I lay awake on a friend’s couch for the 104th night in a row. My neck and shoulders are stiff. My back is tight. I would toss and turn, but I am a big girl and there is only so much room on a couch. I have been scared to say these words aloud, but the truth is I am homeless. I have been since April 1. I always have a couch to sleep on at a friends (sometimes a bed), but typically I am on a couch. I live out of a suitcase and all the clothes out of the trunk of my car. I have worn the same 30-45 articles of clothing repeatedly for 4 months.
I lament to friends, but I don’t think they understand how psychologically daunting it is to be without a permanent place of residence. The people allowing me to stay with them are so kind, but after two weeks of being somewhere you begin to feel like a burden. I don’t take showers daily and I don’t do laundry when I should because, I want to be as cheap a burden as possible. My 24th birthday is next month, and I am terrified that I will spend it sleeping on a couch. I am scared that I will look back at being 23 and remember that 1/3 of my life was spent homeless. I am scared I will never find a place of residence even with a salaried full-time job. I have searched for apartments for 4 months and with every rejection, I lose more and more hope. I have no door to shut so I can have space. I don’t have the space to relax in private. I stay out even when all I want is to be inside a closed space. I don’t cook. I spend tons of time in my car wishing it would transform into an apartment, but it is still my car. My car that has sometimes doubled as bed.
The irony, I work at a homeless shelter and for some reason people are catching on that I might be homeless too. They ask me questions about my clothes and why I look so tired. They ask about where I live. I wonder if there are more people out there like me? Hardworking people with full-time jobs who are homeless. Why is it this hard to find adequate housing?
The hardest part, however, is attempting to rectify God’s purpose in all of this. Because, I can’t see it. People attempt to encourage by saying, “You will have such a great testimony”, but I don’t know if I can actually make it through this. I don’t know if I believe that God just allows life to be this freaking difficult simply for a testimony. Does He? Can someone give me Biblical proof of this. Or have we just adopted this as the Pig Latin Christianese that sounds alright, but is just a giant mess? I am not mad at God. Well, I don’t think I am. I am simply forever adjusting to this madness I am in.
God, I hate this. In fact I loathe this. I don’t understand it. I cannot rectify it. I cannot comprehend this. I am angry and frustrated. I am sad and tired. Jesus, I dread sleeping on this couch. I hate the searching in my suitcase for some article of clothing that is not too wrinkled to wear to work. It is not about comfort it is more about peace. I hate that my quiet time with you is never alone, but has to be penciled in on a drive or before anyone gets back. I am miserable. Please don’t think I am ungrateful. I am grateful. A couch trumps my car. But, how long o Lord will I cry out to you for a home? How long? Lord, my prayer do not simply ricochet on the sky, You hear them. Does the ground soak up my tears or do you hold them as well? Where is this home you have built? Where is this bed, I am supposed to lie in? But is it truly your will that I should be homeless? Because if it is let me know. It would alter my perspective drastically, but I don’t think it is. God I trust you, but it is still scary. Nevertheless, please just sustain me. Because, I feel like I am losing it. I feel like I am losing hope. I am losing my desire to be in Houston. I am losing rest. I am losing, but I am not lost. Lord, I love you. I will always love you. Hear the heart of my midnight cry.
In Jesus Name,