Yesterday, after church, we were talking with Pastor John and Beth.
All of a sudden, we found ourselves talking about blogs. I mentioned that I had written that I want to be anywhere but NJ. Some more comments were made, and then Pastor John looked away and said, “You see. Deneen lives here, but she lives elsewhere.” If that is not the exact quote, it’s what I heard.
More conversation was had. A day was lived. But that comment stuck with me. Not in a bad way. But more in a this is something on which I have to work kind of way.
I’ve spent 31 years wishing I was somewhere else. To quote George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, “The three best sounds in the world are a plane engine, a train whistle and the sound of an anchor pulling up.” I love to travel, even if it means getting on a PATCO train to go into Philadelphia.
However, I have to learn to abide where I am. I’ve never known so clearly that God has placed me here for such a time as this. The things that I see Him doing in my life right now, His constant presence, His words of encouragement, correction. He’s placed me in a church where I am held accountable. Not the kind of accountability that makes me hide who I am. The kind of accountability that allows me to be who I am. He’s given me something for which I have been asking for a long time.
One day we were singing “To the Ends of the Earth” by Hillsong United. The worship leader asked the congregation, “Would you go to the ends of the earth for God? What if the ends of the earth, for you, is NJ.” I remember crying bitterly. However, those words have stuck deep within my heart. I’ve been crying out for years, “Here I am, lord. Send me.” It seems that He’s saying, “Deneen, I already have.”‘
So, my lesson for this week, month, 2007 seems to be learning to abide right here, where I am, in NJ.