It is in the chair of the small tattoo shop, 3 months after living on my own for the first time ever, that I said the words aloud for the first time.
“I do not want to live in Southend anymore”
Whoah. Where did that come from?
It just doesn’t feel like me and I am tired of looking over my shoulder everywhere I go. I’ve been searching for a ‘home’ and this does not feel like it. I have absolutely wonderful memories here but I think I’ve outgrown it.
After admitting that aloud, it felt like the truest words I’ve said in awhile.
Exactly two weeks later I received an eviction notice on my door when I arrived home from work. My dog has been wrongfully convicted of being “aggressive” and I have 24 hours to remove him from the property. Of course sheer panic set in as it was not an option for me to live there without him. We were just figuring out our new normal and I still had no idea who I was or what I would do without him. I cried as my husband came to pick up our dog to live with him until I sorted this out. I had never felt more alone.
As fate would have it, that week, with the support of my now pastor and DivorceCare group, I invited Christ into my life.
I knew in my gut this eviction was an act of God and it gave me the miracle I needed to surrender and put my full trust into him.
This would be my fourth move in one year, the second time doing it alone, and Lord knew I needed the strength to ask for help to do it again.
As soon as I leaned into this idea of surrendering control, peace began to settle in as I knew this was exactly what I prayed to happen. Even if it happened a lot quicker than I expected. After talking it out with my Mom, we realized the first move had been my own attempt to control the situation myself and it only left me more unsettled. This decision was different because I felt it was for a plan bigger than myself. By the grace of God, I had worked out a deal with the community manger and within a week I said a final prayer to the 740 square feet that had been my first sanctuary and turned in my keys.
4 girls with cars packed full and a U Haul, we moved all my belongings into an apartment in the new neighborhood I felt pulled to come to.
When I came back from dropping off the truck, my bed had been put together, my living room artfully set up and my bookshelf full of all my books in color order except for one grey book by Roxanne Gay whose Skill Share class I would ironically take just 5 weeks later after the time in my new space allowed me to recover my love for writing.
I cried tears of joy with so much love and gratitude in my heart. We’ve already been over that I am sensitive and emotional. But this time there was no room for any fear or shame or darkness. Three of us sat in the living room while my sweet friend walked around, saging each room and I could feel every vibration ring across my tattooed skin.
I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Even in this time of both physical and mental isolation, we are not alone.
Focus on the strength of the Lord.
Let the promises be your focus.
Without struggle, how would we realize our great need for a higher power?
‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.