Ya’ll. Full disclosure. I don’t pray that much anymore. It’s kind of a long story, but you’d be lucky to catch me blessing my food at dinner. Things aren’t spiritually bad, just different. I’m more like, “Okay, God. You good? I’m good. Alright, hmu.” Or something like that.
Anyway. My point here is that because I don’t pray often, I have now become the person who prays when they are in trouble.
And ya’ll. The move to Bangkok has brought me trouble. From customs, to my new boss, to housing, I’ve had some good days and I’ve had some hiiiillllls to climb. Usually, even my anxious prayers are incredibly brief. My thinking is that if someone doesn’t talk to you often, you really just want them to get the point. So I say something like, “Jesus, please” and then go on with life. In extreme circumstances, I might exclaim, “Jesus, help!” And I just assume that, being God and all, Jesus just knows which thing I’m begging about.
Okay. Now you’re ready for the backstory.
So. What had happened was when I finally found my dream house in Lat Krabang–brand new townhome. Three bedrooms. Three and ½ baths. Lots of light. Great floors. Did I say Brand. Spanking. New?– I had to negotiate the price. Because this particular home is well outside the city, it’s super affordable. However, the problem is that it’s unfurnished. So I found myself negotiating between my translator, the leasing agents, and the owner. It was quite the ordeal. For one, my translator (colleague’s wife) is this super cute and incredibly kind person. But I wanted her to go in there and be a total hardass. To make matters more complicated, I could never find the words to say, “Hey, be a cold hearted bitch and make them meet all of these demands.” Because of this, I found myself in the position to pay an additional 300 bucks each month to get the townhome only semi furnished. On the other hand, I was incredibly overwhelmed by the prospect of furnishing such a large space in the boondocks of Bangkok.
When I “did the math*” on the whole matter, I found that I would come out better in the end if I purchased my own furniture. And so, I began scouring Bangkok for affordable pieces. The first major stop was Mega Bagna. It’s a wonderland of a shopping complex. Ikea, Home Pro, and Robinson are its largest stores, but it is itself a mall with all the accoutrement of kiosks and food pertaining thereunto. It’s an exciting place, but I was thinking more about my budget than anything else. I’ve been feeling anxious about money since I arrived here, which is normal for an international move and dealing with different currencies and cost of living issues. But still. So there I was in the backseat of a taxi cab with a colleague, counting my baht in my head over and over again. I was getting pretty desperate– which is a usual state of being for a person who fails to pray consistently. Almost instinctively, I knew this was going to be one of those times where I needed help from the Big Guy upstairs, so I dropped my head and murmured a somewhat lengthy prayer, “God, please let me find an affordable bed. Amen.” I sighed, pulled my shoulders back, and eased into my seat.
So here is how God answered the prayer:
Beds were on sale. Literally all the beds in Ikea were on sale. I found one I genuinely liked for less than 200 USD. The beds were so cheap, that I was able to look into finding a wardrobe. This proved to be more difficult. To make a long story short, I waited for about 30 minutes only to find that the affordable (and might I add lovely) wardrobe was not on backorder, not sold out, but completely discontinued. Okay. I wasn’t feeling let down because my prayer was very specific and limited. But didn’t the church mothers tell you that he will do exceedingly and abundantly above all??? Okay, honey. On the way home, a friend spotted a furniture place. It was clearly very Thai. There were no front doors so to speak, mattresses and other items are sort of stacked right up to the edge of the top step. As an American, it’s not the sort of place you go expecting quality. But. Let’s be honest, we were expecting quantity. In we walk. The end result was that I was able to purchase two wardrobes and a vanity for the price of the wardrobe I waited in line to purchase. Won’t He do it!
I’m grateful. And my gratitude makes room for the optimism and trust in things unseen that I need to continue down my path. And ya’ll. That’s enough. I’m no longer asking for the heavens to open up before me or for Mufasa to roll in on the clouds with an admonition. I’m making my requests known and then proceeding in confidence. My palms and my heart are open. Amen.