At the age of 26, I’d given up hope that an artist could support oneself without the help of a counter support or another job — I was broke, divorced, and living on the daybed in my parents’ house questioning every life decision from my past, as well as how I would navigate my “new” future. For the first time in 10 years I started to believe the voice of my high school guidance counselor who said I couldn’t make a career out of dance, and I’d be better off going into sales with my personality.
It was around then that my dear friend and future husband shared with me the gifts that he saw God had given me and he opened my eyes and my heart to a purpose I had longed for. Sharing his faith with me and in me would be the single greatest gift he has ever given me. I knew I could have more impact in the lives of children and artists and began leaning into faith instead of fear.
It was then that I decided that I had never given up before. I wasn’t going to start now.
Brian and I married fast. A year later, I hit rock bottom after three rounds of IVF. My lifelong dream to become a mother didn’t seem to be in written into our story. After our third round, we lost twins. My world shattered.
In one year I looked faith and fear in the face — faith that God had gifted me my husband and fear that I would never experience motherhood, a role which I knew I was created for. The pendulum swing between faith and fear exhausted not only me but my inner circle.
Those were some dark days. The light in my life however at this time was our girl, Nikki. She was a dance student of mine who came into our life at the perfect time to show us what love looked like. Days spent with her in our home kept me going. She was the first of many blessings to come.
I still remember looking out on Easter Sunday and seeing our Christmas decorations still up as we left for church. Ordinary tasks are impossible when you are depressed.
On that Easter Sunday, I prayed like I had never prayed before and told God that I would continue to praise Him while I waited. That afternoon, we were preparing to host Brian’s family for Easter dinner, and God told me I was pregnant. Sure, enough I was. God’s gift, a miracle baby.
I wasn’t prepared to receive this news, and I didn’t even know what to do with. So I did what every expectant mother does. Nest! I instantly told Brian to go get Christmas down outside, we had some big news to share! That was the theme of the next 8 years, the Webers have big news to share!
Being a new mom changes your perspective on life. This world was no longer just about us. Leaning into our faith and stretching in generosity, being inspired to start something bigger than ourselves and that Nikki inspired in our hearts, God led us to moving, purchasing six acres, and opening our own business, a performing arts center. This small yes to Him changed our lives.
The gift we received was how our faith in God and each other grew exponentially. When Brinlee was 10 months old we found out we were pregnant again, with baby Haven. She arrived 21 days early, just 6 days after we purchased the 6 acres and began rehabbing the house. I’ve worked hard my entire life, whether it be in the classroom, on the ball field, or in the ballet studio. A strong work ethic is in my blood, and a strong will was given to me when I was born. Well, in this season work ethic and will came in handy. And so did the realizations that mentors make all the difference in what you want to do and what you actually do. Misty, Tom, & Jason you have changed the playing field for me.
We now had an 18 month old, a newborn, and a new arts center to build founded on community and giving back. We broke ground and poured the concrete, and I found out I was, yes pregnant AGAIN! Baby Gevyn would arrive 7 months after the launch of the business. We give all the Glory to God for these amazing miracles and gifts and the grit and grace it has taken to raise babies while building businesses.
When we launched the arts center, it became very clear that it would be multi-location. After much prayer, we landed on a location just 25 minutes from our first location. We were positive this was where we were being led. That door quickly closed because we were unable to provide the capital needed to partner with the organization building out the community center. We looked at another location, but we closed that door because I wasn’t going to put a quarter of a million dollars into someone else’s building. The day we closed the door on a deal, was the day the other door re-opened. It turns out we were to launch our second location and did in 2016.
Brinlee was 5, Haven was 4, Location 1 was 3, Gevyn was 2, Location 2 was a newborn. Oh yeah, and Nikki was in college. Life seemed on the outside like we had it all together, but that was far from true. Our marriage was falling apart, and Brian would walk through the darkest depression and crisis of faith of his life.
After a painful struggle and a lot of hard work, I am thankful to say Brian is out of depression, out of the rat race of the 9-5 corporate grind, and we are fully self-employed. Our marriage and family are thriving, thanks to Jeff, our marriage therapist!
I give praise to God every day for this life, for Brian, Nikki, Brinlee, Haven, and Gevyn. The fact that we get to spend each and every day learning, growing, working, dreaming and chasing lions together is nothing short of heaven on earth. We just launched our third location in January of 2018, formed our real estate development company, and launched our retail wholesale company that is making global impact one artist at a time. Together we are on a mission to give every child access to the arts! #GECATTA
Through the journey we have faced unfathomable pain and undeserving promise. If I could share anything with anyone, it’s this:
adversity IS your advantage with faith. Don’t give up. Lean in.