Well what an interesting day I had yesterday! It was quite a roller coaster, and it's not completely over yet.
I've decided maybe half a dozen times not to move, but I always stop and go wait, this is what I've wanted, why am I not taking it? So then I get all in a tizzy again. So yesterday I met with my church supervisor, and told him about the situation. The first thing he did was say he'd write the bishop to see about maybe getting me a little stipend as their seminarian. I thought that was so generous! I mean, it may not happen, but it's a nice offer.
Then he asked what our price range is, and when I told him, he said, "Oh, that wouldn't work." I said, "What?" And he said that they have the rectory that they rent out, and they haven't been thrilled with the tenant because they don't pay rent on time, etc. And he's been wanting to get a Fuller person in there for a long time. Plus, BIG bonus, if they move me in, since I count as clergy (being in formation), they can take the house off the tax rolls. So it's a win-win for everybody.
OH! I've wanted this to happen ever since I heard they had such a house! I've been praying for this! And I could have a HOUSE!! And a garden. How wonderful.
The rent is more than we can afford, but we'd already been talking about living in community with a friend and getting a house together. It would be good practice for our future student house. And we'd all save tons on rent. Plus, hello, house. Also I noted that if they save a lot in taxes, perhaps they could lower the rent a bit.
Anyway, I was walking on air after that. So happy. Then I went to class and went to meet with a prof. And wouldn't you know, he told me he has a grant project next year and if it goes forward, they will need someone to run the show. He didn't think I'd be available but I said I would SO make myself available! What an awesome opportunity. And a chance to actually do something with my knowledge rather than another admin assistant job. Plus, it would be part-time, so I could finish school as I plan (I was thinking I needed a job next year anyway).
So then my feet really weren't touching the ground. I called everybody - mom, sis, j, even talked to my homeless friend Keith. I was sure that God was arranging the house and the job so we could pay for the house. What a wonderful answer to prayers and hopes! Mom had even prayed just this week that God would somehow provide us a house. Wild!
Then I got a call from our apartment owner, telling me they would meet our requested price for the apartment next door. I said thanks, but I was thinking there's no reason to go there now! Still, I didn't give any sure answer.
When J got home he was all negative about the house. How will we get internet? What's the point of moving into a house now, when we might be leaving town in a year (for jobs/further study elsewhere)? And these sorts of downer questions. I got really sad and upset. Here I'd been thinking God was answering all my prayers and dreams, and J threw cold water on the whole thing.
So then we went to church last night, and told my supe everything that had happened. When I told him about the owner meeting our price, he said, "Congratulations!!" And I said that we were probably going to pass, though, because I wanted to be available for the house (moving next door means signing a new 1 year lease). And he got really stammery and said that he shouldn't probably have said anything, that it's currently rented by a friend of someone in the church, that they may not go for the idea - he's tried many times - and so on. He said, "Don't count on that!"
So then I was really confused and upset. I mean, I had told myself I was going to make sure the house was a go before saying no to the bigger apartment. And then I get to church and I hear the house is by no means a sure thing. But then why dangle the carrot? I mean that to God, not to my supervisor. J said maybe it was a test to see if I could really be happy with what I have, and I failed because I immediately jumped at the house. What a nice guy he can be.
I hated being back in the swirl of unknowing instead of feeling secure in God's provision. Which is stupid, now that I write that, because it's all God's provision, isn't it? Even the roof over my closet-like apartment right now. I am not on the street. God is good.
Anyway, so we talked last night and said maybe we should just stay here in the tiny place. Best case scenario is we get the house at the end of our lease. Worst case is we don't and we stay here until I graduate a year from now and we leave town (if we're staying in town, we'd definitely get a bigger place). Seemed reasonable enough. Went to bed on it.
Woke up this morning thinking I am crazy. Why am I not going for this place next door, when it's much better than what we have? Why hope for something (the house) that is so unlikely to happen? I wanted a certain price for next door and I got it. Why am I rejecting it for a pipe dream? Why not take the sure thing, that's going to be more comfortable?
The main reason I don't want to is because it locks us into a lease for another year from now. But all that means is that we're in this apartment complex until I graduate, which is likely anyway. It also means that it's not such a big deal to leave town if a post-doc or phd for me comes calling. And there's really not any major reason we couldn't get the house later. As J has pointed out, it might take them a year to get the person in it out of it.
And the main thing, for J (and me probably when I think of it), is that it's not much more difficult to move next door than moving around our furniture would be. It's not a big deal at all - the hardest part will be the cleanup. But it's by no means as expensive or time-consuming as moving out to a house would be.
So after all of that, now it seems we're leaning toward the next-door apartment. And I'm sad, because I see my little garden disappearing, and my dream of a house where I could actually entertain and feel like an adult. Have people over again - have my family visit again! It's something I've wanted for soooo long. Such a deep desire of my heart. And we could have a baby there!! We'd have room!
I'm sure the apartment guys want to know asap about our decision - although we're going to put them off as long as we can. Because we can't find out about the house until the vestry meets, and that's not until a week from Sunday. Plus I'm out of town, so I have to send J with our appeal, and he's got to gauge the reactions to see how possible it seems. Even though they haven't bought it in the past, I feel like since they know me and really like us they might be willing.
So hopefully we can hem and haw on the apartment another week (but it's unlikely - we'll probably have to say yes). Then if the vestry meeting goes well, we would, I guess, have to change our minds on the apartment (which really shouldn't upset them all that much - it's going to take at least another week to clean it, and then they'll get the original rent they wanted anyway, and they don't have to fix up our place to re-rent).
I am so unsure what is going on. I've been praying like crazy, you all have been praying, my family has, even my apartment manager has prayed with me over this!! It's so weird. I just don't know how it's going to turn out. So please keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and if you have any advice based on reading this from outside the situation, I am ALL EARS!
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Bless your heart, Younger Sister. Too many possibilities, and not enough probablilities, much less certainties.... It's painful.
You know the joke (or is it a parable?) with the punch line, "I sent him two boats and a helicopter. What did he expect?" You can only make decisions based on what you know, trusting that God will give you enough guidance - but not expecting certainty. And I'm sure you already knew this; but hear it again. Do what you think looks best to you, based on what you know now; and trust that God will give you what you need in that circumstance to go forward.
How overwhelming for you! Too many possibilities can be as overwhelming as too few. Still praying for you, though!
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