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Follow to Lead

"Everything has a season; things evolve and it's important to be open to transition. If it lines up with God's word, no one should be afraid where He will lead them." -Kristal Childs '06


Kristal Childs

When Kristal (Arden) Childs was considering where she was going to attend college, she wasn't sure where she was going, but she didn't think her future included LeTourneau. "My mom worked at LeTourneau, I grew up in Longview and while I knew I wanted to go to a private Christian school, I didn't think it would be LETU," Childs said. Even though she received scholarships to other schools and visited them, she didn't feel God's direction until she stepped out of her car at LeTourneau's preview weekend. "I knew, the moment I put my feet on the ground on campus that this is where I was supposed to be. I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to LeTourneau and I knew that in that moment that this is where God wanted me," Childs remembered.

From then on, she never looked back and fully embraced life at LeTourneau by living on campus and eventually becoming a Resident Advisor her sophomore year. "I was 1 of 7 people that didn't have a declared major when I started," Childs said. However, she knew that her ultimate calling in life was to be a mother and God revealed to her that being a teacher would allow her to live out that calling and have a career, so she became a part of the education program. God also revealed another part of Kristal's future to her when He brought Doug Childs ('03) into her life. "Meeting Doug was just another part of God's plan for me to be at LeTourneau. He was a senior and I was a freshman when we met, and we got married the summer of 2006 after I graduated," said Childs.

Kristal and Doug began their lives together as she joined him in the education field, her teaching first grade and him teaching math and coaching competitive academics. But, almost immediately following their wedding, Kristal began to be contacted from others either asking to use some of the items from the Childs' wedding or asking for her help in styling their own weddings. "I started to think, this might actually be a thing and I thought that I should see where it could go," said Childs. So, she started Pursuing Eden, a specialty rental and retail business. She helped others style their events and had several pieces available for purchase or to rent, while continuing to work as a full-time teacher.

After five years of teaching, it became evident that God's intent for Kristal was to build her event and retail business into a full-time endeavor. "Of course, I was nervous, but I prayed for God's direction and He opened the doors for me," Childs said. When she left teaching to focus on the business, she was fully trusting in Gold's plan and knew she could use her creative talents to help others tell their story as they start their lives together. "A wedding can be the most stressful day in a person's life and all of that stress can wipe away the joy of the day. I just try to alleviate that stress and help a couple build their foundation as husband and wife which I believe helps to build and grow the Kingdom of God," said Childs. The journey even led to Kristal providing rentals for the weddings of two members of the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty.

As her event and retail business grew, people also began to seek Kristal's expertise in designing and styling their homes. "Again, I knew I had the ability and enjoyed it, but I just trusted in God to direct me as my business evolved," Childs said. For over two years, Kristal partnered with Kim Whyte to form Abide, an interior design duo and storefront, where she enjoyed sharing in the design journey with another believer. Kristal helps families design and style their homes and businesses. "It is an honor for people to ask me to help make their house a home and their safe place," said Childs.

Kristal's business life is not the only thing that has grown and evolved over the years. She and Doug have two daughters, 4-year-old Arden Rose and 1-year-old Sybil. "I have always known that my calling was to be a mother and to build a family, but I have also had the chance to help others start their futures, build their foundations and make a home for their families. I am thankful God has used me to be a part of their lives," Childs said.

"I have always strived to follow Gods' purpose for my life, even when I was unsure, I knew He would put me where I needed to be. He brought me to LeTourneau so I would be exposed to people different from me, people who would challenge me to think bigger. I have prayed for His will in my life and He has opened doors and I have jumped when He has told me it was time," Childs said of her faith in God.

She encourages other to be open to God's will as He will never lead anyone astray, "Everything has a season; things evolve and it's important to be open to transition. If it lines up with God's word, no one should be afraid where He will lead them."