Do you ever think about how much belief God has in you? He wants good things for you, to give you a future and to be in it with you. How amazing is that? That the King of Kings would find it a great priority to Him to believe in each one of us and want to be in the thick and thin of our lives. Chelsey Argo has a beautiful brave story expressing just this, that God cares so much about us, He's a good daddy that wants to give us good things.
The lady behind the fulfillment of a dream, The Cowboy Lady & Company, is myself, Chelsey Argo. The inspiration behind the true cowboy lady is… “an attitude, a pioneer spirit; faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses; is passionate and free.” As you read my story, you will see that this inspiration was drawn from the pieces of my journey.
I am 26 years old and engaged to the love of my life, Brad Nelms. He is a stock contractor from Bristol, Virginia and keeps my life full and always entertaining. I currently live in Armuchee, GA- a small town in North Georgia, but will soon be moving to Bristol after our wedding on October 8th.
“What’s your story?” That is a question I have always struggled to answer. I had always thought I didn’t have one- but really, God had not revealed the big picture to me yet. I was raised in Snellville, Georgia in the home that my dad also grew up in. I have two sisters and a brother who I always have described to people as “way cooler than me.” We grew up in church, going to youth group and on mission trips, and always had an open home that our friends felt comfortable coming to. My parents have a beautiful marriage and have continually showered us with love. I had the best childhood.
Now I’ve learned, when there is a lot of good, that’s the time to be on guard. When we are the happiest, that is when the devil looks for ways to cause us pain and heartache. Growing up I always felt drastically different than my peers, regardless of what stage of life I was in at the time. God and I established a pretty strong bond from the time I was little and I could understand that it was about having a relationship versus a religion. I always thought differently about life than my friends, and from an early age talked with God before I even made a move. I was the little girl that wanted to do it right from the beginning, instead of making a mistake. If I upset my parents, it completely broke my heart- I did not like them to be disappointed in me. Now that may sound really great on paper, but being that sensitive to the world is not easy. Not following the crowd makes you some kind of an outsider. I was that outsider from an early age, or so it seemed. But in reality, I just could not see the big picture.
The Cowboy Lady & Company came out of a low time in my life. I was lonely and scared that I would never meet the one that God had for me, and I was working a job that I was not passionate about. Additionally, I was in the middle of a very happy time for all of my friends. They were all getting engaged, married, and having children. I rejoiced with them, but would come home feeling so disheartened and empty. I would be thinking, “Really God? Is this all that you have for me?” At that point in time, I had been single for three years. I did not feel like God had given me the go ahead yet and was beginning to wonder if there was a man that He had for me. The biggest desire of my heart was to find this man and to raise a family with him. It was at that lowest low that I literally could not do anything but pray. It felt like all that I did was pray during that time. I went through my days searching for any sign of hope, anything to grab hold of to keep me going. It was then, at the very bottom, when I felt the most helpless and forgotten - that I changed my prayer. I instead began praying earnestly, not for God to change my circumstances, but to change my mindset. I asked Him to give me something to focus on so that I did not sit and be upset about where my life was at that moment. I am not the type to get depressed, but at that point in my life I was doing everything I could not to let that happen. I was at a cross-roads. I could move on with confident hope that I was loved and not forgotten, or I could let my overwhelming sadness and hopelessness overtake me- the choice was mine.
I spent many many nights in tears on my little back porch in the Valley just crying to God. And I believe with my whole heart that I reached a point where I could do nothing else but listen, wait and trust. I have always trusted that God had a plan for my life, but it was easier for me to believe it for anyone but myself. I could be there for a friend going through a rough time and believe with my whole heart that they were going to be o.k., and that God was up to something. My biggest struggle was believing it for myself.
Life looks scary and overwhelming when we try to look past the day that we are in. God began giving me what I considered gifts of hope within my days. With these gifts, he took my mind off the loneliness that had been such an overwhelming presence in my life. I lived alone on 35 acres that I managed for my elderly landlords. Well, the grass started growing, which led to lots of bush-hogging. The horses needed work, which led to riding. My landlord’s grandchildren became obsessed with horses, which led to teaching lessons - I think you get the picture. I began to feel like I had a purpose to my days. I can not pinpoint the exact day that it happened, but I can tell you it was like the idea had always been in my heart, and finally made its way to my head. I was on the tractor one day having my quiet time, which I seemed to do a lot in those days, and all of a sudden the Cowboy Lady & Company began taking shape in my mind. My heart and mind were already in a better place. God had restored my thinking from “I have no idea what to do,” to “ I can do this.” I mean, what better way to spend my time alone than to grow something for my future. My whole hang- up in life was my desire for a husband and a family. Ever since I was little, I had decided that I wanted to work alongside my husband. I wanted to be his full-time supporter, best friend and confidant. In doing that, I wanted to have something to “bring to the table” while raising a family and helping him. The Cowboy Lady & Company became that vision for me. I could devote all of my extra time and energy into that while I was waiting on God to send me that man - so that when I did meet him, I would be ready. I am not going to pretend that the idea of starting a company from scratch, when I had no idea what I was doing, did not scare me. I was terrified! The one thing that carried me through this fear was the consistent truth that “God gave me this, He is going to carry me through.” Nothing has proven to be more true. He has been incredibly faithful.
Ironically, it was at a Finals Bullriding in Murfreesboro, TN where I had a booth for the Cowboy Lady that I met my husband-to-be. The night before I had already decided I was not even going to go because of a huge snow storm. I was thinking it would not end up being worth my time. Little did I know, Brad was on the other side saying the same thing. I woke up that morning with a new mindset, and just felt that I needed to go. That was the best decision I have ever made. Brad is the man I have waited on and prayed for my entire life, and is so worth the wait. I tell people all the time that I would do it all again, but to be honest, I do not want to miss out on another second of my life without him in it. It is amazing to me, when I sit back and look at my life, and see with clarity now how all of the pieces fit together. They always do, it is just learning to trust the process. The Cowboy Lady & Company has proven to be truly a labor of love. I have met so many beautiful women and have furthered my own story. This company led me to the love of my life. It is the piece that God has used to answer my prayer. Now, I pray that my story of hope and the Lord’s faithfulness enable others to grow their own story.