Perhaps you’ve wondered where I went the past couple of months. Sadly I must admit that the answer is “nowhere.” School has taken over my life.
Mine, and every other senior struggling through their last semester. It turns out that all of that procrastinating catches up on you eventually. Oh, well. Now I must do something few have successfully accomplished.
Graduate on time. Yep, it’s a simple enough task when you do your school like you’re supposed to. For me, I’ve got twenty days to do six(ish) months of work. Hence my absence of late.
Today I am cutting into yet another too-short school day to share something I feel is of equal value as schooling. You’re welcome.
For some time now I’ve been praying about a lot of things; one of which is my home town. (I should be praying all the time…truth is, I wasn’t and still don’t.) A few months ago I wrote about The Invisible America, which seems like its own little conservative kingdom. (Well, democracy of course, being a microcosm of the country at large.) Most people are more familiar with this little kingdom’s common name: the state of Wyoming.
At least, that is where you will find it. Not even a tenth of the state itself is touched by the world I know. A small town- though it is not even a noticeable fraction of Wyoming- has become my life. When I first came here I would have thought it impossible to fall in love with this place.
- It’s tiny. By tiny I mean, less than ten thousand people. In this part of the country that’s actually big. (Another complaint I first had.) I have wanted to live in a small town since I was a child. The problem with it’s size will be best explained in the next complaint….
- Everyone knows everyone. If you move in, everybody knows within a few months. Good luck finding friends for a while…every kid in town has grown up with their friends since preschool or even earlier. (Akward when you’ve lived A Military Brat Life)
- There are not very many young people here. It turns out that they usually move as soon as they graduate, and end up coming back after they’ve grown up and had a family. Why?
- Because there is nothing to do here. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Wait, never mind. You can go to the local soda fountain! So long as you don’t mind being the youngest people there, if you are teenagers. If you have any energy at all your options are get involved at a church, go bowling, and/or be bored. (And eat food. We do have plenty of places to get food.)
- If you don’t want to break the bank, you go up to Billings, Montana. Our stores have limited and sometimes expensive merchandise. (Still waiting on peanut butter…) Again, there are some things that are worth shopping local for. It’s just that we don’t have everything. (Sports equipment anyone? Let me know if I’ve just missed it somewhere.)
- Everyone has relatives everywhere. You can’t escape. Ever. (Don’t try either; you might get more than you wanted.)
When did I change my mind?
I’m not certain, but I know it wasn’t me. Since I moved here God has put this beautiful little kingdom on my heart. The people here are moving for Him and those who don’t desperately need Him! (Isn’t that true everywhere?) I don’t have to leave to minister to others as God has called me to. Here I have grown, learned and built relationships that are irreplaceable. In the place that I am right now, literally the room I am in, I have been able to bless people, pray for them, encourage them, and receive the same.
Here I have learned that it is not the location you are in. God uses missionaries in Africa, Europe, South America and even right here in Wyoming. There is never going to be a town that is 100% Christian. We need each other. How blessed am I to live in a place where being a Christian does not guarantee persecution. Fear has no hold on this town.
The other day I went to the coffee shop and was amazed to find a new addition to their décor. Within the last couple of weeks, they have added a prayer wall. Leave a prayer, take a prayer. How cool is that? I decided to leave one of my own prayers. This is the prayer I picked up in return –
Pray for continued unity in this town. That it would be found in Christ alone!
On the end of the note, someone left John 17: 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
As this prayer was made public, so I have taken the liberty of sharing it with you. Many thanks to the one who first wrote it! I believe we should all be praying this same prayer. Where better to start loving your neighbor than in your home town? (Hey, here’s a thought. Love your actual neighbor.)
This has become my home. As the people within have ministered unto me, so I desire to do the same for them in Christ. I love this little town; it was loved by God first.