"This is a little like online dating, isn't it?"
My potential roommate's face was pixelated through the video chat forum, but the humor in her voice cut through even the bad connection. She was streaming from a completely different state and we had to decide whether or not we'd move in together as soon as she landed in Virginia Beach.
"It is, you're totally right," I said. "Except for you live together after you match up."
We both laughed. It was more like an arranged marriage than anything. Two people from states away, knowing each other through faded friends-of-friends. In what other sane part of life do two strangers commit a lease of their lives together?
It's manic when you think about it: barely knowing someone and then legally binding yourself to them for a year or two by way of a lease. Post college, living arrangements can get pretty tricky in this light. Many of my close girlfriends already have roommates–their husbands and children–permanently attached to them. Others are simply here for a season, no longer wishing to be tethered to one place or one job.
But, I am. Prospects were few, and I was suddenly worried. Would this new woman I had agreed to meet via Skype love Jesus? Would she be okay with the way I ordered food to the apartment? Or didn't think it was the absolute end of the world if I left the dishes in the sink overnight?
Then, through a few minutes of exchanging humorous getting-to-know-you antics, she and I made plans to move to a vintage, cobblestoned part of town. A high-rise apartment with hardwood floors and a stunning, blue view of sky and water. Miraculously in our price range.
I would be moving in with a total stranger. Both of us taking a pretty bold "leap of faith." Which translate to us both being unable to afford living on our own.
By all appearances, even in spite of how well our first online appearance to each other went, we had one thing in common: she and I were both taking a risk. We bonded over it, and decided to make it official. We were moving in together.
It's one of those decidedly not profound parts of life
that make you realize that nearly everything is profound.
It's not exactly a secret that I've been struggling with my faith journey lately. It's been a bridge with gaps that I've had to maneuver for a few years.
You can feel it rising within you like you can hear gravel
pop under the tires of a car.It starts low, softly creeping into the tiny gaps that your faith no longer covers. And then it's before you. Disbelief. Doubt. Uncertainty. The Christian female's triple threat.
When this part of your life is in disarray, it has the power to make your life, your choices and your circumstances seem as though they're imploding. The uncertainty I was feeling about my new living arrangements was affecting my ability to function on a normal level.
I was so absorbed by all of these changes and anxiousness, that one night I put my head on the table at Panera. And beside my tomato soup, the boyfriend calmly reached over and patted my arm. He quoted the verse about God even caring about the birds in the air.
"Don't you think He cares about this, too?" he asked. And then he looked at me with eyes so blue they actually made me wish I had known him all of my life.
He was right. God cares about the sparrow. So, He must care about me enough to set me up with a nice roommate. He must care about the bills in the mailbox and the gas in my car. He must care enough about me to put people in my life to remind me time and time again that God really does care about this stuff that we feel like we have to slog through.
The life changes. The big moves. The career shifts. Family planning. Bill paying. All of these adulthood relays seem so overwhelming. Especially when we are tempted to forego the faith and hang on to stress.
But I am reminded, as I slowly begin packing up my little apartment I've made my home for two years, the random circumstances that led me to my new home and virtual stranger to share silverware, coffee and a television set.
I am reminded that there must be a God who orchestrates even the mundane. Even the bits of life that stress us out and make us want to crawl back into bed at the beginning of the day.
This God that cares about the sparrow cares about the grueling details of our lives. Skype dates, moving boxes, hardwood floors and all.
This realization comes the peace and the sigh that goes
along with looking in the doorway of an empty apartment
before locking up and moving on.
That's what I want to do with this four-year season of wrestling. I want to pack it up and leave it behind. And move on to a better place with a spectacular view. I want to cling to a God who cares about the details as much as He cares about the big picture.
And I want to walk away from the space I've been dwelling in. No longer afraid and ready to live again.
photo credit: GabrielaP93 via photopin cc
photo credit: meg's my name via photopin cc