This week I am going to explore why I live where I live. This is a question I’ve been asking myself and God for the past two years. Through this, I hope to gain better insight into why I am here.
A little over two years ago, we moved to an inner-city neighborhood in Knoxville, Tennessee. We did this as a result of feeling led by God to be in the neighborhood to help our church start a new church nearby. At least, that is what we thought…
I’ll start with Knoxville, Tennessee. Why do I live here?
My family moved here in 1980 (when I was just 9 years old) from a small town in southern Ohio. It was a transfer with my dad’s job and my parents wanted to raise me & my brother in a city where we’d have plenty of opportunities (they were both raised in small towns). I began the 4th grade with many struggles to catch up! We did have many more opportunities here than we would have in small town, Ohio. I am thankful that my parents made that decision.
I happen to love Knoxville! It is close to the mountains, the lakes, and the country, but still has the benefits of city living. And the people! It takes leaving here and coming back to realize how different the people are! It is a friendly city! You’ll always get a smile and a hello walking down the street or through the mall.
I also love that it is not a ‘flat’ city. It is very hilly. And there are trees and flowers all over! Again, I have to visit other cities to find that this isn’t the case everywhere. It is a colorful city. A growing city. A welcoming place to live.
I did go away for college – a small college town in Kentucky. This is where I met Papa. I didn’t like small town living and was glad to return to Knoxville! Papa and I were married 7 years after meeting in KY and chose to make our home in Knoxville, TN. We’ve been married 10 years now.
Have we considered leaving? Vaguely. There have been job offers for him to move to Florida. We prayed about these offers and both felt strongly that we were to stay here. Occasionally we have considered leaving to get away from “troubles”, but realized we’d only be taking our troubles with us.
And so we’ve stayed. We’ve lived in three different areas of town. North, West, and Central. I’ll talk more about that next time!