Almost three years ago we moved to rural Cape Girardeau, Missouri from Cincinnati. For the first year here I lived in a pity party of everything I was missing – our church community, the city life and even just a Chipotle burrito. The victimization mindset had overtaken me, and the worst part was I had no self-awareness and was clueless that I was grieving the loss of my community and everything my husband, my four children, and I had built in the previous 15 years. I vividly remember going to my husband one night and his powerful words that flipped the script: “Erika, home is HERE. Embrace the change, stop being a victim.” Yikes.
As I humbly accepted the truth from him, I decided to go all in and live the country life in CapeG like it was my forever home. That required me to generously give my time and invest in people around me. I started to lead a women’s small group, became involved in our children’s school, saw my work at P&G as a kingdom assignment, invited people over to watch Crossroads Anywhere, and even co-led a GO Local project.
I began to feel abundantly blessed. How did I get there so quickly? Well, giving is a kingdom principle, so when we give in some way, our Heavenly Father pours in that much more. Luke 6:38 unfolded before my eyes. It didn’t mean I was perfect, but I became aware of my temptation to move into the victim mindset and in every area of my life when I began to drift toward it I used worship and thanksgiving as my weapons. I learned to use worship as a way to hold my thoughts captive. My husband and I even hosted a virtual worship session for our local Christian school during quarantine, which is something the victim mindset never would’ve unleashed in us.
The perfect neighborhood or the perfect community is not what it is about. It’s about being audacious in our love of Jesus. The more we love Him and go to him with our imperfection, the more he is able to flip the script to something that is true, noble, pure, lovely, and admirable. -Erika A.