you think if you did get that building if we moved the dance studio in there too?"
Um. This wasn't a door slamming closed kind of phone call.
This door had just been flung wide open.
And I was still at the point where I didn't see the reason for everything that had happened so initially this just brought on more fear. Overwhelm. Stress. Panic. And yet...we'd prayed. And we'd asked God to lead the way. It may sound silly or spooky but I had to believe this was God doing just that. Answering our prayer. Leading the way.
So we said, "Let's talk about that."
And that, my friends, is just about the point where we were standing on the edge of the cliff, tightening our parachutes, staring down over rocks and hills and a whole lot of unknown...
And we knew, it was almost time to jump.