Living in one small city for twenty-six years–all twenty-six years of your life (I’m including my college years because I was domiciled in North Carolina) gives you strong roots like a great oak tree. I know the streets of that city like I know my own face. There’s a rhythm to life there. The changing seasons bring about the same events year after year: the Harvest Festival, the Hot Air Balloon Festival, the Pumpkin Fest, the church Christmas Program, the annual “blizzard” of one inch of snow and two inches of ice that shuts down the city for three business days, and the Fourth of July Fireworks at Signal Hill Mall which are always set off on the Third.
Then there are the people of Statesville: I love my fellow townspeople. The UPS guy, the mail guy, the Fed-Ex guy, Aaron and Paula the Subway sandwich artists, Sam at Starbucks, and Ginger at the bank, Jody at Daylight Donuts (who chronically accidentally-on-purpose slips extra donuts in my order) my church family, and good ole One Shot Johnson, the County Commissioner who teaches Sunday School and delivers moral axioms such as, “Never go back and check on a dead skunk.” He also prays for me on Tuesdays.
And the law office–that place shaped the course of my life and transformed me from a girl to a woman.
I’m not just saying all of this because I moved to Lynchburg and I’m homesick. I’m saying it because my dad just got a new job in Asheville and my family will be moving in a few short months.
It’s sad, and I do feel like grieving a little. Should I talk about all the childhood memories? Should I talk about the misadventures? Should I talk about the homeschooling group? I don’t know.
It’s painful to separate from this community. But, here’s the balm.
Dad’s new job is a big blessing and a HUGE answer to prayer. God has heaped mercy upon mercy to answer this prayer, and when God moves like this, it’s impossible not to be amazed and grateful.
Statesville, I’ll never forget you. I’m thankful for the strong roots. And, I’ll come back whenever I can.