In the mid 1970’s, the Jim Hodges family rented a simple white cottage in Minden, Louisiana, from Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Fitzgerald. Little did they know at that precise moment, the Lord was orchestrating a divine friendship that would change the life of one of their daughters nearly forty years later.
The Hodges family along with their two daughters, Karrie and Whitney, lived in the cottage for about seven years. Mrs. Fanette Hodges later opened Fanette’s Flower House in Minden, Louisiana, and currently operates Fanette’s Bridal Registry and Children’s Clothing Boutique also located in Minden.
Seasons changed and eventually the Hodges family moved away from the cottage and to Dayton, Ohio, for a new adventure.
As time went on, other renters occupied the home as well as the Fitzgerald’s daughter, Martha. The cottage later fell into a great state of disrepair. As I was looking to move home to Louisiana, and laid my eyes on this beautiful home, I knew I had to have it. After an exhaustive process, I was able to purchase the cottage the Hodges family called home almost forty years prior.
After creating a blog and Facebook page to document the renovation of the cottage (www.simplysoutherncottage.com), Fanette and Karrie quickly reached out via Facebook to express their joy that someone had finally been able to secure the broken down cottage and return it to the former glory they once knew.
Karrie graciously shared some photos of when her family lived in the home. Karrie remembers looking out her bedroom window at night and watching the stop light blink at the intersection of East and West and Lewisville Rd. She also remembers “playing McDonald’s” outside her bedroom door. And each Easter, Karrie would dye Easter eggs on the huge farm sink in the kitchen.
Even though Karrie and I have never met face to face, we had an instant connection. It was as if we had known each other for years!
A few weeks after connecting with Karrie, she reached out to ask about my work. (I am an educational sales consultant for Teacher Created Materials.) She would see intriguing things I would post on Facebook, and because Karrie is a teacher, she wanted to know more!
My wheels began to turn. As I got to know Karrie better, learning more about her teaching style, experience, etc., it dawned on me we had an educational sales consultant role open in Houston! And Karrie just so happens to reside in the Houston area!
Karrie immediately sent me her resume. Although I’m not the hiring manager, I know what our company looks for in a sales consultant. And Karrie seemed to be a perfect fit!
Next, I forwarded her resume to my manager. I explained how I “knew” Karrie, but really didn’t. But I thought he should take a good look at her resume.
He did and was intrigued. After spending over an hour with her on the phone, Karrie was promoted to the next stage of the hiring process.
In less than three weeks, Karrie was hired on as the new Houston area sales consultant for Teacher Created Materials.
It took me nearly two years to secure my Simply Southern Cottage. The entire time I pondered and thought about what the Lord had in store for ME and why He made ME wait for two years. After meeting Karrie, it dawned on me. I had selfish motives. I was looking at The Wait for my cottage according to what the Lord held in store for ME. But MAYBE just MAYBE, the two year wait was about fulfilling another purpose entirely exclusive of me, but INCLUSIVE of my circumstances.
The Lord had to orchestrate the perfect timing. The Hodges family moving into my cottage in the 1970’s. The timing of Teacher Created Materials having an opening for a Houston area sales consultant. The two year wait it took me to secure my cottage. Perhaps ALL of those events were divinely arranged especially for Karrie, and the Lord simply used my circumstances as the vessel.
Karrie’s story is a perfect example of how the Lord orders our steps YEARS before He bestows the blessing. He carefully lays each footstone and pathway to bring us to the destiny that ushers in the greatest glory for Him. Some might say Karrie’s connection with me is just a coincidence. I say it is the Lord knowing her exact needs and laying the foundational work for such a time as this.
*This post first appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of The Minute Magazine. The edition can be viewed here: https://issuu.com/theminutemagazine/docs/jan_feb_2017_the_minute_magazine_is
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. I love nothing more than being able to trace the Lord’s hand. He doesn’t always allow me to see “behind the scenes,” but ohhhhh how my heart swells when He reveals the purpose behind His plan….a perfect example of why I seek Him with all my heart. Have there been times in your life when He’s allowed you to trace His hand? If so, I’d love for you to share in the comments below.