i have 30 days until i celebrate my 30th year of life. i thought i would share with you 30 people, events and situations that have shaped my life and who i want to be. it has been very challenging to come up with 30…i hope it inspires you as it has me. this part of the list is in no particular order.
day 28: apartment life
when michael and i first moved to dallas almost four years ago, we were homeless and jobless. friendless. churchless. we didn’t have a clue where to shop for groceries. everything that goes with moving to a new city – that was us.
while michael prepared for classes, buying books and reading syllabi, i hunted for a job. i’d already declined an administrative job at a local church because the job wasn’t a good fit for me and the salary wasn’t a good fit for a one-income seminary family. but we needed money coming in and so i diligently searched job ads and went on a couple interviews. as anyone who’s searched for a job knows, job-hunting is tiring work.
the day we moved here, i heard that apartment life was hiring an area director. i was interested in anything that would pay bills. but for some reason, i never did anything about the job. i don’t remember why. it just wasn’t a job i could see myself doing.
michael and i got to know jeff, the area director who worked with us at our apartments. he encouraged me to send in my resume. we interacted with kiley and sarah at the day-long orientation for cares. the people who worked for apartment life were cool people. but still, i didn’t apply.
until jeff called one morning.
he was sitting at starbucks, he said, and was screening a few applicants for the role while his supervisor tina was out-of-town. would i meet him with a copy of my resume so he could “interview” me? thirty minutes later, i was sitting across from him at the porch of a nearby starbucks, talking through my experience and what it was like to work for apartment life. i had no idea what jeff was thinking or what would happen next. but, i was getting excited about the job.
jeff closed the interview by saying something i’ll never forget: we’re all christians. if you don’t hear back from us, just give it to Jesus.
but i did hear back. a week or so later, i met tina at another starbucks for a two-plus hour “interview” that never felt like an interview. at this point, i was really excited about the job and wanted to work for apartment life. michael later told me that while i was gone, he thought through what we required to make ends meet. he didn’t think a non-profit would be able to pay enough and wondered how low we could go.
but, tina offered me the job and told me about the compensation package. i was floored. God was providing for us and blessing us in ways we never imagined.
working for apartment life has shaped me greatly. i’ve learned to work with christians who think very differently from me, but who i know love the Lord. i’ve been part of a team of different personalities and gifts and offered my piece. i’ve come to be able to better work through conflict with those i manage, communicating trust and grace in love. i’ve developed friendships that will impact my life for years to come.
i've been reminded that God can provide above all we ask or imagine. in ways that astound us, even four years later.
apartment life has been a breath of fresh air to me. i’ve been loved and cared for and nurtured and challenged. and always free, free to be me and free to move on to something else when God calls me.
it’s that freedom that makes apartment life such a great place to work.