We received some terrible news last week. But before I can tell you what that news was, in order for you to understand fully how frustrating this was to hear, I have to go back several months.
We moved to Denver this past July. Actually, just Tim did at first. I stayed behind in Minnesota with the boys in order to finish up my job, then drove down to Iowa to spend time with my family while Tim looked for a place to live.
I flew to Denver for about a week for an interview that would result in a job and housing opportunity for us. The interview got cancelled. Twice. I flew back to my boys no closer to securing a home than when we started.
In the middle of August we heard about an apartment opening through an inner-city ministry we have contacts with. I brought the boys out to live with a darling lady from my brother-in-law’s church for two weeks as we anticipated moving in on September 1st.
Right before September we received word that it would be more like the beginning of October before we would be able to move. Okay. We were officially homeless.
Through our connections, and generous brothers and sisters in faith, we moved into a dormitory-type setting reserved for church groups visiting the city. We had ten bunk beds as our only furniture. We thought we would be there long enough to secure something else, but the days turned into weeks. Until finally, something else opened up.
On the 15th of October we moved into a little-bitty basement apartment three stories below our desired one. We were thrilled to finally have a place all to ourselves, even if it was tiny and underground. We would be here until our apartment upstairs was done being renovated.
One other thing: All of our belongings have been in storage in Iowa this entire time. When I came out here I packed three weeks worth of summer clothes (remember, it was July). We have been living here with an odd assortment of camp chairs, Goodwill items, and plastic dinnerware. It’s been interesting.
So, back to our bad news. Today was the day we were finally going to move in. My parents traveled out here for Thanksgiving and graciously brought all our belongings. We have our stuff, we just need a home to put it in. But, as the workers were finishing up the final stages of our beautiful, fully-renovated, loft apartment, somehow the fire sprinkler on the ceiling was bumped and went off. The good news is we aren’t going to die in a fire; the sprinkler system works exceptionally well and put out a lot of water in a very short amount of time. The bad news is, we do not yet know the extent of the water damage. We are, again, living in the unknown. Only this time, we have a 24 foot trailer full of our belongings that we have to store for an indefinite amount of time.
This is frustrating, disappointing, but in a darkly humorous way, not surprising. So many things have gone wrong in the last five months that our expectations are extremely low.
The the question I’ve been struggling with is this: If I really believe the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, how does it fit in to this situation? I am devastated by how my life has been going lately. At one point, we were pulling in the driveway of a potential temporary home (fully furnished, available for the exact three months we needed it) when the owner called me and said he just rented it to someone else. The job and housing opportunity I tried to interview for fell through. Job after job after job that we’ve applied for have come to nothing. We can’t afford anything else. My kids aren’t sleeping well. I am not sleeping well. The boys have been without winter clothes while winter has slowly been creeping up. I have spent many nights crying late into the night at our seemingly hopeless state.
But what good is my faith if it’s not applicable in every aspect of my life? How do I cling to the Gospel on a day like today when I was supposed to be unpacking my new home but instead I’m surrounded by clothes, toys, books, etc, that have absolutely no place to go, because my dressers, bookshelves and everything are packed away in a trailer?
This post is long enough. I will leave you to think about it as well. I will attempt to answer that question in tomorrow’s post.