It was the first day of 2016 when GOD taught us about humility and other things.
Remember when I told you that our December last year was filled with happy, not-so-happy, and crazy moments? What I am about to share with you today is a mix of those.
In the last quarter of 2015, we’ve been looking for a new apartment that we can move into. We wanted to move into a smaller unit with cheaper rent so we can save for the downpayment of our future house and lot. We have searched on foot, asked family and friends, and scoured the web for potential apartments. On December 29, I have found the seemingly perfect unit after going through houses in nearby subdivisions with my sister and our kids in tow. I immediately took a video of it and sent it to my husband who was in the office at that time. He liked what he saw in the video so I phoned the owner of the apartment to schedule a meeting with her the next day. My husband and I talked about the apartment when he got home and we agreed that we would check out the place together and inspect every nook before talking to the owner. The apartment that we were looking into had newly constructed units. We felt lucky to find vacant units on the ground floor. I was happy with the floor tiles – makes it easier to clean and maintain; the big tiles and a working shower and flush in the bathroom; a covered laundry area; and provision for cable and phone lines. We thought that it would be perfect to start the new year living in that new and smaller house. After making a deal with the landlady, we decided to move in the following day, December 31. We hurried home and continued packing our stuff. I have already boxed some of our possessions long before we found our ideal space. My husband booked the trucking service and I have also asked my Dad and my sister to help us out with the moving.
On the last day of 2015, while most of the families were busy preparing for their New Year’s Eve feast, my husband, my side of the family and I were busy hauling our stuff to our new place. We left our little boy at my Mom’s so he can be spared with the dirt and stress that comes with the moving. After getting 90% of our belongings from the old apartment, we started unboxing and cleaning our new abode. At that moment, the flaws began to reveal themselves. After assembling our queen-sized bed, my husband was aghast that the bed took up a lot of space. Even our toddler could barely walk with what’s left on the room space! The worst part is that we couldn’t even close the door for the bed has taken its space, too. My husband was really upset, big time! I could feel his tension as I was cleaning on the kitchen. I didn’t know that I would be next. When I opened the cabinet under the sink, I was surprised to have seen soap bubbles dripping on the upper left side of the cabinet. There’s a leak and it would happen each time we use the sink. I have also noticed that the trap and drain pipe was made from weak materials which contributed to the leak. I proceeded in tidying the bathroom and discovered that the shower faucet was not working. Don’t get me started with the millipedes! There were plenty in the bathroom and can be found on other parts of the house. The owner said that these worms come out from the adjacent vacant lot whenever it’s raining. And, it’s been raining that week! My husband then continued with the unpacking in the living area. His heart sank when he saw how very little moving space was left after setting up the cabinet, the TV and our little sofa. If you could see our house that day, it looked like we were living in a bodega. No kidding!
We were both exhausted, hungry and anxious to be with our little boy so we each took a bath and secured the unit before heading to my parents’ house. During the drive, my husband blurted out that we must find our own house ASAP! He said that he didn’t want to stay for too long in that apartment. I agreed with him because the apartment that I thought was perfect turned out to be the opposite. At my parents’ house, we had a quick dinner (Thank GOD for the sumptuous feast prepared by my Mom and Dad!), played with our son for a while, then we both dozed off in the couch a couple of hours before the NYE countdown. When I heard the giggling about the countdown, I forced myself to stand up, carried my toddler and woke up my husband to watch the fireworks outside (despite the drizzle) and welcome 2016. My toddler’s excitement upon seeing the fireworks, an NYE kiss from my husband, and the presence of my family lightened up my mood and inspired me to look forward for better things in 2016.
We drove back to our new apartment to get some rest and guess what! We have encountered more issues before we settle in for the night.Though we were in a gated compound, there were people other than the tenants who were coming and going. We have to cover the only window that we have completely so passersby won’t see us while in bed. One of the tenants on top floor was using a booming kind of firecracker that startled us a number of times. Things were not really going well in that place! Our frustrations about the unit and the area were mounting. The only person who was in a relaxed mood at that time was our toddler who still went about his usual bedtime routine of playing with his toys and reading his books. We slept through the night but not comfortably. I felt that like me, my husband was also feeling uneasy with the situation that we got into.
January 1, 2016. My husband and I woke up early and poured our hearts out to each other. We were both convinced that we made a mistake in picking that place not to mention that we could barely fit in our belongings. As a matter of fact, prior to the move, we have already given away, sold and returned plenty of stuff. Also, we have yet to pick up a few of our things from the old house and we were already having storage issues in the new unit. At that point, my husband and I decided that we would move out that day. We then prayed to GOD and ask for favor, grace, courage and provision in what we were about to do. We both know that it was not easy and actually crazy to have moved in and then move out in less than 24 hours. But we know that GOD is with us and that we must take a leap of faith if we really trust Him.
We looked into our options: 1) ask the landlady of the house that we really wanted in the first place if she could lower the rent and move in that day; 2) search for another house and move in; or 3) go back to our old apartment. The first two options didn’t work so we were left with #3. It was hard to rid ourselves of the pride and shame of having to return to the house that we badly wanted to leave. What would the owners think of us? How are we going to deal the rumor mongers just across the street? Before we thought about that, we worried about talking to the landlady of the new apartment. How will she take it? Tenants who lived in her unit in less than a day were itching to move out at the start of the year. Will she think that we are doing something bad for her business? I prayed fervently for GOD to guide me and be with me as I talk to the landlady. I was so nervous that time that I felt a pain on my chest. We got to her house and she warmly welcomed us in. I then started telling her about our problems with the house and that it would be impossible for us to settle in given the situation. With GOD’s favor and grace, the owner didn’t say anything bad to us but calmly replied that she would return our money in full. I almost cried when she said that. I ask her to deduct an amount that would compensate for the utilities that we have consumed. She refused and told us that it’s okay. She just told us to return the keys as soon as we finish gathering our things. She even invited us to eat but we politely declined. I was so overwhelmed with her kindness. I know that GOD is at work. Our next stop was my parents’ house. We need to tell them of our decision, have a decent meal, and leave our son for another day. I thank GOD for my family for being so supportive and helpful during those days. On our way, we checked out the other apartments available for rent but none of them matched our needs. We braced ourselves for option #3 and with humility, ask the elderly lady managing our old apartment if we could move back. Another testimony of the grace of our LORD! She told us that we can go back and that she has not made the house available for other tenants even after we have told them that we were leaving. With that news, we quickly drove back to the new apartment to gather our things. My husband has confirmed his reservation with the trucking service which he already gave a heads up earlier that morning. Another favor is that the owner of the trucking biz gave us a discounted rate.
We kept on thanking GOD that day for His grace, favor and provision that He sent through the people around us. While driving, I told my husband that despite the embarrassment that we endured and about to face and no matter how stressful things are, as long as we are united in our resolve and we are together, I will be happy and contented.
After the last piece of our belongings was hauled back in our old apartment, I asked my husband if I can check on our boy at my Mom’s house. My loving husband said that I could stay with our son for he knew that he’s been wanting to nurse and maybe tired, too. He also said that he will take care of putting some of our stuff in order, particularly our bedroom, so we can sleep comfortably that night. I am really blessed to have him as my husband! I excitedly went to my parents’ house, took a bath, nurse my little one, and ordered my husband’s favorite pizza. We had another round of deliciously homecooked meals with my family after eating pizza and enjoyed a bottle of sparkling juice. After all, we have plenty of reasons to celebrate. We are believing GOD for greater blessings for this new year.
Do you also have a crazy but inspiring story to share? Let us know in the comments!