“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.
Have you ever met someone who strikes you as humble right off the bat? How about loyal – and kind to the bone? Me, too.
Brad and Beverly Williams came to Austin after several years of fast-paced life in Dallas. Beverly worked in the high-stress world of celebrity fashion, where she catered to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Brad was doing his thing at IBM and doing it well, but when an opportunity to move to Austin came across their path, like a lot of us, they jumped on it. It was a fresh start, an exciting adventure, and a chance to get out of the rat race of big city life.
But, as a famous person once said, “Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans.”
Beverly and Brad had been in Austin nine short months when a little bit of “life” happened, and Brad was laid off from IBM (with about 250 of his colleagues). “Now, what?” they found themselves wondering. Can you just imagine? Newcomers barely know their way around the neighborhood grocery store in nine months. How were they going to navigate the ins and outs of the job market in a city they could barely call home?
That’s when they held on. Tight. To their faith in God – and to each other.
Neither Brad nor Beverly were all that accustomed to hardship, but they were also no strangers to resilience. If it would require extra effort to get through this, then get through this they would. They buckled down, put their combined never-give-up strategies to work, and trudged on. They started attending Riverbend Church and soon joined up with other couples for regular evenings of dinner and encouragement.
Brad went to work at Dell, they bought a house, put down roots, and parented their two children as if life were all about hard work and adventure – in the midst, and in spite of, whatever trials and tribulations come your way.
When we had dinner with Brad and Beverly, we just sat back and enjoyed the stories. One after another, the little details melded with the big ones, and before we knew it, the server wanted us to order dessert or get on out of there.
So we ordered dessert.
Bread pudding to share – at The Blue Dahlia Bistro. Yummmm.
Brad was raised in a household of four kids and a mom and dad who were both school teachers. Every summer, they packed the station wagon and camped their way along America’s highways and byways. It didn’t take much to fold up camp each night – it was mostly the metal bed attached to the roof of the car!!! The kids slept up top – the parents inside on the folded down car seats. They drove and saw the sights and learned all manner of things from their shared experiences. When half the money was gone, it was time to turn toward home. No wonder Brad is so fascinating!
(This isn’t the actual rig – but the way Brad described it, I’m thinking it’s pretty close!)
Beverly’s life has been much more exciting since she met Brad than before. She’s had the joys and thrills of being a wife and a mom – and over the last 10 years, a super successful Realtor. People can’t say enough about how easy it is to work with Beverly when they’re buying a house. She’s relaxed and organized, yet thorough and on the leading edge.
After Beverly attended a seminar on current trends in the field of real estate, we had a pretty lively conversation about the changing structure of the market, now that millennials are the ones buying homes. She just really, truly knows her stuff. (Read more about Beverly here.)
Bradley (as only Beverly calls him) and Beverly have come a long way from where they started. They’ve learned how to trust God in the midst of uncertainty, all the while remaining the same people they’ve always been. Humble, kind, loyal and faithful.
The Williamses have definitely ramped up their travel experiences over the years, which have included exotic destinations and excursions like waterfall repelling and zip lining in Costa Rica – and even snorkeling in a lightening storm off the coast of Belize. This is a couple who loves adventure, and it would be that way even if they were the ones in the station wagon today. Beverly says that they approach all their fun in the same way, with a see-it-all attitude, even if it’s a one-day trip to the Texas State Fair. (If you’re reading this thinking, wow, I want to zip line in Costa Rica, check this out.)
Our evening with Brad and Beverly came to a reluctant close. It was getting dark, and the server was ready to go home. So we hugged goodnight and resolved to do it again soon.
Both Brad and Beverly would say that the greatest adventure of all has been learning how much God loves them and watching his promised plans for their lives play out. You’ll see them every Sunday morning, where they volunteer at the outdoor Involvement Center on the beautiful campus of Riverbend Church.
They’re two B’s in a very happy pod.
Encouraging intentional adventure, wherever the road takes you and your station wagon (or zip line),
PS – If you’re in a spot where you’re not so sure God has a purpose or a plan, stay in hope and don’t give up! 😀