My husband and I recently found ourselves on our first big marriage adventure. He was offered a position as part of the management staff at a brand new Cheesecake Factory location. Out of state. We were both thrilled that he was approached by a company he had never worked for, but had heard a lot about his work ethic, dedication, and drive to succeed thanks to his wonderful brother-in-law, a Cheesecake Factory veteran.
The decision to start a new chapter of our lives in a new state was hardly difficult. Throughout my life, I have moved probably 15 times. Many of these moves were from one house to another within the same city – an investment strategy on my parents’ part. I acquired a real need for change on a 2-3 year basis. So it only made sense that God would provide us this opportunity close to 3 years into my stay in the town that brought me my first “grown up,” after college job. I was ecstatic.
Of course we discussed the implications of me needing to find a new job (rather quickly), and leaving a position I had only held for about 8 months. Plus, we would need to find a subleaser for our apartment and find a new place to live after the move. I wasn’t worried about all the details working out – I knew they would, and I had full faith that God would take care of us. This was His gift to us, after all.
Everything ended up working out famously with our living situation, my job, start dates, etc. On top of that, I found my Mecca in this new town of ours. It’s like gluten free heaven. Every restaurant I have been to either has a (substantial) gluten free menu, or they are knowledgeable and can accommodate my dietary needs. Our previous town was pretty good about having dining out choices for me, but there had been enough cross-contamination slip-ups that we wound up going to the same places over and over.
We have had the chance to visit a few of the great restaurants here, and I have had even more exposure due to my workplace’s client hosting and location (walking distance to several places). We were given a heads up by one of my old high school friends to try a trendy spot whose ENTIRE MENU is gluten free. I had to clarify that about a thousand times. Even when we went for brunch (BRUNCH!), I asked our server if she was sure everything was gluten free. I mean, they were trying to serve me pancakes, biscuits, French toast… and I didn’t have to worry about getting sick, someone not changing their gloves…nothing? I was hesitant to even order anything; something inside me won’t let me eat things that are supposed to be “off-limits.” That died quickly. We ordered pretty much one of everything.
I didn’t hold back when J told me to get whatever I wanted off the menu. We ordered French toast, pancakes, biscuits with preserves, and cheesy grits. Absolutely nothing went uneaten. I’m sure our waitress thought we were either having our last meal or we were very hungover. I didn’t even care. I was in disbelief when everything tasted like “the real thing.” I wanted to talk to the chef. And the owner. And whoever else was involved in making this perfect eatery happen. I am indebted. I can eat breakfast! I can dine out without even mentioning the fact that I am gluten free, singled out, needy… everything I experience when going to other restaurants. It was invigorating. I couldn’t stop smiling. I probably looked like a crazy person.
For everything this move has taught us in regards to patience with each other, trusting in God, and growing closer together, I am totally grateful. Plus, pancakes are just down the road.