“Where do you live?”
It’s a question that is frequently asked at my age. No longer is the question “Do you play sports?” or “Where do you go to school?” – it’s moved from involving what your action is into where you have decided to be placed.
I have had the fortunate ability to travel and even live in another state for a short time. It made me realize how important this question is. It can’t just be geography when it’s where you have chosen to live your life. The restaurants that surround you, the people you live by, the neighbors you have – it’s all a choice.
My choice is Grapevine, Texas. More or less, Dallas. My heart for this area grows everyday. Every time I leave it, I can’t wait to get back. I wake up thanking God for the skyline, the people, the Starbucks I frequent (less recently), the places I shop (when I do), and the people I have the joy of sharing this beautiful city with.
It’s more than big hair, thick accents, and sweet tea. People in Texas are not immune to loss or pain or grief, but yet we find a way to see it differently. Dallas has Art in places I never knew Art could exist. We have museums, elaborate sports arenas, churches big and small, people short and tall. We have cowboy hats, but yet hipster jeans. We drink coffee and lattes, but enjoy food trucks and outdoor concerts. We have indoor ice skating and outdoor bike trails. We have Broadway and opera, and the AA center that brings hip hop and WWE to the center of Dallas class. The people don’t always tell you they need to hear it, but they all love to be told they are beautiful. Not all love to be seen, but all hate to be forgotten.
There are poor neighborhoods and rich ones, and some still see people differently – but most would be the first to give a few dollars to the woman holding the cardboard sign. There is evil, but for every bit of evil, God has made a way for beauty to shine through. As thick as a Texan accent, is a love for this place that dwells deep in the heart of many who reside here.
It’s not just geography to them, or to me, it’s our home.
I don’t know if Dallas will always be home, if/when I get married and move off I have another place that I learn the inside to the out. But what I do know is that for at least eight years this place has captivated my heart. If I do move, my kids will know Dallas isn’t just an old TV show, but the place their mommy found herself. The place that holds steadfast hope, dream builders, and old friendships. It’s the place she fell in and out of love, gave up and held on, let go and grabbed on. It’s the place God showed her the woman she was meant to be and that life will always have places, people, and things – but not all places are as important, not all people stay forever, and never do things stay the same.
So I challenge you, is your home, a home, or is just geography? Get to know your city. Love it well while you have it. Grab onto the memories while they are there – enjoy the skyline, love on the people, and choose to see the place you reside as your mission field – and not just a red dot on the US map.
Because, lets face it – life is too good for anything to be ‘just’ anything…
jess, proud Dallas, Texas resident