This is where I (Janna) live.
It was a miracle that we were able to move in to a one bedroom apartment four months before Kaeley’s birth, almost nine and a half years ago, and it’s a miracle that we are now living in a three bedroom, two bath apartment within the same complex. I mean, seriously, it’s a miracle that we’re here.
The rent is cheap. It’s safe most of the time. Outside our second story apartment there is an old school playground the children enjoy playing in and there are two pools which Nathan asks to swim in on a regular basis regardless of the weather. The apartment suits us pretty well. We fit if I routinely go through the house and throw away things (um… like Bibles) that we’re not using. We make it work.
But I’ll be honest – I’m kind of over living in an apartment. Okay, that wasn’t completely honest – I really don’t want to live here any more. I want to live the American Dream and live in a pretty three bedroom, two bathroom house with it’s own yard. Then I could maybe see myself as a responsible adult. Then I could host Bible studies and have friends over often and order pizza without the delivery man getting horribly lost within a huge apartment complex. I wouldn’t need to share everything from washing machines to burnt kitchen smells.
When asked what our personal Nineveh is I thought of our cement jungle.
I want my Nineveh to look like this:
I mean, I’m not picky. Take away the entire second story and I’ll be fine!
But no. I live in:
But why would God want us here? Well, there are probably many reasons, like me learning to be more than content in His rich provision in my life. But while there are several neighbors that are strong Believers there are many that are aren’t and there are at least three that are actively following a false god. Two of them are my friends. The women are bright, friendly, and would give you absolutely anything you needed. However, my heart breaks that they’re following a dead end.
As Melanie Anderson taught at the last Refuge, I’ve been invited into greatness and, while I am praying and trying to build these relationships with unbelieving neighbors, I am still checking my inbox for the invitation to a prettier Nineveh.
I know I’ve lost the Kingdom-perspective. How could I not rejoice that God has sent us Believers into a fish bowl of many (not all) unbelievers? How could I not see this as a great privilege as I build relationships with the women while we’re in the laundry room washing clothes and watching our children in the complex playground? At this point they couldn’t escape me if they tried!
And how I do pray that the LORD would take over and they would be unable to escape the Truth of His great love. I pray that one day they would not be able to escape the matchless God of all gods!
And with the same amount of conviction I pray for my own wicked heart. I pray for a heart that rejoices in living in this apartment until I see salvation of three+ neighbors. I ask for a heart that yearns for nothing more than God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in heaven. A heart that asks, “God, please help me to totally embrace this great city of Nineveh.”
And the people of Nineveh believed God…