Greetings from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains! I am Abigail Smith, and I graduated in 2012. If you would have told me that this Yankee girl would end up in the humid south, I would never have believed you! My plan after graduating college was to return to my beautiful Michigan town and teach there until I died. You would have thought that I would have learned by then that: “God’s ways are not our ways.” That’s a lesson that I am still slowly learning. God did allow me to return to my home church to teach school and work in the ministry for seven wonderful years. During that time, I taught various grades from kindergarten through the fourth grade….
Kindergarten, the age group I had previously vowed to never teach. Never say never! I learned more in those two years than I think my students did: grace, compassion, PATIENCE, to name just a few. I was privileged to be actively involved in our bus route, teen department, Sunday school class, and junior church.
After we closed our school in 2018, I was contacted by my friend who worked for Grace Baptist College just north of where I lived. Here, once again, was a chapter I never would have written for myself. I, who had never taken a secretarial course or computer class outside high school keyboarding class in my life, was the new college receptionist. Insert panic here! I took a few online crash classes to try to prepare myself, and with the help of my friend, enjoyed one of my favorite years of “adulting.” Not only was I the receptionist but I also taught Remedial English as well as American Literature; keep in mind, I am an elementary education major! Don’t let anyone tell you that serving the Lord is boring. As much as I loved working at the college, I found myself job hunting the next year.
I thought my roller coaster of a life couldn’t get much more exciting until I received a phone call from a pastor in central NC. In a matter of three weeks, I had accepted a fifth-grade teaching position at a church I had never visited. This move was bathed in so much prayer as I was leaving my beloved Michigan as well as the people I loved and knew. I spent two years teaching fifth grade, which by the way, is the absolute best age group! It was here that I fell in love with people; I learned what it really meant to love people and to be loved by them. I also found the best group of friends that I’ve ever had in this place. Just when I thought I’d stepped off the roller coaster and my life was settling into a routine, God had other plans.
My former Michigan boss had moved to Marion, NC to serve at New Manna Christian School. At the time I called him, they were interviewing for a fifth-grade teacher…. I am now in my second month as the fifth-grade teacher at NMCS. Outside of school, you can find me helping with the girls’ volleyball team, playing intense game of pickle ball, or hiking these gorgeous mountains. This crazy life doesn’t always make sense, but with God in the driver’s seat, I know that He’ll never steer me wrong. It’s difficult at times not to be that “backseat driver,” but I’ve learned that He sees further up the road than I ever could. Serving God is an everyday adventure; I love going to work every day; I love working in a Christian environment with Christian co-workers who love the Lord.