3 years ago I started my apartment search. I went to sleep and woke up one day ready to become an adult. It was going to be the first time I was truly out on my own—aside from college and graduate school. Mama’s little girl was leaving the nest; I’m sure her anxiety was more out of control than mine.
Upon preparing for such a big step I wrote my laundry list of wants and can’t-stand’s, and began my search. I quickly filtered out the ‘bad’ neighborhoods, the places that were just too far from work, and apartment buildings. I have a love/hate relationship with having to take an elevator or excessive amount of steps, just to get to my abode.
I didn’t want street parking, but I also didn’t want to have to pay for a parking space. I wanted something spacious, so I didn’t feel like I was couped up in an apartment, but like I had places to walk around (and not just in circles). I wanted something I didn’t have to blow my whole check on, but I also wanted amenities. I searched across 3 cities & towns trying to find the right space. I even considered moving in with my good friend Mike, when we found a two-bedroom we both adored but couldn’t afford on our own. But mama didn’t raise no fool, and Mike moved to Boston shortly after.
Nothing panned out; there was always something. One too small. One too expensive. One with too many smells in the hallway.
I grew weary. Exhausted, really. With let-down after let-down, I knew it wasn’t my time. I supposed I wasn’t as ready to move as I thought. Maybe it wasn’t in my cards just yet. Perhaps there was some place better out there for me—a place that just wasn’t ready yet.
That was it. There was better for me!
I gave up searching and let it sit for a while. I learned to be content living in a house full of adults who were dedicated to eating the groceries I bought. Ironically, it was in that contentment that I finally found something. It was more than just something, it was perfect. The location, the price, the amenities, and even the landlord. It was all heaven sent.
Today I read some old e-mail threads between me and my landlord. I recalled how kind and transparent he was—and has always been. I remembered when my mother threatened him, making sure he knew that if anything happened to me, on his property, she would find him. I remember how instead of becoming offended, he comforted her as a parent of a daughter close in age to mine. He assured her that if anything happened, she has permission to find him.
That was it. I rented my first apartment on my own and was so excited.
The point of this, though, this recollection (and ultimately my desire to share it with you) is not about the apartment, but to acknowledge the blessing that was occurring in my life behind the scenes. To highlight the importance of how sometimes, letting go, is the best way to hold on. And to acknowledge that God will always provide your needs—even when you don’t know what your needs are.
I was petrified of living alone, and far away from my family. My God found me a place right next door to my big sister, and down the street from her mother. I didn’t want to be in too rural of an area, but I also didn’t want to be too close to the city. My God gave me the best of both words, placing me right around the corner from the excitement of New Haven, but isolated on a hill in the suburbs of Hamden. I was near multiple shopping plazas, and minutes away from downtown. This was my first apartment, and while ‘nice landlord’ wasn’t necessarily on my list of wants, it was on God’s lists of needs for me. I was blessed with a landlord I could text at any time. One who cared enough about my fear of the 3 outside bugs that popped up in my apartment, to travel 45 minutes with heavy duty bug spray. One that cares enough about my well-being, and the well-being of all of us living in his property, that he checks up on us during and after snowstorms. One that cares less about making money and more about creating an amicable relationship with his tenants for the sake of longevity. One that hasn’t raised the rent since I’ve been there, unlike the jerks who insist on raising rent each year; the landlords who do nothing but insist on wanting more.
God blessed me with a great apartment, in an amazing location, with a lovely landlord. An apartment that allowed me to grow in the ways I needed. That place became a safe space for me to bloom. It became my abode; my throne. It became where I went to unpack all the day’s burdens, and leave them there for Christ to relieve me of. It became my home. Though only temporary, it became where my heart is. Prayed over and filled with the spirit, it became my place of peace. Where I went to escape the brutality of life’s trials. Where the sound of solitude was sweetness to my ears.
It's where I grew into a woman; a real woman. Where I grew into myself. Where I made great mistakes and offered even greater apologies. Where I learned to apologize. Where I learned that even in the silence of night I'm always accompanied; God is always there. Where I learned to rely on God's protection more than anything, or anyone, else—including the spoons my father used to put on the door knobs.
See when God orchestrates blessings, miracles, and the like, He does so with everything in mind. He does so making sure that all of our needs are met. He does so with strategic intent. He does so on a timeline that He sees most beneficial to our lives. I’ve been living on my own for a little under 3 years now, and I can’t ever think about that without recognizing how much of a blessing it was to have found this place to begin with. I can’t help but think—every.single.day—how amazed I am at the place I’m in, both physically and mentally. Every time I pull into my driveway or open my front door, I’m in awe at God’s careful orchestration of this blessing. Of how I almost lost hope. Of how a part of me wanted to settle. Of how none of this would have been possible without God silencing me enough to do His great work. Of how the minute I let go, He stepped in.
So this is about far more than an apartment. It’s about God’s guidance. God’s implementation. God’s time. God’s perfect will. And God’s unwavering desire to see us prosper. So thank you, Lord, for that blessing and for always knowing what I need, when I need it.