“Get your stuff back”

Years ago, I found myself in the audience at a building I knew all too well; 4099 Karl Road in Columbus, OH. Then in my teenage years, I watched a speaker tell the story about a group of people that had their entire civilization plundered, and were sold into slavery at the hands of their captors.

The years went by, and they continued to hope and pray for their freedom. Eventually, they were able to overtake their captors and regain all that was taken from them.

The title of the lesson was “Get your stuff back” and it’s stuck in the back of my mind for many years. I’ve thought about it a lot as I’ve watched my proverbial ‘stuff’ slip between my fingers; occupation, city, places to live, income, people and possessions. Not in that order.

Last year, I took a moment to reflect and ask myself the question:

”When was the last time in your life that you felt at peace; a time where you felt like you had your sh*t together.”

I was taken back to my home in Dallas, TX in 2014-15. It was a time where I felt like life was going in a great direction and that I was finally ‘home’ in my life.

Things changed quickly. That feeling of safety and security didn’t last very long, and I soon found myself on a nearly 7-year journey traveling between cities, apartments, opportunities and setbacks.

I never really gave voice to it, because I didn’t understand the feeling. However, I realized that I’ve carried a sense of homelessness in my heart, because I haven’t felt at home for an extended period of time. Even in a beautiful apartment, living out of a suitcase is still living out of a suitcase.

This feeling began to manifest over time in the form of unrest, pain, frustration and sagging hope that things would improve. Was I damned to be a gypsy wanderer forever? I certainly hoped that wasn’t the case.

Last year, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do for a home in 2022. I’d grown to hate apartment living, and had quickly outgrown what a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment could afford in terms of storage, parking and space. The uncertainty absolutely triggered a sense of anxiety, with a looming move-out date on the horizon and a client workload that was just starting to cover the bills.

To make a long story short, I found a townhome that met and exceeded all of my needs, expectations and wants. I moved in on January 16th and finally felt at peace about having a home.

Since the move, I’ve discovered a peculiar thing has happened in my life. God (or the Universe, spirit, life, whatever you call it) has continued to provide exactly the right things that I need in order to transform this place into a home, as well as a few surprises along the way…

In my life, I’ve had a few prized possessions that have always brought me joy. From something as simple as a coffee mug to a set of large floor standing speakers. Each of these things was uniquely personal to me.

The more I moved/travelled, the more these things began to leave my possession. Sometimes left, donated, sold or simply forgotten momentarily. I don’t hold on to things with a lot of bravado. However, a few of these treasures were really important to me, and gave me a sense of feeling at home – or a reminder that I have a home.

Since I’ve moved into my home, I’ve seen a divine hand of provision in my life. Several of my ‘treasures’ returned to me via Facebook marketplace, thrift stores.

Recently, I was shopping at Thrift Giant for a few household items. Walking down the aisles, everything I needed seemed to appear magically in front of me, before I placed the item(s) in my cart.  Then, I saw it. My mug!

Staring right at me was a mug with a monkey decoration; its arm being used as the mug handle. My favorite mug – lost nearly a decade ago when I moved away from Dallas for the first time.

$3 later, I bought my first and only coffee mug for my new home.

I share this story because it brings me encouragement to know that even in the small things that you don’t think God/universe will understand, there’s a path and a plan for you that goes beyond your immediate comprehension, or perception of time.

I’ve battled for the last several years heavy thoughts of being a failure, or worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back on my feet and grow my business back into a machine that feeds me and my family.

Today, I’m at home. My home. And I’m at peace…something I haven’t felt for a very long time.

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