"Standing out there watching it burn, I knew He (God) had a different direction for us."
Seven years ago Keith and Carrie Parsons decided to make a career out of peanut butter.
"And it just sounded like a really fun idea to have a store that made peanut butter sandwiches," says Nutty's Peanut Butter owner Carrie Parsons.
And so they launched the Peanut Butter Emporium. The sandwich shop quickly became a popular spot in Overton. The Parsons would soon expand from just sandwiches to a gourmet peanut butter producer. The business was taking off. Famed chef Rachel Ray had tag their peanut butter as one of her favorites. People across the country were finding out about Nutty's Peanut Butter.
That all changed in a matter of a moment, December a year ago when fire broke out at their Overton store. The Peanut Butter Emporium was not just the Parson's business, it was also their home, they also lived up stairs. Carrie and Keith will never forget standing out on the street, watching everything they owned burn to the ground.
"It was in the 30's. Maybe 32 or 34 degrees. High winds," remembers Carrie, "I was in my pajamas. We knew pretty quickly that this was a big fire and it was going to take the building."
At that moment Keith and Carrie, unknown to each other began to pray.
"Praying, thanking God for everythingHe has given us," says Carrie," and saying I don't understand this but I'm going to praise You anyway. And Preston prayed that prayer with me. And I found out later on that my husband was praying the same prayer across the street. "
Outside of Overton and the world of peanut butter, Carrie is known by a lot of folks as the co-host of the morning show at Christian radio station KVNE. Once word got out hundreds of people began to pray and offer help to the Parson's.
Something that would not be easy for this family.
"Its hard to accept help, you know," says Carrie, "and it was a pretty public thing, it was on all the news stations. We have a wonderful support group with all our family, the people we work with and our community. And the outpouring of support was overwhelming."
And it was hard to admit that the insurance policy on their building had lapsed. It was a time that Carrie and Keith say they were glad they had always found power in prayer.
"I know the night of the fire, standing out there watching it burn, I knew He had a different direction for us," remembers Keith, "I didn't know what it was at the time, if it would have anything to do with peanut butter again or if He just had another calling for us... "
"And that was our prayer for many, many days after that. God we don't understand but we thank You for providing for us everyday. And it was just showering down blessings on us. That's how I would describe it," says Carrie.
In just a short time after the fire, doors that the Parson's say they never expected began to open. Help came from almost every direction. And the most unexpected places. Almost a year to the date after the fire they opened a brand new store in Overton and here in Grand Saline.
They've decided to concentrate solely on the peanut butter business now. They now include scriptures on all their jars of peanut butter and they stand ready to bear witness to the power of prayer.
"You always hear or you always read in the Bible what He takes away He gives back more. And that's really what He has started to do for us now. He's just provided for us in so many ways, through so many blessings. Before we had one store now we have two. And so we know He's just got us... we are trying to be in His will so He can provide for us the way He wants to," says Keith.
"Really and truly what I have learn is that if you keep God in your life on a daily basis, if you open your heart to Him and consistently pray and ask God for guidance. When the tough times come your going to reach for Him and He's going to be right there. And I can't even imagine not having that," says Carrie.