Embracing our Changing Landscapes

by Linda Leathers, CEO of The Next Door

The Next Door’s Midtown neighborhood is one of the fastest growing areas in this amazing city. From my desk, I can see our awesome neighbor, Tri-Star Kimbro Oil, in front of our building at 22nd and Charlotte – though they’re probably better known as the Shell Station. They recently began renovations to build an incredible Twice Daily market, and are tearing down the current structure as I write. The market will provide The Next Door team, as well as the community around us, fabulous convenience to eat healthy and not-so-healthy goodies and buy GAS in a lovely new location.

The TN Oncology group is renovating a currently empty building just to the left of me that will provide a center for patients, and back office services for their practice. Across Charlotte Avenue, within a football field of my desk, implosions of rock take place several times daily to make way for a beautiful and much needed area Staybridge hotel. Starbucks built and opened a hip, cool location in late 2017 within 30 yards of our front door, creating an amazing second BREAK ROOM for the staff team. New homes, new condos, new restaurants…it is all happening!

The architectural landscape of The Next Door’s immediate neighborhood is rapidly changing. Renovation, restoration, tear downs, new builds, construction fences, cranes, implosions, porta-potties surround us… and I love it! The growth is a visual sign of new opportunities and possibilities.

I remember just 4 years ago, The Next Door’s current home was an abandoned parking lot enclosed by a barbed wire fence. We preferred to refer to it as a “gated community.” I am incredibly grateful that this one acre “throw away parcel” is now home to a beautiful, world class addiction treatment center for women that served more than 1300 women in 2017.

The signs of growth remind me spiritually that the Lord desires to continuously remodel and restore my soul. The Lord has a way of providing daily personal implosions to remove the rock formations that hold me hostage. By His grace, goodness and kindness, He can bring beauty out of the ashes of my personal implosion.

I pray this year for the courage to embrace the way the Lord wants to remodel or change the landscape of my life. I pray that He would lovingly implode the areas that need to be torn down, renovated or restored. I will not complain about the growth all around me. I will embrace the growth and look for the possibilities. Bring on the cranes both in the neighborhood and in my heart!

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