I heard a soft still voice say, “Tori, get ready for Kansas” over and over again and I wanted nothing to do with it. You see, my life was chaos. I had relationships in turmoil, I was trying to get a hold of my anxiety and depression, but at the same time, I had found such joy and purpose in my church, godly friendships and I could not imagine moving 450 miles away from life as I knew it.
But God! God continued to whisper to my heart “get ready for Kansas” and finally I allowed myself to come to terms of leaving Dallas, Texas to move to Overland Park, KS, a place where I knew absolutely no one. And we moved our little family of four, my husband and 2 daughters and myself into our new house the week of Thanksgiving in 2017.
If you are unfamiliar with the Midwest lifestyle, there’s a little something you should know. People do not leave their houses between November to about mid-March. They live in their basements entertaining themselves and sitting by a fireplace to warm them up from the dreary cold outside.
So you can imagine, in our neighborhood we met no one. We saw no one. It was the oddest thing! I really longed for friends and so I did what anyone else would do, I made a Facebook post. It was simple really, just asking my Facebook friends how they meet new people… and all it took was a friend of a friend seeing it and making a phone call.
A couple days after that post, the friend of a friend (from Texas) invited me to lunch. Said, “I know the feeling, let’s have lunch. And I’m going to invite another friend.” It was at that lunch that I met Tracy, and from that interaction my entire outlook changed on Kansas. Before I knew it, Kansas became HOME.
But what about life before Kansas? Here’s the cliff notes version, I grew up in Plano, Texas and graduated from Plano Senior High School. Got a job as a waitress at a local restaurant working the happy hour shift and as an 18 year old, that’s where I met my husband Andrew. Graduated from University of Texas at Dallas in 3 years, so Andrew and I could get married in May of 2008. I was only 21 years old. First 5 years of marriage, we travelled, started to figure out who we were as individuals and a married couple— lots of grace and forgiveness in those years. 9 days after our 5th anniversary, we welcomed our daughter Emsley into the world. 17 short months we welcomed our 2nd daughter, Juliet, to the family. After that.. we figured out what caused that… and got a TV. Ha! (I’m kidding!)
So there you have it… a little bit of my story.. and for the rest, I guess you just need to listen to the podcast ;)