A lot of things happened to me after I transferred out of AU. I registered for classes at Stephen F. Austin State University, a mid-sized school in East Texas, and changed my major to elementary education with an emphasis on special education and the intent to get an endorsement in education of the visually impaired. The day after I registered, I received a letter from AU with my financial aid award information. This is important because I had convinced myself that the reason for my transfer was that I would not be awarded enough financial aid in order to attend AU that year.
I continued trying to launch my music ministry in the East Texas area. However, I was also carrying around a lot of baggage from my past, and eventually I allowed it to take over my life and determine my actions. Emotional wounds are never good guides, and in time I found that I had given up all of the things that made me the person I would have enjoyed being around. I was dropping my classes, not attending church, not singing... All of this came to a head when my parents planned to move--to Anderson.
They asked me to go with them. I fought them. I was convinced that I could just decide to get back on my feet and start "living" again. ... But I would only have been focusing on getting a job and earning money, not doing what God had called me to do; and I knew this. So finally, I yielded and went with them.
In Anderson, my goal was to pick up the pieces of my life and start over. I had to confront the wounds of my past that had caused me to make a number of unhealthy decisions. I needed to clean up the mess in my life created by those decisions, address some health problems that had cropped up, take the last class needed for my degree, deal with the retirement of my first dog guide, and move on with life in whatever way God planned for me. ... One of the first orders of business was finding a church where I could participate actively. I wanted badly to return to singing as well as to work with children and participate in some kind of visitation ministry.
After trying a couple of churches and having some negative experiences, I came reluctantly to North Anderson Church of God. There was really no reason for me to want not to go to North; but there was no reason for me to want to go either. It was the lack of anything special about the church that pushed me away--and the fact that my parents liked it so much. I was 26 years old, and the last thing I wanted was to be seen as a little child being carted around with Mom and Dad. I already struggled enough to maintain a sense of dignity as it was. I would rather have found my own church to attend. But since I could find no better options, I tagged along to North.