Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thankful for Community

I'll be the first to admit that moving at any point in your life is a huge transition. Whether you are a 12 year old moving out of state for the first time in your life, or a 33 year old moving back to your home state, moving is hard.

But I will tell you something. I love the South. I absolutely love it. It is home and I hope to stay somewhere in the Southeast for the rest of my life. I love the culture, the pace of life, and mainly the people. There is a warmness and a sense of belonging in the South that I have never experienced anywhere else.

We have lived in Dothan for nearly 3 months now and while I miss Kansas City so much that it hurts at times, I have been overwhelmed by the sense of community here. The sense of belonging. The friendliness. Rob and I have met so many people that we just want to sit and chat with for hours. We were looking at a rental property and we could have stayed and talked with the owner for an hour. We looked at another house and Rob stood at the gate and chatted with the neighbor for way longer than he intended. We walk into stores and end up in the back room talking to the store owner about everything under the sun. We go into restaurants and the waitress pays our bill for us just because we are new to the church and she wants to welcome us. It is what we were missing. It is why we moved back. And I love it.

I have to say that we are especially thankful for our new church family. They have opened their arms and hearts to us and we feel so loved and so welcomed.

When we first arrived in Dothan, we came to our temporary house and discovered that the kitchen counters and fridge were stocked. What? Who does that?

Our back porch was loaded with plants welcoming us to our new home.

Each plant had scripture verses written on index cards. Church members had chosen these verses specifically for us and for our move.

While we loved our church in Kansas City very much, we were desperately missing a sense of community. We found it eventually through my Mom's group and our small group. And it was wonderful. And we miss those friends with all of our hearts. But it took time. The sense of belonging we have felt here has been immediate and such a blessing.

In the three short months that we have lived here we have been invited to homes for dinner, out to coffee with friends, over to people's houses to watch ball games, have been offered beach condos to use whenever,   and have enjoyed Wednesday night dinners with our church family. Community.

We had strangers bringing us meals for the first 5 weeks that we lived here. Just because they wanted to welcome us. And just today the staff at Covenant threw the most wonderful luncheon for our family and another staff family who is expecting a baby as well.

Although moving is hard, it is a blessing. I am glad I have lived in different states. I am thankful for friends all over the country. I am glad that I get a chance to stretch myself and break out of comfort zones. I love meeting new people and experiencing different ways of living.

But I have to say I am really happy that God brought us here and blessed us with a wonderful church. He has allowed Rob to use his talents and creativity to glorify Him and has surrounded us with a loving community. I feel incredibly blessed.

1 comment:

starnes family said...

I'm so glad you got such an awesome welcome!!!!!!