Apartment hunting in New York City is probably one of the most difficult and challenging hurdles to overcome. I have been lucky enough that after four years of living here I have never had to find a new apartment.
This July was the first time I had to go searching for an apartment. I was dreading every moment of it. My situation kept changing from trying to find roommates, living with three other girls, or living with one girl, and back to living by myself. At the end of June, I was facing anxiety with my situation. I thought I should try and get an apartment before I leave New York for two weeks while I go to two different weddings. A logical thought, right?
The first realtor I had even encouraged me that this was a great idea. However, every time the first realtor and I had planned to go apartment hunting he would cancel. I decided to let him go and find someone else. During this time I realized that I was trying to open doors for myself. That everything I was doing was coming from a place of fear and anxiety. So I let go of the idea of trying to find an apartment before I left New York.
Instead, I met with a new realtor from a different company. With the second realtor, I felt confident that they would help me find my new apartment. I met with the second realtor and gave them the list of what I was looking for and the budget. At this point, I felt ready to leave New York and come back with new energy to find an apartment.
I came back July 16th from my trips and July 17th was the day with the second realtor, my mom, and myself were starting the search. Except that is not how the day went at all. The day started hot and humid. Walking between offices to get keys and apartments that didn’t meet any expectations.
Finally, we are in a building that the realtor was confident we would love the apartment, except that he didn’t have a key to get into the building. We waited about five minutes, and the realtor had us move on to the next building which had two apartments in it. However, the realtor didn’t have the keys to this building either. We waited as the realtor made phone calls to try and get a code to let us in. As we kept waiting the weather changed from hot and humid to a torrential downpour. I was furious at this point because we ended up waiting twenty minutes till we finally got in.
Again the apartments didn’t meet the expectations or budgets. As we walked in the rain, the realtor became excited and escorted us into another apartment. It was the perfect apartment. My mom and I were so excited but knew it was too good to be true. As my mom and I explored the building, the realtor found out that it was almost a thousand dollars over budget. As more apartment doors kept closing or the doors wouldn’t open I was so discouraged. A whole day wasted. We left that day with no hope, no apartment, and soaking wet from the rain.
That night I was searching an app, called streeteasy, for apartments. I contacted a realtor to set up a time to see an apartment. The realtor emailed back right away and asked if we could talk. I called him that night and was honest about the struggles and frustration I had experienced. This third realtor was confident that he could help me.
I met with him Thursday morning, and I was so surprised by how great everything went. We spent the day seeing different apartments. We had great conversations, and I was confident that we had found the apartment. I couldn’t wait to show my mom the two great options. Of course, life doesn’t work out that way. Mom did like the apartments but wanted more space; after seeing what I thought was the perfect apartment, my mom thought we should go to lunch and talk.
At lunch, we were discussing all of our options. Sitting in a burger restaurant, I sat there not sure what the right choice was. Moving to the perfect apartment would cost a lot of money because we would have to pay a broker's fee. Mom suddenly had an idea. Why not stay in the apartment I currently live in? After lunch, we rushed over to the leasing office excited. We asked if I could somehow renew my lease. The answer that came back was heartbreaking, “No, the apartment has been rented.”
The next series of events happened so fast I couldn't believe it. They leasing office set us up with one of their realtors. He showed me apartments that I could rent in the apartment complex on a map. Then walked and saw a sample of the apartment layout. I wouldn’t have to pay any brokers fees, and the moving process would be a lot easier.
All of a sudden there was an option that I never thought about. Something that I didn’t know was a possibility. It was something that I really didn’t have any part of making happen. It was not me but God. I just kept thinking, “But this wasn’t the plan.” Then I felt like the Holy Spirit hit me with a frying pan. A thought came to mind, “No it’s not your plans but God's.”I sat there praying that if this wasn’t what God wanted that He wouldn’t make it happen.
However, that isn’t what happened. I’m moving next week into an apartment that is a block away from where I currently live. I don’t have to pay horrible fees. I probably won’t have to pay the movers the same amount as before.
I realized that everything that happened was not my will but God’s. This week was filled with emotions. I was fearful, sad, scared, and filled with anxiety. Wednesday after work I had opened up to 2 Corinthians Chapter 1. This chapter is all about comfort that comes from God. It was exactly what I needed. I prayed that God would give me not worldly wisdom but His Grace (v.12) and, that the Spirit would fill me and help me to stand firm in Christ (v. 21). Reading verses 3 to 4, I realized that I was not alone in this situation.
There were times this week I was desperate. I was so angry about the situation. I didn’t know what to do. I am a planner. I wanted to have it figured out. I wanted to believe that God would provide but I didn’t want it in His time. I was trying to open doors that I didn’t need to open. When doors wouldn’t open literally as we were viewing apartments I was buzzing strangers to force my way in. As I saw the apartments on Tuesday and they kept getting worse, I didn’t have a spirit of confidence in God I became more discouraged. That is why when I read through the first chapter of 2 Corinthians I realized how little my faith had become. I realized that I didn’t trust at all. I realized that I was forcing doors open.
Trusting God is a muscle that needs exercising. Looking at how this situation turned out I am confident that the Lord was deep conditioning my trust muscle. Next week I’m moving into my new apartment on the last day possible. Something that my planner self would never usually be ok with. Remember that when the doors aren’t opening and there doesn’t seem like any options to get on your knees and pray for trust and comfort. Trusting God is not an ability I have conquered. However, I’m grateful that He loves me despite my lack of faith. That God knows every fear and anxiety that runs through my head. God isn’t going to give up on me. He isn’t going to give up on you either. So no matter what situation you are facing know that at some point you have to stop forcing doors open and let God open it for you instead.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
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