The Next Chapter

Hellllloo, everyone! Everyone who reads this, even if it’s just one person, share my joy. I’m so happy to be here. April 26th 2013 marks the first night Tristan and I spent in our new apartment. It does feel like I’m starting over again but I’m thankful I get to start over as me instead of the me of 6 years ago. I’m truly blessed. And now that I feel lighter and don’t feel like I have to try so hard just to exist, I’m slowly coming back to the things that used to make me happy – before the huge mess that was 2009-2011 happened. If you don’t know about the last two years of my life, you can catch up here. But if you do, read on.

Our new apartment is a reasonably sized 2-bed, 1 bath space sectioned off from a 3 apartment building, squeezed into place on a little one-way street in west Philly. Ours happens to be at the back of the building and can only be accessed from an ally (which I like), essentially invisible from the street. I loved that – it was one of the many things that I liked about this one in particular.

We started seriously looking at places to live in March, of course we had always been looking. Every time I went out I eyed houses like they were shoes on a shelf at Ross or some place, for that perfect “pair” to call my name but I wasn’t too serious about it. I didn’t want to take my “shopping” too seriously because the last thing I wanted after losing the last house we lived in was to take matters into my own hands; I wanted God to be the authority on this one. So I waited and prayed – always looking but never “picking up and trying on”. Though in March it hit us that 1/3 of our marriage had been spent in a dark, tiny space under someone else’s home. While I will be forever grateful for my time spent in darkness and silence – we both knew that the end was near. We started looking on our own – deciding not making any decisions until we had a walk-through and prayed about it. At first we thought we could actually buy something, neither one of us really wanted to rent again but the events that followed our first walk-through helped us learn just how much we weren’t ready for that. Starting over in that way is a little frustrating to me, but at the time I knew and I believe that God knew that I needed to be shown the deep end to decide on what I knew was right: that I wasn’t financially or emotionally ready to take the plunge. Several more misses later I had started to except the idea that I might be in that basement for another year and that it might be better for us to stick it out that long…but then (I love the “but thens”). We found an offer through the church, not only that, but through one of my teammates on the worship team which I had waited and prayed on for a year before I considered joining; praying that God would put me on the stage if He wanted me there but I wouldn’t go by myself.

We saw this apartment at the beginning of April. I liked it right away but I was determined NOT to make any snap decisions. So I waited some more, about 2 weeks more and I still felt the same. I had prayed for a perfect home in season and it was just that: the size, layout, number of rooms, location – all were perfect. It was (and is still is a bit) dirty, neglected and smelly but I hadn’t had to clean a home in years so I didn’t mind – in fact I think God knew what I really wanted and that I really wanted to be a homemaker again. He gave me a home that covered all the things I asked Him for and many things that I did not.

Needless to say, I’m writing this from my new office right now. I’m amazed at this, at everything and I can only give the Lord all the credit. I just can’t explain this any other way. I want to share some verses that got me through some 800 days of silence and waiting on the Lord for a new home. If you made it to these words and don’t believe in God, read them anyway and may you be blessed (or whatever you choose to call it), and if you do, be blessed my brother/sister!

[Jesus said] “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. – Luke 12:6-7

…Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. -Luke 12:22-32

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later…

But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
– Romans 8:18 & 25-27

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. – Lamentations 3:25-26

To cite a few! I added the emphasis because these are the things that really stood out to me and still encourage me when I read them.

So now, as I’m getting settled in my new home I want to put a heart-felt “thank you” out into the blogoshpere for anyone that prayed or wished me well. I look forward to writing much more frequently as the next chapter of my life begins.

My new office :)

My new office :)