Why are you doing this?” she asked. She had just finished rehearsal with the Senior Adult Choir at the church where I serve as Minister of Childhood Education. It was a simple, direct question and one that had crept into my thoughts in the recent weeks since my husband and I decided to accept positions with CBF as Global Service Corps Field Personnel in Marion, Alabama.
The “Why” Question hovered when I watched the real estate agent place a “for sale” sign in the yard of our Roanoke, VA home. I love this 86 year old home and its familiar creaky wood floors and the “Norman Rockwell” neighborhood we live in. The “Why” Question pierced when the first of the children I minister to hugged me and said they would miss me. The “Why” Question nagged when I announced to the local school principals that I would not be around to continue helping to lead the new Pack-A-Snack program for children in need. The “Why” Question pursued me as I mourned the thought of saying goodbyes to neighbors, best friends, and church members who love me. “I’ll just say ‘See you later,'” I joke with friends.
All of these thoughts and more came to mind as I looked at my serious friend who had so earnestly demanded an answer to her personal “Why” question. She, like me, is a North Carolina transplant to Virginia. We often talked about missing good BBQ and shared experiences in our home state. I took a deep breath and gave a direct answer to her direct question.
“God has called us.”
She nodded in complete understanding. Accepting the answer. “You’re moving farther away from good BBQ,” she warned seriously.
“Do they even have BBQ in Alabama?” I wondered out loud.
“I am sure they barbeque some sort of slop,” and finally my friend smiled. “We will miss you, you know?”
“I know,” I smiled back and accepted her blessing.
Leaving a place I love for a new place of service is certainly bittersweet. Whenever I feel anxious and the “Why” Question sneaks up on me, I remember my calling. I meditate on the nature of the One who has called me. I think of the adventure ahead, the new friends and place we will fall in love with, and how God is paving the path already. I am gifted with peace – far better than good BBQ…
Well said Melanie…
It is hard to answer the “why?” question when it is a head question, because we must respond from our hearts.
We were going through the same thing and facing the same questions last year as we moved from North Carolina to Missouri. Besides NC BBQ, we miss Duke’s Mayo, Good Grits, House Autry Hush Puppy Mix, and Jack’s Vanilla Wafers. All of which we stock up on when we travel back to NC. And yes peace is far better…
We look forward to catching up with you and Matt during all the meetings we will be attending together. In this time of transition we are praying for you and your family.
See you soon
Kenny and Karen
Melanie, thanks for sharing. Although it’s been 14 years since we answered the initial “why?” question, we find it still comes up often. There is a peace that grows each time you answer.
I’m praying for you guys today. I know this post is a few days old, but I’m praying anyway.
I have watched you since the day of your birth and have been so proud of you so many times as you have grown into such a beautiful woman of God. I am so proud of your surrender of your life to our Lord and how he is using you in his service. I will be anxious to hear about all your endeavors and will always keep you in my prayers. Always remember that I love you.
A very good friend from college lived in Alabama. Went home with him one spring break and had some absolutely fantastic BBQ! It is not NC, but I wouldn’t turn it down either. God bless you on your new adventure!
I understand your “why” question so much and relate to it too. it is hard to leave one place of ministry for another but when God calls, you can do none other than answer with “Here Am I, Send Me.”
Blessings to you and your family on this journey.
You guys are going to do such great things and you will find a new favorite thing that is only Alabama….We love you guys and pray for you daily.
Do I miss you? You bet I do, the whole bunch of you! I am also so proud of you. I love you!
I am so glad we got to know you while serving in Roanoke. You will have lots of new and exciting experiences in Alabama, and will find new things that you will certainly miss when you move to another area.
Miss you lots but are excited for you in your new adventure. God bless you!!