The question has been burning inside of me for close to a year now.
Yesterday, I posted on Twitter and Facebook that I was starting to feel a pull out of urban living. And that I was conflicted.
Adam and I bought our first house on the southeast side of downtown Indianapolis over 11 years ago. The main reasons we chose downtown centered around proximity to work and loving the architecture and originality of historic homes.
But as time went by, the reason to STAY downtown changed for me. I started coaching gymnastics at Jireh Sports. We made our church home at Redeemer. I was on the board at The Harrison Center for the Arts. We sent our children to The Oaks Academy. I was working for Herron High School. I felt called to live urban – to live in a diverse setting and take whatever tagged along with it.
We are now in our second home downtown. I love our double lot and the style of our home. It really is beautiful. But it’s not ideal for our family: no central air and only one full bath. These are both things I can live with in the grand scheme of things.
But then I drive 4-5 miles north and see big, sprawling yards. And ranches. And people waving to me while I drive through their neighborhoods. And homes that aren’t vacant for 6 years and falling apart and housing homeless people and their cats. And kids riding bikes on driveways and on cul de sacs. (Riding bikes on STREETS! Can you even imagine my fellow urbanites?!)
And I start to want it.
Now here’s where I start to feel conflicted.
Because really? I want both. I want to live in a traditional neighborhood like I grew up in as a child. And I want to experience a diverse life. I want my kids to not just go to a diverse school, but LIVE a diverse life.
But why can’t this happen if I live 4 miles north?
I can’t answer that question. People 4 miles north need Jesus too.
I’m not coaching at an urban gym, not on the board of an urban arts organization, not working at an urban high school. I’m just living downtown.
My heart aches because my COMMUNITY is here. My closest friends. My church. My school.
But is that enough? Can’t I still have that community and not live in this neighborhood if I’m intentional?
Your thoughts please.