Never Give Up

On April 11, when The Real Housewives of Dallas premieres on BravoTV, I’m going to have the thrill of witnessing a friend’s dream come true.

I first met Tiffany Hendra almost ten years ago, when she was working as a costume manager for Muse of Fire and my nervous self went out to Hollywood to appear in it. It was definitely a dream-come-true to appear in this documentary based on Operation Homecoming — my first time being nationally published. These are projects I will always, always be grateful to have been a part of. Not only was it hugely meaningful from a military wife’s perspective to share our story, it opened doors for me that wouldn’t have opened otherwise. And it created multiple friendships that have endured.

You couldn’t exactly call Tiffany and me BFFs, and people probably wonder why I’m gushing over her new show as if she’s a close relative or something. I’m not even sure I can fully explain it, but there’s just a kindred-spirit-ness there. I can resonate with this quote on her site: “Sometimes when we’re running from our past, we run smack into our purpose.”

We’ve had some meaningful conversations and discovered that we have a lot in common regarding struggles in our teenage and young adult years, as well as our individual pursuits of God and commitment to faith. Her and husband, Aaron Hendra’s involvement with war orphans in South Sudan was one of the things that first opened my eyes and heart to the needs of children in East Africa. Without divulging personal information, there have just been a lot of warm little God-connections through the years. We even share a birthday.

As she tweeted today, “PINCH ME! So wild to be heading back to my old hood LA for the biggest moment of my career. This is why ya NEVER GIVE UP! #GodRocks #RHOD.”

It’s refreshing to see humility, and feels so fantastic to see her light shine to a wider audience worldwide. She has worked so hard for everything she’s achieved and call me sappy, but it’s incredibly encouraging to see what a strong woman and God can accomplish together!

While she’s been actively climbing the career ladder the past ten years, I’ve been mostly on the mommy track. I’ve needed to work part-time from home, and it’s been a slow, anti-climactic journey following that high in 2006-2007. God has been gracious and given me a six-year run as a newspaper columnist, and after that ended in 2012, various freelancing gigs. This time last year, I was working both for a friend’s web design firm and another friend’s content company. It was good, steady work and I enjoyed it.

But then, within a month of each other, both of these friends made major career moves. All of a sudden, my work was gone.

A memory surfaced on Facebook yesterday. I should just post the screen shot of it here:


Now, let’s fast-forward one year (one incredibly stressful, difficult year that if given the choice, I WOULD have fast-forwarded through!) to this picture:


That’s me, standing outside Cox Media, after a business meeting last week that marked the beginning of my newest gig as a family and parenting web content creator for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

After ten long, jobless months, it’s a blessing to be working again. And during that meeting, it was a simple pleasure to “adult” again. With other adults…and no kids in sight!

In light of my new job, I posted yesterday this response to that memory from a year ago:


I hadn’t seen Tiffany’s post yet, but once again our thoughts fell on the same page. Just don’t give up. No matter how long the darkness lasts, no nighttime lasts forever. Keep pushing until you get there.

Never, ever, ever give up.

I know that there is still a lot in me, more things I want to accomplish, more things I need to achieve. I feel it inside me, like women often know intuitively about a new pregnancy before the test even comes back positive. A former pastor of mine used to say that when you’re going to birth something new, it makes its presence known.

I can pretty much guarantee that whatever awaits around the curves in my road, it won’t include a major role as a Bravo Housewife! But Tiffany’s success makes me realize this truth anew:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

-1 Corinthians 2:9