Last year, I was preparing for the end of a lease and looking for a new place to live. I had begun my search about two and a half months in advance, and early on in that process seemed to have secured a new living space. However, due to some miscommunications with the landlord, that option fell through. Over the following weeks, I continued looking online and going to see places. I found several places I liked, but for various reasons was not able to finalize an agreement to move in.
One Wednesday evening, with only about three weeks remaining before the end of my lease, I was sitting in a testimony meeting at church when the thought occurred to me that although I had half-heartedly prayed about my own housing situation, I hadn’t been including all of humanity in my prayers. Quite the contrary, in fact. When I had looked at Craigslist ads or gone to visit places that I found didn’t appeal to me, I had dismissed them and thought to myself things like, “Gosh, what a dump! That person is never going to find a roommate!” Clearly, this was not a loving, inclusive way to be thinking about the search for housing. So starting that night and for the next couple of days, I chose to pray more diligently and also to extend the truth I was affirming for my own situation to the circumstances of every other person looking for a place to live.
For me, praying this way meant not outlining or speculating about what kind of person would like a place that hadn’t appealed to me, but sticking to the spiritual fact that everyone has a place in God’s kingdom. As I turned my thought more consistently toward this view that assured a right place for each one of God’s children—not just me!—I felt more peaceful about my search, even though I had only about two weeks left until the end of my lease. I continued to look for apartments and condos, following up where there seemed to be a potential fit.
The following Friday, I felt an intuitive push to reach out again to someone who had replied a week or so earlier, but whose message I had ignored because I felt the rent was more than I wanted to pay. On Saturday morning I received a response with the phone number of the roommate who was retaining the apartment. I decided to text him about coming to visit and he replied right away that I could stop by that afternoon.
When I went to the apartment to meet him and see the room, we ended up talking for about 45 minutes. At the end of our meeting, I told him I’d be in touch with an answer soon. I still felt unsure about the price, it being at the very top end of what I thought I could afford. But intuition—what I understand as God’s guidance—told me that this was the right place. I had already made plans to visit one other apartment the following week to meet the second roommate at a place I’d already visited. I decided to follow through with that meeting before making my final decision.
Holding on to the idea that every one of God’s ideas has a right place, I went to the other apartment. Though I had a pleasant meeting with the second roommate and landlord, I left feeling sure it was not the right fit for me. I texted the roommate I had met on Saturday to say, “I’m in, if it’s still available.” He wrote back shortly after that, “I was hoping you’d say yes!” And so we agreed on a move-in date. His departing roommate was able to adjust his schedule in order to get out in time for me to move in on the day my other lease ended. Also, during the month before my move, my boss elected to give me a raise, and so the price of the apartment was no problem for my budget.
As soon as I moved in, it felt clear that this was truly a perfect fit. Friends and relatives would ask how I found the place, and when I’d say Craigslist, they would pause and offer some comment about how lucky I was not to have ended up with a “creepy” roommate, or that I was brave to choose to live with a guy. All I could say to them was that I had prayed about it, and that it really was a roommate match made in heaven.
Another blessing worth noting is that for the entire eight months of our living arrangement, there was not any hint of romantic tension between myself and my roommate. This was something that several people warned about in choosing to live with someone of the opposite sex, and that I was careful to not entertain. Our time as roommates has really been just a perfect and natural friendship and companionship.
Now I’m packing up my things and preparing to move out of this apartment. As I make this transition, I’m reminding myself of the lessons from my last search and reaffirming their truth and permanence for my roommate and the person moving into my room. The timing has proven to be perfect. My move aligns almost exactly with plans that have unfolded over the past few months to leave my job and return to school. When I made this decision, I wasn’t sure what to do about the fact that the lease was scheduled to end the week before an annual conference I’m responsible for planning. But shortly after the end of the lease came and went without a new roommate moving in, someone who had previously expressed interest in my room agreed to take it. That allowed me to stay in the apartment during the week of my conference instead of having to rush to get out and then commuting from much farther away during a very busy week.
God’s law is in operation at every moment and everywhere. We see the blessings when we trust this law. We must know that “… since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good,” we’re not the only ones who are benefited (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 494). Expanding my prayer led me to the perfect housing solution, and this kind of uplifted view can only ever be a help to others.