This is the question posed at every job interview. The one I was asked three times this morning. Why do you want to stay in the area? And of course this is the recent college graduates chance to convince the hiring manager they will be dedicated to this job should they be hired.
For one job I might say I want to stay because I just bought a house. Because I love the mountains and horses and hiking and being outdoors. Because since the age of 15 I knew I wanted to be a Hokie.
Yes these mountains are the most amazing thing I have ever seen. And I have been all over the world. What most people don’t know is that what really draws me to this place is Jesus.
I was only 14 years old when I sat out in the field on my Granddaddy’s farm and gave my life to Christ. It seems like a lifetime ago. I had prayed the prayer almost daily as a child just to ensure I would definitely be heard. But the first moment I really decided to surrender, was on that day in Abingdon. Ever since I was drawn as if some spiritual force was calling me to come back. The farm isn’t just a special place in my life, though it is definitely that, it is where I met Jesus. I spent that summer babysitting my cousin’s kids as their mother was hanging onto her life in her fight against cancer and I was asking all the questions I had never asked before: Why would God let this happen? Why is God punishing these innocent kids? What if they lose her mother before they even got to know her?
Finally I came to a point of realizing I may never have the answer to any of those questions and more, but either way I wanted to trust God. I wanted to believe him and I wanted to be close to him, no matter what he did or did not allow. He was the only steady thing I had. He was the only one who never changed.
When I’m sitting on the back of a horse in these Blue Ridge Mountains I couldn’t be any closer to Him. So I love these mountains because this is where He found me. And though I would go anywhere He may call me I can seem myself staying here forever until He calls me elsewhere.