Exile




Mothers. What would we do without them?

I know I depend on my own mother. She helps me to put things in perspective and, to be honest; she helps me maintain my own sanity. Still, there comes a time when I don’t want to listen to my mom. She has this habit of responding to every need in my life with a passage of scripture or bringing Bible study books with her when she comes to visit in hopes that they will be applicable to my life. It is an admirable quality. She means well. The angel on my left shoulder appreciates her thoughtfulness. The devil on my right shoulder – not so much. I recently confessed to her that sometimes the material she gives me is absolutely spot on … but there are the times it has no immediate bearing on my life.

For those who read my scribbling on a regular basis it will come as no surprise that I absolutely abhor where I currently reside. I venture off on tangents regarding that subject on a fairly regular basis. My mother is aware of how I feel and, of course, she stumbled across some information she thought would be useful in helping me make peace with living in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. This time, however, she checked with me before sending me the following quote. As I had bluntly told her I was not always appreciative of the material she sends me - I didn’t blame her. I did tell her to email it to me. Why not? Like I said … sometimes she gets it right. This is what she sent:

“Let’s face it. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the places we've gotten our mail, but God intended to use every stop to equip us as servants. You have been assigned to your town or your city, and equally, it has been assigned to you. You may feel like an exile within its city limits, but just as God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, He wants to prosper you there.” ~Beth Moore, Inspirational Writer

Dang it! She hit the nail on the head with that one. I did not like it. I still do not like it. I have read that quote over and over again for the last week or two and digesting it is immensely difficult. You see, the author of this quote (Beth Moore) grew up in the town where I live. Arkadelphia, AR: “It’s A Great Place To Call Home!” Vomit.

I do not have a love-hate relationship with this town. I have a hate-hate relationship with it. The reasons are long and numerous. Among them is the fact that I went to college in this town and it was not the university I wanted to attend. At the time it seemed that, financially, I had no other choice. I met and married my ex-husband here and allowed him to suck me back into the Arkadelphia vortex after living away for eight years. I thought I was out for good. There are more reasons. Many more.

I do feel like an exile here. Then again, I do not know where (in this country) I wouldn’t feel like an exile. I might as well stay put … right? I don’t know. The only plus with being here is that my children get to be with their father and their mother on a regular basis because we live in the same town. Still …

Do I think this town has been assigned to me? Honestly? No, I do not.

Does God want me to prosper here? I have faith that He wants me to prosper, but I do not believe those opportunities are in Arkadelphia. I can’t. I know I will never prosper financially here. Those who do are a very select few. Small town, America: It’s dying. Will I prosper mentally or emotionally? Perhaps. I don’t see how, but I will not completely write off the idea. I guess, along with my faith, I need a twinkle of hope as well.

Here I am. It appears that here I will remain. Maybe, in due course, my God will reveal His purpose in stranding me here.

I pray. I wait. I listen.

Static.

Of course, it is highly possible that God (when He chooses to speak) will approach me through a rather reliable servant: Mom.


7 comments:

  1. Wow! How ironic that the author grew up in that same town. What are the chances that she felt the same way about it?

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  2. Live long and prosper.... ;)

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  3. kk ~ It is ironic. I've actually met her, but it was years ago before I thought I would ever end up back here ... so I didn't think to ask.

    anon ~ Vulcan am I now?

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  4. Sounds like a change is in your future. Perhaps a surprise?
    The best to you.

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  5. That's a tough one. You're tied to that area so that your kids can have both parents around them, which is a good thing but I also know how constantly being in a place that is dragging your spirit down doesn't go unnoticed by them either. I believe God can prosper you anywhere but I hope you can find a way to move somewhere that makes you happier.

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  6. It is tough, I am in the same boat. We have our duties and all things must figure in to the thoughts about moving on.

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  7. goatman ~ I hope so! I do need a change.

    lisa ~ Thank you.

    jim ~ Yes, I learned long ago to not compare my duty with my desire and, of course, duty has always come first.

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"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman

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