Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rent Free vs. Community

In January, I moved from a rent free living situation with a good pastor-friend in Pennsauken to a rent-paying living situation in Camden with two women my age I didn't know very well. I believed, in my heart, this was the right decision for me and I could not have been more right. In a world of shallow relationships and deep acquaintances, I feel truly blessed to be living with two women so dedicated to loving God, caring for others, and being intentional their community in relationships.

Something I have really come to hold onto recently in the face of many transitions, questions, and lack of easy answers, is that money isn't everything. So much of this world, corporate, even well-meaning friends and family members offer well-intentioned advice about stability and savings and investments...whatever. And I suppose, to a point, all of those things are important. But money comes and goes, flow into and out of our fingers like falling water. We are paid by someone so we can pay someone else for a need so they can pay others for their needs. My life does not have security because I have a consistent pay check. My life has security because I have people in it who love me and care for me well and a God who has shown up every time. I used to have a similar opinion about money coming and going easily and recognized last year that it had come out of my privilege. Now, though the theory is the same, it does not come from my experience with privilege, it comes from my experience with a caring and intentional community of people.

I had a really beautiful conversation covering a plethora of topics with my housemate, Janelle. I had only met her once before I moved in here, but she has become a fast and true friend. In being with her tonight, I felt safe, listened to, valued, and cared for. We ended our conversation with prayer (and tears on my part). My life is stable and secure because I have people like Janelle and Molly in it. And for the first time in a while I asked myself, "What is my sense of God in all of this?" I am so grateful to be in a place where God and life and relationships are talked about in real ways. I'm grateful to have been in a place last year to learn how to live authentically and vulnerably in community. And I am grateful for the awareness of my sense of God in the midst of my community now. This was absolutely the right move for me, even if I do have to pay rent.

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