Goodbye, Whoopie Pies

In a mere 72 hours, I will be driving away from Lancaster County [home] and journeying towards Clermont, Florida [newhome]. I can hardly wrap my head around it, but I know I can’t wait.

The past couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity: packing, cleaning, figuring out the logistics of moving, catching up with friends one last time. I feels like my family only just made the decision to move (which we did in January), yet here it is, the beginning of June, and a week from today I’ll be adjusting to a new house in a new place with a new climate surrounded by new people whom I’ve never met.

I’ve had all sorts of revelations recently about moving. I’m not going to bother with trying to organize them, so be prepared for a rambly sort of post here.

Let me start with the question I was asked around a campfire with friends:

“What are you going to miss most about leaving Lancaster?”

I’m going to miss the people. But not just because I have some great friends, no, when I say I’m going to miss the people, I mean I’m going to miss the feeling of being in a place where I have roots. Where I have connections. Where I can run in to people who know those other people that I know whose cousin is actually best friends with my high school teacher’s daughter’s fiance. I’m going to miss being around people who I’ve shared the experience of growing up in Lancaster County with.

Then there’s little things that have happened recently that I’m going to miss. Since being home, I’ve rediscovered Lancaster City. The city is so special and unique and I’m going to miss it.

Sunsets over stretches of hilly fields and meadows…I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss driving along winding country roads and being in awe of how beautiful Lancaster is. Florida will be a new kind of beautiful, I’m sure, but Lancaster is extraordinary.

I’m going to miss being able to go on an afternoon walk and stop by three different friends’ houses.

I’m going to miss the people who I just started forming relationships with. The talented young adults at my church who are forming a band. The many coworkers at Cracker Barrel who make working in a restaurant enjoyable. The high school friends I’ve reconnected with.

The follow up question was such:

“What are you most excited about moving to Florida?”

In some respects, my answer is the same to both questions. I am most excited to meet new people in Florida. I’m excited for the new relationships to come.

I’m looking forward to going to a church that I didn’t grow up in, where I have the chance to introduce myself as a young adult, as Chad Sell–not as Kent and Deb’s son, or the kid from youth group, or the kid who was in the Christmas musicals when he was little. There is something refreshing being able to enter a church as an honest young adult who struggles with real life issues–and no one having any preconceived notions about me because of how I grew up or acted as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I am seriously going to miss being a part of Harvest Lancaster–I have grown so much because of the leadership and people of that church–but I am incredibly excited about the relationships and the growing God has in store for me at Harvest Orlando.

I’m pumped for Southeastern University and the connections I will make there. I love relationships so much. I’ve missed being part of a college community during my time off and I’m really looking forward to returning to that atmosphere.

Also I’m really excited about only being an hour and a half away from the beach.

And Florida winters.

Returning to talking about college though. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on being out of school for a year. I am so thankful that God has placed people in my life that can grab me by the scruff of my neck and shake me and say “YO!”

Cause that’s how you get back on track.

Leaving Houghton was not an easy decision, but God has rewarded me immensely because of it. Because I was home this past year, I was able to spend so much time and make so many memories I would not have been able to make with Christopher before he died. God knew. He had it planned. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I had been at school when everything went down with Christopher.

It is so good that God is in control and not me.

I was feeling lost about my direction in life, but God has used this past year to give me purpose. I am more certain than I’ve ever been that I’m walking where God wants me to walk; that pursuing my education at Southeastern University (for music education no less!) is right where I need to be.

Through God’s grace I’ve been rooting out sin in my life. The man I am right now is totally different than the man I was 365 days ago. I can’t even begin to fathom the man I’ll be in another 365.

Life is changing all around me–my friends are getting married (or they’re breaking up), they’re getting awesome jobs (or they’re struggling to find one), families are growing up and apart (or they’re bonding stronger than before)…it’s a give and take and life is so chaotically unpredictable that it’s really quite sad that we try to hold the reins so tight.

Praise the Lord that I’m not driving the carriage.

(Speaking of carriages, the new Cinderella is a delight. It’s so magical and innocent and beautiful. Such a wonderful contrast to many of the movies coming out nowadays.)

I’m praying that this move will mature and grow my family. I know it will change us. Things will be different. I’m praying for strength and love and unity.

And I’m praying for relationships. This is the first time my family has moved. Forming new relationships will be hard for everyone in my family. More so for some than others. And recently I’ve been struck with how thankful I am for godly relationships in my life.

Man, I can’t wait for the day when we don’t have to miss anyone anymore because we’ll all be partying it up in heaven together.

I’m excited for the next chapter in my life. Sometimes I’m impatient with God, I want to know what He’s up to because I think I might have a better idea, but then I just remember this past year and how God always has the better idea. He can do so much more than my measly efforts.

I will miss you, Lancaster County, you and your delicious whoopie pies and Achenbach’s donuts. I will be back to visit.

But now, it’s to Clermont, Florida, I go.


One thought on “Goodbye, Whoopie Pies

Add yours

  1. Hi Chad,
    Thanks for the wonderful update! God is doing a new thing–keep us all posted on how things evolve. I am curious about one thing: I don’t recall seeing what prompted your family’s move to Florida; I knew that you were going to school, but somehow missed the reasons for the family move. Just curious:)

    Dr, J


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