Last Thursday I took another step to move toward the next chapter of my life: I closed on a townhouse. I’ve never bought a home by myself. Unlocking the door for the first time, felt like having the golden key to my new kingdom. I was moving out of the muddy river of the in-between-time and climbing up the bank to a view of my New Beginning.
Over the past years since completing my Life Coaching certification, I’ve often referred to Bill Bridges’ Map of Change from the field of transition management. He uses a map that helps clients quickly identify where they are on the continuum of change with the stages of Endings, The Gap, and New Beginnings. Since my marriage ended, I’ve been in The Gap when the old life is gone and the new life is not fully formed. This middle stage has been a time of discovery as well as a time of waiting. In one of my posts Worth the Wait: Continuing in The Gap I remembered a lesson about waiting that I learned on my Solo Journey to Michigan in 2014. I’d taken my longest road trip ever from North Carolina to see the view of Lake Michigan only to be surprised by a whiteout.
This is what I wrote in that post:
“So many times since that Michigan journey, the whiteout experience has served as a useful metaphor; being blocked from what I’d longed for, waiting and focusing on the present, then being rewarded with seeing that long-anticipated view. This week when I was struggling with waiting, I read portions of the book Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life by Henri J. M. Nouwen. I like his summary of the section, “A Time to Wait.”:
“Active waiting is being open to the promise yet to be fulfilled. Patient waiting is staying fully in the present moment. Expectant waiting is trusting that this long process will bear fruit.” (pg. 153)
While I’ve been living in my apartment, I’ve been watching and waiting for my new life to unfold but I’ve also been doing. I’ve worked in a part-time research nurse position and kept my grandsons two days a week. Not content to wait for the COVID lockdown to end, I ventured into that brave-and-strange-new-world of online dating. I continued with my passions of dancing and writing and began to play pickle ball. I finally took another Solo Journey at the end of my trip to Scotland and Ireland– spending a few days in the Irish coastal village of Doolin.
I’ve tried several times to find a townhouse since moving into my rental. I gave up early last year when the market was not accessible to the average homebuyer; I couldn’t handle the highs and lows of getting my hopes up then finding a cash offer won out.
But “when I least expected it,” when I’d just returned from Ireland at the end of September and was having to isolate since I tested positive for COVID, I finally opened one of the realtor’s emails. I thought the townhouse– that had the main features I wanted, must have a red flag since it had been on the market forty days; the one I’d wanted last February was purchased two days before it was available. The realtor wasn’t surprised by my reaction and assured me it was due to the change in the market since then.
Within twenty-four hours of opening that email, I saw the property, made an offer, negotiated the price once, and then came to an agreement with the seller. How can that be, I kept saying to myself. I’d prayed about finding a place that would offer a new community, a fresh start but the prayers had slowed down after the disappointment in February. Just days back from my trip, in a bit of a daze from travel and COVID fatigue–I was starting the process of buying a house.
My apartment has been the right place for me to live during the transition of divorce–of finding my way, now as a single woman. At first, I was resentful about having to move from a house to apartment; it seemed like going backwards on this path of assumptions about how we progress through life as a successful adult. But like always, God had to work to change my narrow perspective, my limited understanding of how life would unfold for me.
I will move out of my apartment and leave behind good memories of all the ways God provided for me during my time of transition.
I’m so grateful for the fruit that has been yielded through the time of waiting. I’m also grateful for how I’ve been supported by my family, friends, and readers–who are friends I haven’t met. Your prayers, words of encouragement, positive thoughts have helped me to wait–which I’ve said many times–I’m not good at!!
Today, I’m feeling the promise of a favorite Bible verse:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
Plans to Prosper You
And Not to Harm You,
Plans to give you Hope and a Future.”
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
Today it is my prayer, that whatever stage or phase of life you’re in, that you will have Hope and see glimpses of a Future that is filled with promise.
Blessings on you,
10 thoughts on “Opening the Door to a New Beginning”
I’m squealing with delight!!!!
Beautiful pic of you opening the door to …..
Thanks so much, Jennifer. You’ve encouraged me through every phase of this journey. I’m glad you’re able to share in my joy.
Wishing you the best and grateful for your friendship.
Congratulations, Connie! I’m hoping great things await you on both sides of that new door.
Thanks so much for your good wishes. Love the way you acknowledge that great things happen on both sides of the door–so true. Miss talking with you and seeing you at group–the way we did it in “the old days.” Hope you and Susan and the boys are doing well.
Well, I finally got the chance to read this and found that the wait was to the advantage of understanding with yet a chance to find that hidden offering that you leave for us readers. I admire the way you look for the order that you find in your life. I have never thought that as things happen, there is a transition with a meaning to the change. This last adventure with the “Win” is only one of many more great transitions. With your new home, there is the opportunity to look for a surprise each time you cross the threshold. Love and Blessings to you. John,
Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your perception of the post. I really like the way you say “With your new home, there is the opportunity to look for a surprise each time you cross the threshold.” I often mention the threshold in relation to my Solo Journeys–crossing over it–going outside of the familiar to a new world. Now, you’ve reminded me that each day is a journey–for all of us–whether we’re crossing over the threshold going outside into a new world or returning to the safety of our home. Thanks for pointing me to this.
Best to you,
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Congratulations on your new home! Wishing you many years of making happy memories within its walls xxx
Thanks so much for your good wishes. I’m hoping for a great new chapter there.
Hope you’re well and having a good balance of life at work and at home.
Best to you,
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Thanks a lot, Marie.
Best to you and the community. Hoping that others are experiencing new beginnings in their lives, bringing hope for the future.