The Crossroads and the Occasional Steamroller…

Have you ever noticed how some of the biggest changes in your life just seem to happen over night? 


12 days ago, I was sitting in my easy chair, inventorying mission team pharmaceuticals, when my cell phone rang.  It was my Dad, calling to tell me that my Uncle Jimmy had gone into the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.  He had subsequently had a heart attack and had to be put into a medically induced coma and on a respirator.  Within a matter of hours, my healthy, vital, feisty uncle launched into a downward spiral.  We had his funeral at 10 o’clock this morning.


Last night at the visitation, my uncle’s children (my cousins Rachel and James) thanked me for coming.  I said, “How could I not come?  Every time I called Uncle Jimmy, he came.  How could I not come for him?”  And so this morning, through more tears than I’ve cried in a long time (and I cry pretty much every day), I said goodbye to the man who came to hear me sing with the NC Symphony Orchestra, who came to see me graduate from Methodist College, who met me at my Grandmother’s house the day she passed away, who picked on me at family gatherings, and who loved me unconditionally. 


Uncle Jimmy would be pleased to know that he was the catalyst for something else…


My brother, Chris (who is generally known by the aliases “Salt” or “Bubba”) has moved home from Tennessee.  On Monday afternoon, I emailed him to tell him that Uncle Jimmy had passed and by Wednesday night, he had packed everything he owns into two huge Rubbermaid totes and was pulling into my driveway.  Since it’s only fair that I let Chris tell it in his own words, he has allowed me to share the following excerpt from his MySpace blog:


There have been many times when members of my family, and even at times my friends have wondered “Man what in the WORLD is Chris (“Salt” to my friends) doing???  What is he getting himself into???”  I will happily admit that in the last 14 years since my graduation from high school, I have most DEFINITELY taken the road less traveled.  I left college after little more than a year.  And then I embarked upon a journey that has led me here—to this tiny little piece of heaven (Sevierville, Tennessee)—where the earth and sky collide, and the winds of change seem to be blowing out of the heavens, bringing with them a purifying rain and symphonic thunder.


At 32 years of age, in my own mind I always pictured myself married, with a career, and a little house to call “home.”  I had even envisioned myself with at least one child by this point in my life, if not more.  Sometimes it is funny how we finally come to the realization that just because WE think or envision something, that doesn’t necessarily mean that things will work out like we WANT them to.  My own life is a testimony as well as a certifiable example of that.  However much I wish things in my life were different, looking back, I realize that quite honestly, by taking the path that I have chosen, I have found not only myself but I have found knowledge and wisdom that many others my own age will not discover, or even comprehend until much later in life.


 So here I stand, yet again at a crossroads in life.  It’s a time of economic crisis in our country.  The jobless rate in much of the country is higher than it has been since the DEPRESSION.   It’s a time when one of the largest companies in the United States (GM) is staring Bankruptcy in the face.  This is the time that I find myself in a position where I must make the decision: “Do I take this path—the one where I stay in Tennessee, waiting tables and renting a one room cottage for $150 a week, living 5 hours from my nearest family?  Do I take THIS path????”  Or “Do I take this path—the one where I move to NC and help my father and sister and my mother through the summer while living with my sister?   At the same time, once again risking unemployment??  Is THIS the path I take???


The fact that my father is about to have total knee replacement surgery makes this decision much more involved—personally and emotionally.  But in the end it all boils down to “Where do I WANT to be?????”


The answer is surprisingly clear to me now.  The decision to return “To that from whence I came” was actually a no-brainer.  I can accomplish so much more in the controlled environment of “home” than I can on the road….  


 I find myself breathing a sigh of relief.  I will be able to look back fondly on the days of my youth—not viewing them as misspent or even wasted.  These years have been a treasure of experiences, lessons (both good and bad), and quite honestly LIVING a life that has transformed me into a man that is actually at peace with not only himself, but with the life that he has had to live in order to get to this point.  To this place in time.  To this split in the road…


About Sarah Salter


  1. Eliza Garrison says:

    Hi Sarah and Chris, it’s amazing how God use the death of one life to intervene into another, I am reminding of this scripture in Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them!!

    Chris and Sarah, God will get the Glory out of you lives!! Just you wait and see. Chris the people, that are living their lives stumble from one thing to another, will end up facing God, and God will say; ” I being waiting on you”. Good Job in making the right decision!! I love you both!! God loves you best.


  2. So sorry for your loss, Sarah. But it’s only a temporary one. And as for your brother, I’ve always thought Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home.

    Prayers for you and your family.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I agree with Eliza’s comment. This is good for your family and will remember you in my prayers. Vaya con Dios, Sara.

Speak Your Mind