I remember when living in Roanoke was hard for me. I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t work outside of the home. We didn’t have a home church. The neighbors were still strangers. It felt claustrophobic. I was depressed. I’d left my family and friends 2500 miles away. I’d left everything I knew, everything familiar.
That was hard.
I really had to rely on God to get me through that time. I had to trust that He had a plan, that He knew what He was doing. It was easy to believe that in my mind but quite another in my heart.
A job ad in the paper caught my eye. A local church was looking for a children’s director. God wouldn’t let me forget that ad. Finally we decided to go visit the church. I mean, it was only 5 minutes away… why not? Everyone was so friendly but it was still very different from what we were used to. No drums?? Suits and ties?? Uh. No thanks. God wouldn’t let me forget that ad. I think I wrote a post here about the day I turned it over to God and said, “Ok. If you want me to apply for the job. Ok.” Seconds later two deacons were knocking on my door. Mr. Glen and Mr. Dennis were so friendly and so excited to hear that I was interested in the job. We went back the next Sunday and it was then that I met Fred. (He filled a huge hole in my heart) He set up an interview and I met the staff; Shawn, Paul, Patrick. I’m still touched by the basket of office supplies that were on my desk the first day – something the temporary secretary thought to do for me. (you know who you are!) Things rolled quickly from there. We enrolled in Fred’s Sunday School class. When my hubby had to work out of town for weeks on end I was worried about falling back into that claustrophobic place. I didn’t need to worry about that. Sara K came to the rescue. We went for coffee and I think we were gone 8 hours!! And that was the start of our weekly coffee dates. I miss her something fierce.
I watched my kids grow friendships. Each of them finding a best buddy at church. It meant so much to see Sunday School teachers, VBS workers, volunteers… everyone playing a role in my kids’ spiritual lives. Kids need strong male role models and Danny was that 110%. As the director I was so grateful to have him work beside me but as a parent – I was beyond grateful! He loved on my kids and showed them what it means to walk your faith. Ms. Carolyn made a huge impact on my son. His knowledge grew by leaps and bounds. I believe it was that foundation that led him to a personal relationship with Christ. Chickie’s teacher had a small class. Frequently it was just Chickie. She thrived in that class. The one-on-one attention is just what she needed. For awhile her class had two alternating teachers and both of them had a huge impact on her. Beans has a love affair with church. She begs to go and doesn’t understand why we can’t go every single day. I love that. That love was sparked by some very special people. Her Sunday School teachers are some of the most devoted teachers. They genuinely love the little kids. Each Sunday they were prepared and it showed in the way she grew. Beans’ Wednesday night teacher, Ms. Nancy, has a special place in my heart. She blows every excuse out of the water… She works with kids M-F and yet still wants to come and be with kids – high energy, crazy kids at that! She works two jobs and still is prepared and enthusiastic. She doesn’t have any little ones in Children’s Ministry any more but every child in her class belongs to her.
All that to say…. we put down roots. Our kids put down roots. I still missed Phoenix – I missed my family, my friends. Seeing my parents age and learning of their health problems was very hard for me. I was struggling with knowing where we needed to be. I wanted to move back to Phoenix but God said ‘Wait’ and so we did. It was hard to trust Him. But when He finally said ‘Go’ we knew it was time – He let us know that this was in His hands.
A whirlwind of packing and goodbyes, driving, unpacking…. and here we are. Home but not home. It’s all familiar but not the same. It’s kind of like watching a favorite movie from your childhood. You can’t quite figure out why you liked it so much but at the same time it’s nostalgic. I know that this is where we’re supposed to be. I am grateful to be close to my family again. It has been so good. But it’s different. We grew up.
Oh I don’t miss the snow. Or the rain. But the people. Sigh. I miss the people. The people I was worried that I was never going to meet.
So I know it’s going to be okay. It’s not always easy to trust God in my heart. But my head keeps reminding my heart.