2018 40 Days of Repentance – Day 31

Recovering Boundaries

Moving is never quite the most pleasant of experiences, but for the past five weeks, I feel like I have been walking through a really, really, REALLY bad dream. It started inconspicuously enough, my roommate and I having found a suitable apartment to move to because our lease was up and we didn’t want to stay in the previous one. Maybe we should have had a warning when they had to issue us three different welcome letters because our unit kept changing. Whatever the case, when we signed the lease and saw our place, it had the potential to be a wonderful place, but there were quite a few things that needed to be addressed, like a patio door that refused to open, a patio that appeared to be the backdrop for a 3-year-old’s masterpiece, as well as the ending place for over-enthusiastic drinking parties, dust and bugs everywhere, and a couple of doors that could not close, among other things. We moved in with the promise that it would be fixed, and proceeded to find rusty dishwasher racks, a leaking water heater, a stove burner that came off and didn’t go back on, and spiders. Many spiders. More on that later.

My roommate and were enduring as best we could, because we wanted to like this place, and, as stated before, it had potential. The water heater was replaced, and, after one night of cold showers, repaired. Some of the other items were repaired, but the porch still needed an overhaul after the powerwash, the dishwasher was falling off the bracket, and some doors still couldn’t close. Oh, and one bathroom, mine as a matter of fact, had no hot water in the bathtub. We still were contending with insects and arachnids, which we don’t do well with, and scheduled pest control. More on that later.

After a weekend away, I came back, and I didn’t see anything done, but not making assumptions, I went to sleep with the intent to call the office in the morning. I wake up that morning, turn my head, and see a rather large spider traversing my pillow towards my face. I don’t usually wake up quickly. I did that day. I’m not proud of the things that went through my head. I gathered my items to shower – in my roommate’s bathroom, because there’s still no hot water in mine. As I’m standing under the blissfully warm stream and calming my heart rate, I think about the fact that we’re paying for 2 bathrooms, and can only use one, there are still things wrong with the place, I killed two more bugs on the way to the shower, and an epiphany comes.

As a coach and mentor, the recurring thing that comes up rather frequently with many that I encounter is the inability to keep boundaries. In scripture, it talks about physical boundaries (Deuteronomy 32:8) all the way to emotional boundaries (Proverbs 4:23). We have a choice of how well we keep our boundaries, and what (or who) we allow through our gates. There is a time for compromise, but there are lines that should never be crossed, and I realized that I allowed my personal boundaries to be violated. It was a choice that I had unwittingly made, and repentance came quickly, not only for what I was doing to myself, but also for the fact that as we were dealing with this, we were being rendered ineffective for the things God wanted us to do. I tearfully came to understand, once again, that boundaries aren’t only for restraint, but to free us to go further.

It would be nice to say that everything was peachy keen afterwards, but it was still a bit of a trial as the ceiling sprung leaks, power stopped working in some outlets, and I learned much about Landlord Tenant Laws and North Carolina building codes. Newly installed in another unit that is much better than the last, and my mold induced haze fading, it is a lesson that has been branded in to me as we enjoy our spider free boundary.

-Akpene

FOR REVIEW

Introduction to 2018 40 Days of Repentance: https://bneyyosefna.com/2018/08/12/40-days-of-repentance-introduction-for-2018/

Glossary to 2018 40 Days of Repentance: https://bneyyosefna.com/2018/08/12/glossary-of-terms-for-40-days-of-repentance/