While enduring a midlife crisis, I left my job, my church, and the town where I had lived for 20 years. I moved to Seattle with a new job, new church, and a new group of guys sharing my new home. This is the story of how God provided friends and everything else I needed in Seattle!
As I approached my new destination, I fought the fear left from my drive through the steep and dangerous roads through the Cascades east of the city. Arriving at my new house, I found no one there to greet me. I knew where my new housemates hid the key, so I let myself in.
My emotions were almost more than I could take: fear, loneliness, and confusion.
I got busy unloading my car and getting ready for work which helped me temporarily forget how I felt. When my housemates later arrived, I introduced myself and received a polite but distant welcome.
Obviously I would have a lot of work to do building trust with these guys, but I took it as a challenge. Three of them were clearly straight and had girlfriends, but one might also have been SSA (same-sex attracted) like me. I knew I would have to wait to come out to anyone.
All of the guys were new believers, having only been Christians a few years at most. Their love for God soon became obvious, and that was the common ground that united us and helped us trust each other.
They respected me as an older brother who had followed Jesus Christ for years, and I found myself sharing stories of my own relationship with God while they eagerly listened.
Several of my housemates eventually became friends, and I started getting to know others at church as well.
Soon I felt happy, connected, and at home. I was no longer afraid! Only God could have arranged things to take care of me like that!
One funny house-story very much involved my SSA. We only had one bathroom, so three of the guys waited in line to take a shower every morning, wearing only their boxers during that time. I made sure I stayed in my room then because I didn’t want to get caught looking at those guys the wrong way.
One day, one of their girlfriends opened the front door and saw a guy, not her boyfriend, in his boxers. They were both embarrassed, and after that all the guys were fully clothed around the house.
As for my new church, many unchurched people were becoming Christians and joining our congregation. Once I went to see several pastors baptizing new converts at a nearby beach. Dozens were baptized that day after the lead pastor taught on being a genuine Christian. I loved the excitement of sharing in the joy of their newfound faith in Christ!
My new job went well at first, and in that way God provided the money I needed to pay my bills.
Unfortunately, circumstances would change in a way that would jeopardize everything . . .
Have you faced the challenge of starting over in a new city alone? How has God shown His faithfulness during times of severe loneliness?