Under a Microscope in Appalachia

I moved from L.A. to a very small community in the Appalachian Mountains.  I was visiting a friend of my parents and fell in love with the area and decided to relocate and buy a home here. 

I had no idea just how different life was here from what I was leaving behind.  I guess I figured the biggest difference would be the accent.  I didn't know I'd almost have to learn a new language.  Words didn't always mean the same thing here and there were words I'd never heard before and lots of expressions that I didn't quite "get" at first.

There was a lovely divorced man living next door.  I knew he was Christian and very kind and gentle.  Much different than men in the city.  It was months before I learned he was also a preacher.  A Pentecostal (Holiness) preacher is not always called to be a pastor.  Most are called to be evangelist preachers.  That's what my husband is called to do. 

I knew I wanted a Christian for a husband but I had no idea about anything more than that.  It would have been hard enough if I had been born and raised here but it's tougher because I am a curiosity because I'm a "foreigner" and talk funny.  Also, I wasn't raised in a Christian/church going family and came to be a believer as an adult.  Even then, I didn't know anything about my husband's church. 

I still laugh at myself over the first time I attended church here.  It was during a revival that was actually held in a tent.  My neighbor said something about people "shouting" and I said "why doesn't someone just ask them to be quiet?".  Shouting is praising the Lord by speaking in tongues (another new experience for me) or getting "happy".  I also had never seen anyone "slayed in the spirit" and thought a woman had fainted instead.  I had never even seen a prayer line!  Boy, I must have only attended boring, dead churches in Los Angeles!

Anyway, we've been married over four years now and it's been great and I've learned alot.  The only thing I'm still getting used to is feeling like every single thing I do or say is being watched and judged.  People here really pay attention and never seem to forget any wrong moves ever made by anyone.  That's a bit rough.  In a city environment, you can live next door to people for years and never exchange a word.  It's just the opposite here.

I feel blessed to have been able to move here and doubly blessed to have met my husband here.  Even with the adjustments I've had to make (and still need to make), I love this place and truly feel like I've come home.

 

 

 

 

 

Peabody Peabody
51-55, F
3 Responses Jun 20, 2007

I can relate to your about being under a microscope because I am a UPCI pentecostal holiness believed that is very active in the church

Enjoyed your comment about your life. I live in the LA area and can appreciate the culture shock you must have felt - I'm moving to a small town in GA and it will be much the same.

That sounds like quite an experience with the differences in cultures!