I was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in the suburbs of Chicago where I lived until I enlisted in the Navy and moved to Virginia in 2000. I lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia from 2000 to 2013 when I moved to the middle peninsula of Virginia. So gradually over time I have moved into areas that are less and less populated. I have always considered myself a ‘city-girl’ but this past year I have fallen in love with what is considered a ‘rural’ area so maybe…just maybe I am a country girl at heart.
I moved to Gloucester, VA at the end of March in 2013 as I made my career transition from Registered Nurse to Nurse Practitioner. It was my career that moved me from Chesapeake, VA to Gloucester but there are so many reasons I am thankful God led me here. Tonight I will reflect on all the reasons I am thankful that the Lord brought me to the country.
1- I am thankful for God’s mercy, forgiveness, love and grace. He led me here and has filled our lives with blessings. Over the last 13 years even when I was not living my life faithful to the Lord He was always there with me guiding me and protecting me. NO matter what storms life may bring to me I know God is going to be there with me. When I encounter something that at first appears impossible I remember all the difficult times God brought me through before and I know He can do it again. I have constant peace within as I know that God is always with me and He will always love me.
2- Moving here led me to meet Matt, the love of my life, my husband who shares in my love for Christ, best friend, spiritual partner and the most amazing man I have ever known.
3- I have been told, “Welcome to God’s Country” in a way it is almost like a whole other world out here, this area is full of believers, there is an atmosphere of love among most people here, everyone smiles and waves hello, you actually feel like a person living in a community with others who care about you and are happy to see you. I have never felt more welcome or wanted in a community or town than I have felt here.
4- Smaller towns means smaller schools, my kids get more one on one personal attention in their classrooms and schools here, they are not just lost in the crowd they are a child that is cared for and loved by their teachers.
5-I live in a town of less than 40,000 and commute to work in a community with less than 9000 each day, I have NO traffic, a bad drive to work is encountering a tractor or school bus, which gives me a peaceful 25 minutes to pray, sing worship music or have quiet time to myself before or after work without having to fight hundreds of other drivers for space on the road, thank You Lord for country life with no traffic!
6- My church family. I had an incredible church home in Chesapeake, but the church home I have been led to here in Gloucester is beyond what words can describe, I have never felt more welcome than I felt my first day at Newington Baptist. My church family is amazing.
7- I can really enjoy God’s wonderful creation here, there is just a short drive to enjoy a beach, woods, mountains, farms and not too far to get to the city if we are in the mood for the hustle and bustle of an evening on the town. At night if you go outside, it is pitch black, you can see every star in the sky and nature chirps a wonderful serenade.
Welcome to the country!!! I am so thankful the Lord brought me to this area. I know I am most likely missing a reason or two for reasons I am thankful to be away from city life but bottom line is I am thankful, for the Lord, my salvation, my life, my family, GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
“As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” Psalm 18:30
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9