On December 1st, Steve and I celebrated five years since the day we reached the finish line in our cross-country trek and pulled into our new driveway in North Carolina. Full of anticipation about what the next few months would hold, we arrived “home,” not knowing anyone in our town except our wonderful realtor.
But we did have a very clear sense that God had somehow chosen Morganton for us. I’m sure most people thought we’d merely thrown a dart on a map of the U.S. and that’s where it stuck. We’d actually taken years to talk through what we wanted and methodically narrow the field. To the state. The town. And finally the house.
That day, we arrived confident of where God had led us, but ready to be surprised as we would watch the “why” unfold.
Here is an incomplete list of some of what we’ve discovered so far. We’re thankful for:
- Neighbors who are like family. We didn’t even know our neighbors in California, so we don’t take these for granted.
- People we love in several churches in town. There are so many wonderful churches that it was incredibly difficult to choose.
- Friends in the community. After being here about a month, I went to a luncheon downtown and ended up sitting with ladies who invited me to join their book club and have become dear friends. Last Saturday, Steve and I walked through town and were amazed that we knew people everywhere we went.
- A vibrant Romanian community in a nearby town. After almost a decade back in the States without meeting a single Romanian, now my heart is full.
- A small but top-notch University nearby, which has become a place for me to have a job, to volunteer with Cru, and to work on a Master’s Degree in writing.
- A challenging place to minister. Honestly, one thing I was concerned about, after living in places like the Bay Area and New England, was that we’d be taking the easy ministry path here, what with the Bible Belt and all. After taking graduate classes in Asheville – which reminds me of Berkeley – I see that’s not the case.
- A prison in town for Steve to minister to young inmates.
- A home for my parents. They settled into our town soon after we did and are now fully embraced by a loving body of believers.
- A big chunk of my heritage comes from these foothills. It’s been fun exploring family graves and homesteads. I really had no idea my roots here ran so deep.
When people ask if we have roots here, if it appears that they couldn’t possibly understand how we would randomly choose an anonymous place on the other side of the country to relocate, I just say, “yes.”
Yes, I have roots here. And we’re putting down some more.