|Benjamin and I on my last day at DHS|
A few months ago a dear friend asked me to lunch. I expected to talk about T. Teal's upcoming Community Care Pack Party or a few other events on the agenda, but quickly learned there was something else on her agenda. Before we got to that, however, I told my friend and staunch T. Teal supporter about the things God had been talking to me about and how He woke me up one night with a very clear nudge, "Tarah have you dedicated T. Teal to me? I know you do this for me, but is it mine?" My reply as I quickly arose startled from what I thought was a dream, "yes Lord it is yours, you can have all of it and I dedicate every care pack, every gas card, every grocery card, every Brave Shave, and every life touched through it to you. It is yours".
As we both pondered over what could've been an insignificant night of sleep, I continued saying " I am not sure what all God is going to do with T. Teal, but it's His do what he chooses". With tear filled eyes my friend leaned across the table and asked, "what would it take for you to do T. Teal full-time?". My first reply, "well probably a salary", and without hesitation she said, "that's exactly what I am asking!".
The tears that started during the story of dedicating T. Teal became a river as I realized the magnitude of this question, and right on time fear struck my heart, along with worry, insecurity, and doubt. I left lunch with the offer on the table, asking for time to figure out finances, insurance, and to pray.
Needless to say there were a lot of prayers sent up, more worry, more doubt, and all mingled in with excitement of the opportunity. Very clearly I asked God what I should do and what was His will, and very clearly I received the answer, signs if you will, to go, this was His doing.
Ben and I scheduled dinner with our friends and with a T. Teal business plan in hand the four of us discussed logistics. We learned these friends felt compelled to not only front a lot of their own money, but planned to approach friends and colleagues to create a salary fund for a full-time Executive Director position over the next three years.( I want to be clear! The salary I will be given from "T. Teal" will not come from any donations, T-shirt sales, fundraising etc. The money given by friends and supporters for the salary fund is given as an earmarked donation and kept separately from all other T. Teal accounts).
I am beyond excited for this new adventure and opportunity to expand T. Teal's outreach and impact, however, with this new adventure comes the closing of a significant chapter in my life. Yesterday I walked out of the DHS Child Welfare State Office for the last time. My career and calling for the last 9 years has been with DHS Child Welfare, which was my first job right out of college. I will cherish the lasting friendships I made during my time with the state, and reminisce on stories of the field and the clients I was able to impact during my time there.
So you can see how my life may have gotten a lot simpler, and yet more complicated as I seek to grow the grassroots organization that began during my own fight with Cancer. In closing I must say, I don't go forward in this new journey without fear, but as Joshua 1:9 reminds me, " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you.
Will you pray with me for God's will to continue to be done, and to be with all of us who seek to spread His Light and Hope to many fighting cancer?