Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My City?

My city was chosen for me at birth.  The capital of the State of Texas is Austin and I entered in the population records in 1961.  I remained a citizen for 38 years. I prayed for the city.  I loved the city. I graduated from the city's namesake high school.  I was a true, blue native of the city, enjoying all of its benefits. Then, in 1997, God changed my heart and revealed His new plan of our leaving the city.

Like a word out of the story of Abraham and Sarah, we didn't have a clue where we would go, just the general location.  We stepped out with multiple words of confirmation to the large Metroplex of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, in August of 1998. This was a new adventure. All seven of us had left behind our birthplace and my husband and I could pick our "new" city. (I realize God is the one who really picked the city)

Not having a clue about any of the areas around the Metroplex, we decided on a small city, just miles from DFW airport and I fell in love. We bought our dream home and settled into the small community.  Our sixth child was born at home in this city... he is probably the only person who has this city's name on his birth certificate since there aren't any hospitals in this city.  It was beautiful.  It had all new buildings...most weren't older than 10 years.  It had a sense of community.  It had walking trails that allowed you to walk throughout the city without ever getting on the roads. Our children participated in sports in this city and they all received extreme favor. I truly loved it!!

 I would pray for the city when it went through disasters...the latest being the Mayor killed her daughter and herself, but I never had my spiritual heart tied to this city....just my physical heart!

God then took away my dream city. He placed me somewhere were I didn't want to be!!!  I didn't like the new city!  I didn't want to engage in the new city!  I was counting the days to move away, while scoping out where I wanted to live next.

Then, I stepped into a training seminar for school mentors and was educated on poverty.  God totally "Yanked" my heart with this verse.  It was apparent that what I thought I was there for and what God had in mind were two different things. The instructor quoted:

"Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare."  Jer. 29:7

I wanted to yell out loud..."NO, THIS ISN'T MY CITY...BUT YES, I FEEL I AM IN EXILE!!!"  
What is He telling me?...OH, NO!!!, was He calling me to care for the city I just hated living in?  Was He going to use my exile to bless this city and possibly me?  MY welfare relied on the welfare of this city?

Now I don't want to get into a discussion on the interpretation of this scripture....this is what my spirit was telling me and the seminar trainer continued to instruct on the needs of the city.

Isaiah 58:9 - 
"Then you will call, and He will say, Here I am, If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And IF you GIVE yourself to the HUNGRY, and SATISFY the DESIRES of the AFFLICTED, then YOUR LIGHT will SHINE in the darkness, and YOUR GLOOM will be come  LIKE MIDDAY!" (capital words are the ones that shouted to me)

I left the meeting convicted.  This week we went to our church campus in our city, instead of driving to the city I would love to live in. (we have three different campuses and ten services each Sunday under one church)

I will volunteer in the schools in my city.  I will drive this week through my city and pray!  I will walk the University campus and pray.  I will say "yes" to my city!  I will allow the Lord to open my eyes and heart to the city where He has placed me! Our landlord called for us to sign another year's lease, so I will be here at least one more year.

I don't know all the facets He will reveal to me, nor do I know how my heart will react.  I do know that once again it is time for me to pray for my city!!
Do you pray for your city?  Are you concerned for the welfare of your city?  Please share how God has used you in your city.

15 Joining in with more words:

e-Mom said...

A very interesting post, Janette! Some of the pieces of your life are starting to come together. It's wonderful that even though you feel like you're in exile, you're willing to pray for the people of your "temporary" city. You seem to have a strong heart for missions... perhaps you're called to serve on short-term missions there! I'm looking forward to hearing how God uses you IRL.

Back to cyberspace for a moment: I linked to you in today's post at Chrysalis. If you have time, you might be interested to meet some other Moms of boys around the blogosphere. Come see my list!

Hugs, e-Mom

Sandy said...

Yes, a good and interesting post,
I do pray fervently for my city!
This is where I was born and I have
always loved Asheville. However, in
the last fifteen years or more it
has become a true New Age mecca.
There is so much strangeness here
now that I hardly recognize my
hometown. You know when professed
witches are honored and given front
page acceptance in the newspaper
that things have really spiraled
downward. And that's just some of
the tamer things that are going on.

Theresa said...

Glad you have found happiness right where you are Janette!

Debbie said...

This was such an interesting post Janette. I can honestly say I haven't thought much about "my city" one way or another. I will now I am very sure. You know of course that I made a big move 3 months ago from a city I had lived in for almost 25 years. It is hard to let go. But I said to my hubby just a couple of days ago, "This is FINALLY starting to feel like home." I know that for whatever reason we are both right where the Lord wants us to be and He will use us right where we are at for His glory if we are willing. I am going to start praying diligently for our city too. Have a wonderful day. HUGS, Debbie

Farm Girl said...

Hey, my husbands family has a house in Austin. It is called the Hollar House. His family was the 100 families that came with Austin to settle in Texas so it could become a state. :)

I love my town too, even though it gets made fun of all of the time by Hollywood. I am thankful God brought me here too. Though I am convicted by your words because I don't pray for it the ways I should.
That was a nice reminder.
Very thought provoking post.

myletterstoemily said...

well, whatever city you live in is certainly
blessed to have YOU! this convicted me,
that though i pray for people in my city,
i never just pray for my city.

i'm sorry you don't like where you are,
but know you know that wherever He is
you will be full of great joy.


Sonja said...

You already know I also love Austin... but like you also know... God is already in the town where you now live... He was already there and waiting for you, so no matter how many days you live there... there's a good reason. Besides... we can cheer for the Horns no matter where we live!! (and after last week... we NEED to be cheering! :(...

I think there is so much ahead for you, and I LOVE your attitude!


Deborah Ann said...

Wow, you got me there. For years I have hated my city. Begged God to get me out of here. But He loves this city, these people. Okay God...I will love this place, these people. But for how long? (she whined)...

Maria I. Morgan said...

Wonderful post, Janette! Oh, I can so relate to this entry. I'm not one for change...but God in His sovereignty knows that if I get too attached, my security shifts from Him to things. Ugh! Still learning this lesson. One day at a time! Blessings!

Debbie said...

As you well know Janette, I'm living in a city that I hope is only temporary. However, your post opened my eyes to how I can bless and pray for this city now.

There are so many older people in Sun City, Arizona. When people would tell me they were moving there when they retired, I'd ask WHY? I couldn't believe people would love to live in a place with no young people or children. You must be 55 or older to live in Sun City.

However, I'm so grateful for a roof over my head. And if I open my eyes there are many hurting and lonely people here. I think I need to start praying for this city too.

Thank you for the wise reminder friend.

Love you,

myletterstoemily said...

hey sweetie,

i hardly follow football at all, but when
you reminded me about the ou/texas
game, i thought it would be so fun to
say, "you're going DOWN!"

hee hee.

Cindy - Letters From Midlife said...

I don't pray for my city as I should so I appreciate your post as a reminder that I should. I pray regularly for our national and state leaders but forget about the ones closest to me.

Diana said...

A great post! I need to pray for my city, too.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

We just keep having more and more things in common my friend :-) When we moved to the desert 21 years ago, we both thought it was a temporary move. It took us several years to accept that this is where God wants us and no longer try to "get out". We are finally to the point that we realize in many ways it would be hard to leave. We never thought we'd get there!
p.s. We have also noticed a connection to the Israelites wandering around in the desert for 40 years :-)

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

What a great post. Thanks for the reminder! I have come full circle and feel so blessed to say I love my HOMEtown with all my heart. I moved a lot prior to coming here - starting w/Geneva, CA, numerous MD burbs, back to Europe, VA & KY... I could do more to be involved in and support this community tho. Again you inspire and lead. I will follow, pray and reach out TODAY!

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