As a lot of you know, I’m originally from sunny Southern California. Born in West Covina (Shout out to the creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and raised in Fontana/San Bernardino for the first 15 years of my life.
2014/2015 is when my world started shifting. Our next door neighbors at the time were packing up their house to move to Austin because the cost of living in California was OUTRAGEOUS. Before they moved they handed my dad some brochures of the homes in Texas. The seed was planted. He shared this information with my mom. However, they didn’t share this with me till way later (good call, parentals).
I was starting my sophomore year in high school and finally fitting in–a very crucial time for any teenager. At this point my parents had kind of shared non-nonchalantly about the idea of maybe, possibly moving to Texas. It was a hard no for me. It was like my parents knew this would be my response, so they didn’t bring it up again.
I thought they were insane for even considering leaving our home, extended family, friends, church, and schools. This was all we’d ever known as a family.
Some time later (although I don’t think it was too long after. The timing of this event is a little foggy to me) mom and I were in the car driving to see a relative. We’re on the freeway and out of nowhere I start tearing up, it was like an out of body experience what I was feeling and about to confess. I turned to my mom as she was driving and told her “Mom, I think we need to move to Texas”. Now I’m full on sobbing, completely unaware that those words just changed the rest of our lives. Mom pulls over onto the shoulder of the freeway and she’s sobbing!
I’m like, dude you wanted this. Why are YOU sobbing? But that’s not why she was crying.
She told me that her and my dad prayed and brought this idea before Him and said “Lord, if it is Your will for us to move to Texas You will confirm it through Keilah.” I was the fleece thrown to the Lord, asking for a sign and for a tangible confirmation (Judges 6:36-40).
I had everything to lose: friends, family, school, comfort, security. I had nothing to gain…so I thought.
We sold our home in record time, received above the asking price, we sold every bit of furniture and really just anything and everything that belonged to us. We DROVE from San Bernardino, California to Keller, Texas with our Honda Accord and the clothes on our backs.
At some point we entered Texas and stopped at a gas station to stretch our legs and get some snacks. As we were about to walk in, an older man with a cowboy hat was exiting and stopped…..to hold the door open for me and mom. We both kind of paused and looked strangely at him like “Uhm, are we supposed to tip him? Are we about to be ‘Taken’?” He simply wanted to hold the door open for us, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THEY DO IN THE SOUTH. He was our great welcome into Texas.
November 4th, 2015 we arrived in Keller, stayed in an apartment until we moved into our dream house on December 19th, 2015. This is a home we could only have dreamed of having when we were in California. Our Cali home was infested with rats, old as dirt and the San Manuel Casino was our backyard. Our Texas home was brand spanking new, two story, high ceilings—no rats!
I made incredible friends in my new high school, I found out I had a knack for acting and got actively involved in theater. I went to an incredible Bible College in Dallas, through connections made at the Bible college I heard about Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and made sure I got my degree from there. I met my husband in Texas! He’s never even been to California!!!
15 year old Keilah could not have known, dreamed or imagined the blessings that would’ve come with moving to Texas. I only saw what I would be losing. Turns out that what was waiting for me in Dallas/Fort Worth was WAY better than I could ever think up.
Now, you’re probably like “Okay, Keilah, Texas isn’t THAT great. Surely there are some things Cali is better at than Texas”. To that I would say, yes, you’re right. See the list below.
- Texas doesn’t have Mexican food. They have Tex-Mex which is garbage with a sombrero.
- Texas doesn’t have mountains. How will I know where North is?
- Texas doesn’t have beaches. Texas has Galveston and that is toilet water.
Three cons against a long list of pros? Not even a competition. Like the bumper sticker reads : I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could!