Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? Matthew 7:7-11 (The Message)
I lived a sheltered life when it comes to housing. I went straight from my parents’ house to the college dorm, back to my parents’ for graduate school and then, to my husband’s house after we got married. The house that he had to buy before we got married because a dependent still in graduate school would have made him ineligible for a loan. We didn’t have much money and sometimes had to juggle to make the mortgage payment (which was less than what most people’s car payments are today), but with husband’s job, occasional meals with our parents, my parents’ commitment to pay my tuition and a small stipend from the university, we made it. We had two big dogs to feed and only had one car, but we were happy. Except when we were fighting, which wasn’t often and rarely was about money. All that to say, I didn’t know anything about renting an apartment until this week when youngest son finally got a job in the city where his fiancée lives. With less than six weeks to the wedding, it was getting close and there was some discussion about her remaining in the dorm while he continued to work his three part time jobs at home and they would only see each other when they could. Not an ideal way to start a marriage although my parents did it and have been married almost fifty eight years. Still, it was a relief when he got the job even if it is only part time. Calculating his hourly wage minus taxes, he will be earning a couple of hundred dollars a month more than their rent will be. We figured out what he would owe for first and last month’s rent and utility deposits, but failed to add in a security deposit. Those expenses almost drain his savings account. While I remember counting my pennies at the grocery store, I don’t remember having to worry about health insurance (or lack of it), renters insurance, or car tags or insurance. Maybe husband does and I just had my nose stuck in my history books while he stayed up late fretting about bills. At any rate, one part of me thinks, they will get by and be better for it, while the other mom in me frets about how they are going to make ends meet. Yesterday, when I was in a frenzy worrying over whether they could find an apartment they could afford and the only one that looked like it was in their price range was no longer available, I talked to a friend who said she was praying for them. That was comforting so I let her do the praying and finally got a long good night’s sleep. I woke to the news that not only had they found an apartment, but it was cheaper, bigger and in a nicer neighborhood. While I learn to let go, God is holder them even tighter. They will be okay.