My friend just moved into a new apartment. It’s lovely, with windows that are taller than people and high ceilings that help encourage your dreams. It’s small, but it’s New York City, so that’s a given. It’s perfect for her and I couldn’t be happier.
The thing is, though, it didn’t just happen.
We were talking about this phenomenon. The uncomfortableness that makes us get up and move–in her case, literally. How, if everything was just “fine” all the time, we’d never grow. Maybe never even get off the couch. And comfort is wonderful. I’m a big fan of feeling good. But sometimes, not feeling good is just what we need to make us realize that life could be better. Should be better. That if it doesn’t, in fact, get better, then we’re not gonna be okay. Maybe ever. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that. And desperate people accomplish things. They get stuff done because the alternative is not an option.
Like my friend, for instance. She was robbed this past fall. Terrible and traumatic, and it changed her life in one night. Before that, she was happy with her roommates and happy in her apartment.
Then this sad thing happened. Then she didn’t feel so good about where she was. Then we were at a little wine bar in Brooklyn Heights on a Thursday night in December and she told me that she wasn’t at peace at home.
“Maybe I should move,” she finally concluded.
“Do you want to?” I asked.
She hesitated before explaining that she wants a nice place, but that nice places are expensive here in the city; plus it needs to be in a certain location and it needs to be safe.
“Then, you’ll find it,” I told her. “Life is too important to spend it where you don’t want to be. You’ll find it, I know. Decide to move and then do it.”
And then within weeks my friend was telling me that she had found a new place. A nice place. A great place. Close to her work. And she felt safe there. And this is where we were sitting this past Monday night, eating dinner, marveling over how she would never have moved to this beautiful home of hers unless she had first gotten robbed.
Something that you’d never invite into your life, something ugly. But when you look at it from the other side, you can’t help but realize it’s the very thing that got you here. And here is awesome! Here is actually better than there was–you just couldn’t see it when you were actually there, is the thing.
Sometimes what we hate in the moment ends up being a blessing. Crazy, I know. And, believe me, these blessings can have the kinds of disguises that’d give every last one of those dime a dozen halloween costume shops a real run for their money, they’re that hideous looking. I know; I’ve seen them. Heck, I’ve made out with them.
I love the miracles that happen in an instant. The doctors that are baffled by the suddenly clean reports and the money that an anonymous donor happens to drop in your lap right when your bills are due. But I also see and appreciate the miracle that has an arc, the slow dancing miracle. It takes time building character and setting up the resolution, just like the best kind of story. It will first march you through a darkness that scares you to the point where you will your own life to shine, you’ve become so sick and tired of the dark. It demands of you the ability to see past what your eyes are telling you, to hold on for a better ending, because the story you see right now leaves you feeling defeated, and you’ve been promised better. You’ve heard of better and so you’ll wait till better comes. Gosh, you might even help it along. You might even go out and find better, then put down a deposit, move your belongings into it, and invite a few friends over for dinner to help celebrate.
God bless the miracles.
And grant us patience when they take their time.