“Patience was the key thing I had to learn. I am only now realizing all of the blessings I’ve had.”
When Stacy bought her 2001 Alero, getting flood insurance on a car wasn’t the first thing on her mind. It’s not something most people would think about. But getting renter’s insurance to cover her personal possessions should have been something she thought about. Like so many other people, Stacy didn’t think she had anything of value that someone would be looking to steal, so the monthly cost of renter’s insurance didn’t make sense in her mind. Stacy’s mistake, however, was thinking that theft was the only thing that would threaten everything she owned.
On the morning of Saturday, May 1, 2010 it was another ordinary late spring day in Nashville, TN. The fact that the rain had not stopped falling from the night before wasn’t that alarming either until the morning turned into early afternoon, and the area creeks began to swell. By late afternoon, flood warnings and watches were abundant throughout the Middle Tennessee area, and major streets and interstates began to take on water. Except for those who were directly impacted by the closed streets, life in Nashville seemed to go on as normal, even as the irony that day — May Day — began to grow!
Stacy lived with a roommate who had a home that sat above a large pond. Three days after the rain began, and just 48 hours after the initial Nashville flooding, there was a second flood created in part by the release of water to help save neighborhoods from flooding. Only this release impacted the entire Cumberland River areas including the neighborhood where Stacy lived. Within hours, the streets surrounding and leading in to the neighborhood were under water, and the flooding was creeping closer and closer to the home where Stacy had decided to ride it out in. The next day, after having to be boated out, Stacy and her roommate returned to see neighbors’ homes damaged by the flooding, contents of their homes destroyed by the waters. But by the grace of God, the interior of their home was saved. Though the waters had come up, they did not come in to the home. Everything inside, where Stacy’s clothes, books, music, and personal possessions lay in wait, was safe. But her car was not as lucky. Enough water had risen and flooded it to the point of being totaled.
Stacy didn’t know what she was going to do. She had recently been hit with a huge financial pay cut at the company where she worked; a decision the owners implemented rather than laying people off in the middle of the recession. Before the pay cut, Stacy had been making plans to purchase her own home; and now this. “Not finding a home during my initial house hunt ended up being a blessing due to the unexpected financial change at work,” she thought back. “But I wasn’t expecting a flood to overtake my car!”
God was looking out for Stacy. The things in the house that didn’t have insurance, wasn’t touched by the flood waters. And unbeknownst to her, the insurance policy she’d taken out on the car actually had coverage for flooding. So with that, Stacy once again saw first hand how God had taken care of her through another potential financial crisis.
Two years later, Stacy had moved on to renting her own place. Though she was paying the exact amount she’d prayed over prior to the move, 2012 still proved to be a financially trying time for her. “Mostly it came down to me not being wise in how I was spending my money,” said Stacy. “It was that I was being frivolous with my spending, it’s that I wasn’t always being wise. And I also didn’t expect that after three years, our company had still not moved me back up to the salary I was making when they hired me.”
Fortunately for Stacy, her dog-sitting client list and frequency of services continued to grow. By 2013, Stacy began to reap the benefits of the previous years as she saw her “job on the side,” becoming a legitimate business, working several hours a week; and at times, even a week or more at a time. After several people over the course of a few days all encouraged her to start an official business – Camp Stacy was launched in the summer of 2013!
The services at Camp Stacy includes dog sitting while the owner is away, and dog walking services when they can’t get back home to let their dogs out during the day. “I work with people who travel a lot with their companies; many of whom don’t want to board their dogs in a kennel while they’re away. I also work with those who are at jobs that don’t have the kind of flexibility they need to return home in the middle of the day to let their dogs out.” The company’s services range from simply letting pets out for fresh air and checking on their food and water supply, to playing with and entertaining client’s dogs, to walking them for up to 30 minutes one or two times a day. For established clients, Camp Stacy is also available for overnight doggie services.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“I’m really excited that what started off as a service I offered for my friends, turned into a business that I enjoy doing for people who are hearing about me through word-of-mouth,” Stacy said as she reflected on the past few years, while looking towards the future at the bigger picture. “While I’m not sure where this new business will take me, one of the immediate rewards I get isn’t just about establishing more financial security for myself, but it’s also enabling me to get involved in other passion projects.”
Six years ago, in 2007, Stacy joined some of her friends in what was to just be another movie night. It was that night, while watching the movie, Taken, when she began hearing more about the growing issue of sex trafficking. “The Lord really started putting it on my heart to get involved, but the only thing that I saw was the ‘rescue’ side of it. I knew that was not for me, because I knew emotionally I would not be able to separate myself from all of that.”
Over the next four years, Stacy started being introduced to people who were involved in helping to educate others about sex trafficking, and as a result, she learned more about the different aspects involved. With her newfound secondary income in place, Stacy was now able to start volunteering her time to help trafficking organizations. Currently Stacy is working for Rescue1Mission, an awareness and action initiative designed to assist the Church and the global community to combat Human Trafficking through education and mobilization. “Ideally, what I would like to do is to train groups about the reality of human trafficking, and to help people understand how damaging pornography is, including it being one of the root causes of sex trafficking.”
Everything has started coming together for Stacy. With a background working as a nanny, and an unexplainable desire to move to Nashville for most of her teen and young adult years, Stacy now wonders if it was all for such a time as this. “I’ve always had a heart for women and children, and seeing the injustice of human and sex trafficking makes me mad. When I think about the stolen innocence of children, I can’t sit by and do nothing.”
Stacy loves her life and living in Nashville. She is single, is active in her church’s women’s ministry, and still enjoys listening to country music. “I have a great group of single gals in my life, a church where I’m learning more and more about God, a new business that’s growing, and now a new purpose in my life working with these organizations.”
For more information on sex trafficking, please visit http://www.rescue1mission.com