Sorrow stacked upon sorrow is how I describe the last month. They are small grievances compared to some of the circumstances and heartaches that many find themselves experiencing. Though, one cannot compare the pain the heart experiences. Sometimes the world feels heavy and small things can break the camel’s back. Along with some of the major changes that I experienced recently, surgery on my tongue, a disappointing ending to a dating relationship and needing to move, there has also been a hormonal shift too. I believe there is no denying that the chemical changes that take place with hormones drastically impacts how one experiences the events that take place in his or her life. Be prepared for some TMI. Due to my excessive running and dietary restrictions, I had stopped having a regular menstrual cycle about a year ago. I actively worked on correcting that at the beginning of this year. Having surgery created a much needed sabbatical from running while I was recovering. Therefore, aiding in the return of my cycle. However, when it returned, it came with vengeance. I went from no cycle to too much of a cycle and all the hormones and emotions that come with that shift. So, the events that were taking place in my life during normal circumstances may have been easier to handle but all of these things together created the perfect storm. My world felt heavy and I was nearly despondent over the changes that were taking place. My sorrows were stacked and continued to stack.
I always knew the day would come when I would have to move out of the home I was living in. But when it did, I did not feel prepared to handle the grief that I was experiencing over leaving what had become my home. I moved out 2 days ago and that now makes 6 moves within 5 years. Most of these moves took place in a short time frame. However, I had been living in this house for 2 years, making it the most consistent living situation I had in a long time. The whole situation was miraculous and I give God full credit for his work in my life and in that living situation. I originally moved in to be the roommate of an older lady who was experiencing mental decline. It was rent free. I was anxious about entering into this living situation. Who moves in with a lady that they don’t know, with a mind is going, in a house that is dirty and full of her stuff because she’s a hoarder, oh and with a mice problem? I did. I was terrified and really had no idea how it was going to work out. But okay, they were not going to change me rent, so I did it. Everything worked out. The mice problem was resolved, slowly her stuff was cleaned out, and 3 months after I moved in, she moved out. Sadly, she declined quicker than expected and needed to move into a home. They said I could stay until they sold the house. Then COVID hit. The selling of the house was perpetually postponed. Two years later I was still living there, alone and rent free. It was miraculous and God’s provision. I don’t know how many times I was on my knees praying over the situation and thanking him for his goodness. He gave me a home of my own for that season. I had space. I was comfortable. In the past, I have been a live-in-nanny and have rented a room in someone’s house. Both of those situations caused so much anxiety. I felt suffocated and watched all the time. I felt shame over cooking and eating food. I have a variety of deity restrictions and allergies. People don’t always understand the special needs of my diet and that makes certain living situations harder to adapt to. But in that house the Lord not only allowed me to save money to pay for the schooling I was pursuing and money for a downpayment (I’m in the market to buy my own place right now), he also gave me freedom to live and teach in Washington and to cook and eat in peace.
Aside from the joys of the kitchen, I loved sitting in the backyard with a book or just watching the sky, caring for the home as though it was my own, enjoying walks in the neighborhood, watching a movie, having a friend over, and getting to know my neighbors. I felt rooted there. The neighborhood became mine. The stores in the community became part of my regular routine. I had a rhythm. I had a life there of my own. Though in the back of my mind I knew that it would end. Though it didn’t feel real. The dialog was constantly, “We need to put the house on the market. Our plans to sell have been postponed.” I stopped feeling like it was actually going to happen. Then the dialog changed. “We are going to have a realtor come to the house. We need you to move out by this day ___.” I was given notice. That sounds cold but it wasn’t. It was reality. A reality I knew would come. They expressed their thankfulness in my willingness to live in her house for all that time. No one could have known how this situation would have turned out. I didn’t and everything that I feared upon entering it, became non-issues. God was good. He was good to me.
The need to move caused me much stress and anxiety. The plan was that I was going to leave this house and move into the upstairs of a house belonging to a 90 year old lady from church. The house is 100 years old and full of a lifetime of things. She was not going to charge me much to live there. The plan was to stay until I found something more suitable. I was willing to do it because the cost was low but I really did not know how it would work with my stuff moving upstairs or with her packed kitchen and my desire to cook everything that I eat. Also, she lives in Portland, 17 miles from where I work in Vancouver. Moving day was approaching quickly. As it came closer, my anxiety and stress over it grew higher. I was almost despondent over everything, praying that God would carry me through the day as I would be near tears 10 minutes before my students would arrive for school. This was what I was going to enter in and I didn’t see any other options. I was a wreck. I was manless, felt homeless, and had raging hormones. My sorrows were stacked!
Then about a week before moving day the plan changed. Through a friend of a friend another option came up, a studio apartment. It’s an attached unit on the side of this couple’s house that they rent out. The rent was more than I would have paid at the house in Portland but I felt so much better about this arrangement. They usually have tenants sign a year long lease but in my case they let me sign a 6 month lease. I had explained that I was in the market to buy a condo and was afraid that I would find something but be locked into a year lease. I really didn’t know how the timeline would work and was trusting that God would work out the details surrounding the timing, the finances and my next home.
The crazy thing was, on the day I met the owner and saw the apartment, I also made an offer on a condo. I was a little conflicted, “Do I want to enter into this agreement? What if I get the condo? I’ll be out a few thousand dollars.” I could not know how things would turn out. So, I was going to go for it. This was on a Friday and Monday was when I was going to sign the lease. Well, my offer on the condo was not accepted. I felt better about signing the lease. I did and moved in on Wednesday. Thursday, my first day in my new place, I got a call from my realtor. The condo I put an offer on, the other buyer’s offer fell through, it was mine if I wanted it. I was losing my mind. I was just praying over everything and wondering what I was going to do and how long I would end up in the apartment. Instead, I got an immediate answer. I was going to be a homeowner. Now I’m feeling a bit stressed about the upcoming cost of things, the down payment, the closing cost, the home inspection, a new washer and dryer, and my rent for the next 6 months. I pray and trust! I know that God knows every aspect of my life. The timeline of these events I find baffling. Why couldn’t I have known on Friday before signing the lease that I would get the condo? Why did God give it to me after I signed? He keeps me in a state of constant reliance on him. He knows my daily needs and I know he will provide. In the meantime, I think I need to start looking at appliances and my sorrows don’t feel as stacked up against me anymore.