Ever since last spring, I have been sensing the urge to move to Oak Cliff, which is a neighborhood in southwest Dallas.
It started when my mom let me borrow a book, Dorothy Gilman’s A New Kind of Country. The book is about the author’s journey after her divorce when she moved from New Jersey to a remote part of Nova Scotia. She bought a small plot of land right on the coast near a small coastal village. She bought lobster direct from a lobsterman, collected seaweed from the beach for her garden, and made tea from weeds growing on her property.
She wrote about how fulfilling it was to get away from the city and the busyness of her life. Her friends and family even commented on how different she looked when she came back to visit. She marveled at how calm she became, how little money she spent on food after growing so much of her own, and how little things there were to buy without any major stores nearby.
That book really inspired me to enjoy my single life. I can move anywhere. I can take any job. I can write books at night without feeding children.
A husband and children are beautiful things. They are blessings from God. But so is being single. People talk about enjoying this time, but the implication is that I should enjoy my singleness while I’m waiting to finally be fulfilled by a husband.
Then my life will be complete.
Then I can start having children. Then I can see how my children compare to other people’s children. Then I can get those children into the best colleges. Then my children need to find their own fulfilling spouses. Then let’s see how many grandkids I can brag about. And repeat.
That is a beautiful life. But it’s not a requirement for sanctification or for happiness.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians that it’s good for those of us who are unmarried to stay unmarried. But I’m not sure that anyone who’s married in the church actually believes that.
I desperately want many of the things that marriage provides: security, companionship, a home, someone to ask me how my day went, and invitations to dinner with other couples. But I don’t want to get married just so I’ll feel more comfortable and more loved.
Maybe I’m not called to be married. I don’t know.
So late this spring, I wanted to move. I wanted to settle down and live in a home with a yard and a garden and develop roots. But then I decided to stay in my apartment because I had the most amazing roommate.
But in June, three days after we decided to renew our lease, I got a notice that my apartment complex would tow my car because the paint on my car was peeling. Apparently Honda uses cheap paint. And to fix the car would cost a year’s worth of rent. I took it to a repair shop to get an estimate and the guy told me, don’t do this. Your car isn’t worth spending this much money on it.
So we gave our 60 day notice, and I moved into a friend’s house with her family while I looked for a place to live in Oak Cliff.
I didn’t find anything that was affordable or that didn’t involve living alone, so last month I moved back in with my parents. It was never my dream to be 32 and single and living with my parents, but that’s what happened and this is where God has me.
I haven’t found a home yet, and it’s been a struggle to feel that I don’t belong and may never have the sense of belonging that I’m searching for. But it’s been a good struggle as I pray that God will help me trust him that not having a home is the right place for me now and God is preparing the next place for me to live.