Tracy’s faith journey began with a quest.
She had thrived professionally through the ranks at Texas Roadhouse—from waitress to bartender to management. Her bubbly personality helped her make friends and connect with customers. She had financial security and savings. On the outside, she had everything she thought she should need.
But inside, she was empty. She couldn’t shake the idea that there had to be more.
So, Tracy quit her job.
“Leaving Texas Roadhouse was one of the hardest things I ever had to do!” she said. “It didn’t make sense to leave. This company had poured into me for 12 years. These people were my family. This company gave me purpose, and I loved my job.”
After putting in her resignation, she filled a backpack and booked a one-way flight to Southeast Asia. She was on a quest to find herself, find her purpose, find God. While there, she experienced every feeling—all the heights and depths of the emotional spectrum.
She made sincere, lasting friendships that would forever change how she viewed the world, especially with a Vietnamese family who immediately embraced her as one of their own. She had never felt that kind of instant connection, as if they’d always been a part of her. She knew that relationship would last forever.
And through it all, Tracy prayed. She found God. She realized He had been with her all along.
Once she returned to Louisville, Tracy began attending Southeast and slowly inched closer to God. In each service, group, and conversation, she felt encouraged and empowered to live completely for Jesus. She couldn’t wait to get involved.
Soon, God started calling her to serve and obey Him with the gifts He’d already given her.
Browsing through a Ministry Partners booklet, she discovered Maya Collection, where refugee women make artisan goods to support their families. Fresh from Southeast Asia, Tracy longed for those connections like she’d made overseas, and she was curious about how she could get involved. The Spirit moved her forward.
At first, Maya Collection was just a way for Tracy to volunteer and get connected with something purposeful. She was still bartending several nights a week unsure of what her next steps would be. She thought she might be a missionary and live overseas more permanently, so she waited patiently, served faithfully, and continued to grow in her understanding of God’s role in her life.
It didn’t take long for Tracy to realize that serving the women at Maya Collection could be a true calling. The Spirit confirmed that she was there intentionally. He had brought her to that place, and she had never experienced such a sense of purpose, hope, and joy as she walked alongside the refugees. For every participant, using their hands to make beautiful things brought healing, restoration, and a source of income for their struggling families.
After four years as a volunteer, Tracy joined the staff of Maya Collection as their Assistant Director. In the last two years, God has grown the ministry’s depth and impact. As it grows, the ministry can empower even more refugee women. Together, they make a difference, encourage one another, and find hope.
“Maya Collection makes me feel like this could be the reason I was created,” Tracy explained. “It has transformed my life and the lives of others.”
One of the most amazing things Tracy has ever seen God do was connect her to a missionary who lived in Southeast Asia. She had been praying for her friends in Vietnam for a very long time and had learned they had to shut down their shop because of COVID. Her heart ached for them and she prayed that God would give her something she could do. He moved quickly.
Through a friend of a friend, Tracy met a woman who was able to go and sit with Tracy’s friends in Vietnam. This woman prayed with them, laughed with them, shared meals with them, and helped design shoes with them. After a few months of life with her new friends, the missionary came all the way to Louisville and visited Tracy. The missionary had brought back several pairs of sandals so Maya Collection could sell them in their shop.
“God is bold. He does big things. He can move mountains! When I couldn’t go back to Vietnam, he brought Vietnam back to me,” Tracy remembered.
Now, her Vietnamese friends are filled with joy because they can find work with Maya Collection.
As Tracy began spending more of her time with the women at Maya Collection
, she realized God wasn’t just moving her heart—He was moving her home. She connected with CrossRoads Missions
and became one of their intentional community homeowners just a few minutes from Maya Collection.
Not everyone understood why a vibrant, single woman would move to an unfamiliar area. But God had directed her steps, and Tracy was learning to follow Him.
Tracy moved to her house during the early days of the COVID pandemic, when social distancing and self-isolation were the safest way forward. How do you engage the neighborhood around you when you can’t invite them over, host a gathering, or even meet up for coffee? Like in so many other areas of her life, God invited Tracy to be patient. To wait. To know Him better.
Ultimately, Tracy used what she could. She walked her enormous rescued Great Dane through her neighborhood and made friends with everyone she saw. She engaged the people she did have access to and waited for God to open the doors to more. She prayed and she listened and she hoped.
Now, Tracy knows her neighbors. She visits refugees in their homes. She walks her sweet blind and deaf dog, and she prays for the people God puts in her path.
AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
Thinking about who she was when she booked a ticket and flew across the world, Tracy hardly recognizes that girl anymore. She almost forgets she was ever that lost, that alone, and that scared. God has transformed her so completely, and following Him has been a much greater adventure than she could have imagined.
Tracy no longer has to journey alone anymore. In her quest to follow Him, God brought her a whole community of believers who accompany her. Now, there are people who pray with her, listen with her, and encourage her every day to live like Jesus in each area of her life.
As different as things are for Tracy, she’s still learning and growing every day. She still tries to do things her own way with her own strength. More often than she’d prefer, she has to go back to repentance and re-alliance with His Spirit. He is teaching her to trust Him, to lean into His plans, and to wait as patiently as necessary for His guidance.
There are things Tracy wants—things she always thought she would have—like a husband, family, and life overseas. Instead of those desires, God has given her a room full of refugee women who laugh and cry and create together. He’s given her a neighborhood, broken and beautiful, for her to love with the grace of Christ. And He’s shown her that He is faithful and good. Now, she walks with Him, in the security of His unending love forever.
And that’s the greatest adventure.