I’ve always had a feeling that I would like the South. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like a Pennsylvania Summer or the beauty that comes in the Fall with the changing of the leaves, but I’ve always wanted to see what it was like to live in the South. 6 months and 11 days ago, I decided to give it a shot. I’m not really sure what it takes to qualify as a Southern Belle but I live south of the Mason- Dixon so I’m gonna claim that I’m a Southern Belle til the cows come home.
I came to North Carolina in August knowing only 7 people and with meeting my roommate only for a brief couple hours in May. And it has been quite a whirlwind of an adventure. I didn’t even know all the steps you needed to take in order to move .Sidenote: there’s a lot…like A LOT! Nobody told me there would be so many papers to fill out or that a 3 hour visit to the DMV would be my first introduction to North Carolina. People kept telling me about this place called Harris Teeter and I didn’t know that was a grocery store or that Lowe’s wasn’t only a place to buy construction materials and plants but apparently also a grocery store. I didn’t know a lot about moving or what to experience but I did know that God had a plan and he had opened this door for me so I was going to walk through.
Throughout my 6 month journey there have been a lot of ups and an equal amount of downs. I’ve gone through moments of intense homesickness (which I’m sure is expected after having the same zipcode for all of your 25 years) and moments of intense happiness. I’ve been lonely, scared, unsure, happy, excited and blown away by the goodness of God. God knew exactly what I would need to survive this transition and I am oh so grateful. He gave me an amazing co-worker who was actually working in the same room as I was for the first time in my life, he gave me an amazing church family that I can’t imagine not having in my life and a wonderfully supportive Gentleman who not only spoils me with beautiful words but has joined me in my obsession with Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. Sidenote: I’m gonna take a minute to brag. My Gentleman’s name is Nate. I met him last year after I had already decided to move to NC. Well, he lives in NC. I consider him God’s way of giving me a reward for being brave enough to step through the doors he opens. Probably the best prize I’ve ever gotten in my entire life.
Moving on, one of the main things that this time in the South has taught me is that God doesn’t/isn’t going to leave you or lose track of you just because you change zip code. I can’t even count on one hand all the ways that God has shown up to me while I have been in North Carolina. From hearing my favorite song played in church or on the radio when I ask him for just a sign that he is with me or when a random shop keeper gives me a stone carving that has Jeremiah 29:11 on it and tells me that God is with me. God has stretched me and challenged me. He has allowed me to become a part of an amazing church where they have brought me on in leadership in ways that I sometimes don’t feel qualified to be in but their encouragement and willingness to bring me in has been a blessing. I believe God is using these experiences to shape me into the person He wants me to be and I am so excited to see where this path leads. Thank you for your support and prayers whether it has been for my work with Praying Pelican Missions or those who have been with me every step of my journey to become a resident of the South. I’m still here and still following the One who knows all and loves all. I encourage you to join me.