Blooming Where Planted
By Jennifer Slattery
“Also, seek the prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7
I left California scared and in tears. I left Louisiana broken and confused. By the time we made it to Kansas City, four moves and three years later, I felt numb and resigned. God had given us so much—a great home in a close-knit neighborhood, a loving church family, and despite the numerous transitions and uncertainties our family had weathered, our relationships remained in tact.
But my heart wasn’t. Honestly, I’d left a large piece of it in Southern California and at a mid-sized church with a small-sized feel, the place I first began to heal.
That stucco building, with it’s Friday night services and Sunday morning praise, was where God coaxed me, but a few years after He’d pulled me off the streets, to put down roots.
Roots God longed to replant, in a new church, a new home, but I resisted. Clinging to the past, I blinded myself to the beauty of God’s new plan unfolding before me.
This is how the Ancient Israelites behaved, when God uprooted them from their beloved homeland. He’d warned them, unless they abandoned their sins and returned to Him, exile was coming. But they refused to listen and experienced the full consequences of their rebellion.
Desperate and broken, they repented and cried out for mercy.
Perhaps they thought, if they prayed long and hard enough, God would change His mind and return them to their homeland. And so, they waited, merely taking up space like a bunch of visitors passing through.
“Plant roots!” God said. “Have families, build lives, and do good.”
Because though He’d eventually bring them back from where they’d come, it wouldn’t be for quite awhile. While they waited, they weren’t to mope and grow algae. Instead, they were to take their eyes off themselves and focus on blessing others.
Wherever we’re at, may we choose to do the same.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multipublished author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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