Raw & Real

 

God has a plan.

How many times has someone told you that?  I'm probably one of them, if I've ever talked to you.  Because I know, from life's journey, that God does have a plan.  And our plan is not always the same as His....

With that said, a lot of people ask me what made me open a boutique?  Most assume it''s the love of clothes, and that is partially true.  Well, it's reallllly true because I do love clothes, shoes....the way the feel, the way they can make you feel.  But that's not why I started.  The store actually probably saved me and gave me purpose.

See, when you look at my pic, which I don't do very often, you probably don't see the things I do.  I see a drawed eye, a slanted smile.  These things I struggle with.  But today, I'm embracing them because they are part of my story.  So...here's a little piece of me and how frey helped save me.

By the time I was 32, I had three children.  I was always going, taking care of, never stopping.....I was the mom that was always at the schools, never missed a game or practice with any of them....I was at EVERY event.  VBS, church camp...I was there. My house was immaculately clean.  I'm talking scrub with a toothbrush in the floors kind of clean.  I busted it to be the best mom, wife and daughter that I could be.  But while I was doing that, I was letting myself go.  I didn't always eat like I should, never went to the doctor for myself...even though I knew something was wrong.  And then....it happened.

We were going from church camp to the ballgame (because I had to be everywhere...I would not dare disappoint anyone).  I knew I felt funny.  My head hurt, like it had been for quiet a while.  I started to go numb.  I went to the ballgame, but after that, everything becomes a blur.  Because I had a stroke.  Unknowingly, I had had multiple mini strokes.  The discovery of the strokes led to the beginning of finding out about multiple health issues.  I had Lupus...the kind that attacks your internal organs.  I had something called Chiari Malformation and needed to have brain surgery.   Unfortunately, I couldn't have it because the Lupus was attacking my blood, which had caused my stroke and the dangers outweighed the surgery at this point. ( I still haven't had that surgery...I put it off every year.  You see, I know God has a plan.  And I know He can heal. ) 

Fast forward thru multiple doctor visits weekly, hospitals, medications....lots of them, with my momma by my side the whole time.  Every doctor visit.  I took a chemo pill to help with the Lupus.  I continued to have TIA's (mini strokes) through out my life.  I still do.  I remember crying in the shower as gobs of hair would come out.  My memory came and went...I still forget things.  It seemed like every time I turned around, the doctor was finding something new.  I was ready to give up.  

And then.....I stopped.  I decided I wasn't going to just lay around and do nothing.  I needed something that I enjoyed.  I HAD to survive.  I had to make it to see my kids graduate high school.  That was my goal.

Dave, my husband, and I talked.  And to be quiet honest, I don't remember how it started.  He knew I needed something to keep my mind occupied.  I started designing t-shirts for my kids and other moms.  Then I started selling them out of the trunk of my car.  Then...we decided to open a small store.  Just a couple of days a week....a few hours.  Luckily we had the property.  I just needed a few things to fill it up.  I called it Sweet Peas because that's what my mom called me and I called my kids that.  October 2009....The doors of Sweet Peas opened.  And it was so much more than just a boutique.  It kept me going.  It gave me a reason to push and get up.  To be strong.  It gave me purpose.

Sweet Peas grew.  More than i ever imagined it could.  I rebranded and changed the name to "frey" (pronounced free) coming from the last four letters of my last name.  With the growth, there have been so many obstacles.  My health still comes and goes.  I have good weeks, bad weeks.  I am so blessed to have a staff that knows me.  They know when I need to be home.  And I know they can handle everything.  

But here's the thing.  During this time, my relationship with Christ has became something I can't describe.  Peace.  Comfort.  JOY.  I know that God had this all planned out.  I know that my purpose is to be here.  Not only to sell clothes that I love, but I get to share my story with others...I get to listen to them, encourage them.  I get to help make women feel good about themselves, even if they are going thru something traumatic. To know they are beautiful, and have a purpose.  And they are enough, no matter what.   I get to share my FAITH....my love for GOD.....I have seen my girls grow personal relationships with God.  And that, in itself, could have been God's plan.  

The future?  We don't ever know.  But I do know this.  I thank God for every trial, every mountain and every glory that has came my way.  Even that drawed eye and slanted smile.  

And guess what?  My two youngest graduate high school in just a few weeks.  Together.  I made it this far.  

xoxo. 

Val

 


5 comments


  • Amanda Jent

    Thank you for sharing your story & testimony. I can relate in so many ways.

    I too own a small boutique (our of my design studio & home) and am overcome with joy to share my encouragement & love for the Lord with other women. I’m struggling thru a trying time at the present & praying its in God’s will to stay on this path He has me on….to grow my business in ways I can’t eve imagine.

    Good Luck & Take care of U!!


  • Janet Goff

    Oh Val!!!! What an insight into you this was for me! You are so very beautiful on the outside, but this proves we all struggle on the inside. I so look forward to growing with you and “doing” life together while learning what the Lord has specifically designed for us and our new little d-group. This just makes me excited to be a part of the next chapter of your story!!!


  • Dawn Saterfield

    You are a strong woman. I just wanted to let you know you are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for the story.


  • Dawn Saterfield

    You are a strong woman. I just wanted to let you know you are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for the story.


  • Angela

    Thank you for sharing and just so glad you are still here with us girl, to be an inspiration and shining light!!


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