This week has been a prime example of the stressful freedom that comes with singleness. I remember the first few years after college, my girlfriends and I used to lament that we wished we had husbands who could help direct our lives. There were too many open doors, too many possibilities, too many options in life. How were we supposed to choose? If we had husbands, surely our lives (or actually, just decision making) would be substantially much easier.
Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, "The one who is not married is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he can please the Lord."(1 Cor 7:32)
I have seen over this past year the incredible blessing of being unmarried. I got to serve in a way that was in many ways unhindered. My schedule was infinitely more flexible. I didn't have to worry about making two schedules fit into one. I didn't have to worry about a lot of things, really. I felt the reality of this counsel from Paul and I appreciated it.
But there is a slightly ugly side to this freedom. It was expressed in our post graduation desires for husbands. Sometimes, making decisions for your life is hard. These past two weeks have been filled with apartment hunting. And before you think, "oh how fun" let me assure you, it is one of the more frustrating processes I have to go through in this transition.
First of all, I don't really qualify to rent an apartment here since it is standard to show proof of (chilean) income from the last 6 months. So.... that leaves me trying to bribe the landlords with deals of paying half the year's rent up front.
Second, apartments here are more diverse and random than anything I have experienced before. There are so many factors to take into consideration. Factors that dont even exist in Chile, so I wont bother going into detail. But for example, some of the apartments use gas to heat water. Which is fine when it is a central line that brings gas into your apartment. But some apartments dont have that line, and you have to get this big tank that is full of gas (I guess) and when it runs out, you have to go exchange it. This also means you have to manually turn on and light the water heater each time you want to have hot water. The apartment I am staying in now uses this system. I don't really want to have this system (mainly because I am too lazy to flip 3 switches and light a match each time I want to take a shower!)
I found an apartment last night that I adore! And I spent the day fighting for it. Seriously, I took a 30 minute bus ride to the rental office and demanded that they deal with me and not blow me off. And it worked, I think they will offer me the apartment tomorrow. And I want it. I think. There are parts of it that Im not crazy about. The building for example, is dirty at best. The elevator is sketchy beyond measure. And Im not crazy about the street it's on. But the apartment itself is one of the most beautiful apartments that I've seen in this country. And it's a good price. All these pros and cons. And I wish I had someone making this decision with me. But then again, as stressful as it may feel, it is freedom. I am choosing this apartment because it's big enough to host small groups at my house. It's a few blocks from the church plant that I am a part of here. And I think it would be an awesome asset for our church. So... thanks Paul for the encouragement. Being single and making decisions is more stressful than it looks, but perhaps it's also less complicated too.
Being single is a cursed blessing. Indeed.
PS- If you want to see pics of the apartment, try this website.