A Storm Is Brewing
I was feeling somewhat discouraged. I had searched and searched for a place to live and when I found exactly what I wanted, it didn't work out. It left me confused and disappointed, much like my love life. I'm starting to view my choices in men, similar to my choices in apartments, looking for something that doesn't exist. Do I lower my standards? Heck no! This is my life, my shelter, my safe haven, my hard earned investment. Again, this could apply to my apartment search or a relationship search.
I have spent the last 23 years living in areas that were best for my children. I had lived in the suburbs, in Hoover, Alabama, so that my boys could go to the best schools. I paid more than I could afford to ensure my kids had a safe place to live and have opportunities for a better life. Now that I am single and alone, I want to live inside the city, where I can meet people and live my life to the fullest.
I looked at several apartments in the downtown areas. They were either too small, too old, or too expensive. Then I decided to look in the Germantown. It was a really cool area. There were people walking along the sidewalks, browsing the boutiques and eating in the cafes. I could definitely see myself in this neighborhood.
I looked at a place that overlooked the baseball stadium. I also toured an apartment with an awesome rooftop sitting area overlooking the city, as well as other apartments that I really liked. One by one I was told they had nothing available or were out of my price range. Finally, I found one that would suit my needs. I paid the application and admin fees and submitted my application. I was long past ready to move, when I received a call saying they were sorry, but they only had a two bedroom available. It was more than I wanted to pay and a larger space than I needed. Once again, disappointed, and feeling defeated, I drove back to Hoover for the weekend to regroup and pray.
After spending a couple of days with friends, I loaded up and headed back to Nashville for the work week. I had checked into an airbnb, in the downtown area, for the next few days. That Monday was a typical Monday. I was feeling drained but had to keep searching. I toured an apartment complex on the edge of the Gulch and midtown. I liked it but the only city view available was overlooking an adult bookstore. That wasn't exactly the city view I had expected. I didn't really want family and friends to visit, and have to look at the lovely sex displays on the building.
Luckily they had another vacancy that was perfect for me, except it didn't have a city view. It did have a large balcony overlooking the pool. I decided to go for it. I was trying not to get my hopes up. The leasing manager told me it would take a few days to get everything approved, but I actually got an email in just a few hours saying I had been approved and my apartment would be ready by the end of the week. I was so excited! For the first time in a few weeks, I would be able to go to bed without worrying if I had made a mistake.
Sometime during the night, I was startled from my sleep, to the sound of a very loud alarm on my phone. I jumped up and grabbed it to read, "TORNADO WARNING! Seek shelter immediately!" Trying to gain my wits, I looked around and realized that the power was out. Once the alarm stopped, I could hear what sounded like a train plowing through the building. The building was shaking, and debris was hitting the windows. The airbnb I was staying in, was a studio apartment on the 7th floor. I tried to quickly think of where to go for safety. The elevators would be out due to the power being out, but I knew I needed to find a safe place. Suddenly, the room was illuminated a bright green color and I realized, I may not make it out of this building.
I immediately began to pray as I ran out of the apartment into the hallway. Others were gathering in the hallway as well. We were all shaking with fear, and some were even crying. Then as fast as it had began, there was silence. The building stopped shaking and everything was completely dark. We all just stared at each other, wondering if it was really over. Then, the silence was broken by sirens and the darkness was replaced with the glow of police cars and firetrucks. Just one block over, was mass destruction. Among the destruction, was the apartments in Germantown, that I had wanted to move into but they had no availability.
Throughout the rest of the night, I listened to the news from my phone. I prayed for the city, the families that were losing their homes and the ones that would lose loved ones in the storm. The storm continued through and destroyed many homes and businesses across East Tennessee. Many lives were lost that night. I also gave thanks to God, for keeping me safe and for having his way in my life and keeping me from moving into that home that I wanted.
As I prayed, I just kept saying, "Your will, not mine, be done. Where you lead I will follow. Place me where you will have me go". I began to wonder if God was telling me to go back home.
The next morning, I told my coworkers that I was going to call the place I was planning to move into that upcoming weekend. If the building had any damage from the tornado, I would be moving back home. The leasing manager answered and confirmed that they had not been touched by the storm. Three days later, I was moving into my new home.
I will never forget that horrible night and I'll always remember those who died in the storm. I may not know their names or their families but I continue to pray for them. I also continue to pray for my city as it rises from the dust and rebuilds again. God bless Nashville, Nashville Strong.