The lack of posts is due to general exhaustion; moving has a lot of energy-sapping things that go with it, along with a tribunal next week to worry about. But, there are important things to post about which I have already put off for several weeks, so I shall endeavour to summarise them at last, and cross one more thing off my to-do list! (This is a happy follow on from the Rock and The Hard Place and and an update already!)
During September, I stayed a short while at my parents house. I was checking the property websites daily (obviously) to see if anything new came up – since we had already tried every option on there within our constraints, and although we had a “Plan B” property lined up for if we desperately just needed a roof over our heads, it was far from perfect. I idly checked on Gumtree one afternoon, although I didn’t usually, and saw a post which had just been put up for a flat within the area we were looking. So I contacted them, and they gave us a viewing for the next day.
The flat was on the first floor, and within walking distance of Greg’s work. It was quite small, and the bedroom was placed between the bathroom and the kitchen – meaning only about a 2-3m walk to get to either. The living room was totally separate from the kitchen, which had the golden ticket: a dishwasher. It was fully double-glazed. The toilet was situated next to the sink, which had lever taps, and the hallway was wide enough for a wheelchair. It was clean, and nicely decorated, and the landlord actually liked cats. Greg (who was viewing it) said he would have to check with me, but we would probably be saying yes.
The flat wasn’t put up on any of the property websites yet but the bureau that the landlord had contacted to advertise it were already thinking of a particular client to take the property (we had had previous flats before where we had rung almost as soon as it was advertised, and it had already been taken)… but the landlord said that they would like us to take it!
I am seriously tearing up just thinking about how wonderful a gift this place is.
That week were also given yet another monetary gift to help us out, from a totally random source, as well as both of our parents then giving us some money to help out with everything. At this point we were saying “don’t worry, we have enough money to do this now!” but they were insistent; “no, we want to help you, and you need other things as well as just moving flat, so use it for that”.
Part of the reason we were moving was to stop us getting into more debt – but all the gifts we were given, as well as my flute suddenly selling (it had been up for several months to no avail) meant we could afford so much more than just halting the progression: we were given enough to clear my overdraft and get out of debt! We were able to hire a man & van service (contact us if you want a recommendation; the guy we got to do it was a boss) which helped immensely, we couldn’t have done it without. The extra that our parents gave us enabled us to buy me a second-hand laptop – one that is lightweight (so that I can actually pick it up) and, significantly, not held together with duct-tape. (In addition to the duct-tape and weight issues, my previous laptop was at the stage of not being able to detect it’s hard drive until it had been trying to turn on for a couple of hours, at least one jack was broken, and it had started interpreting the power cord as a set of speakers.)
We will also be able to fit the flat out with a tumble-drier, and my parents are bringing us their old freezer to use as well. That doesn’t just mean extra food storage – frozen meals are cheaper and in much more variety than refrigerated ones; and frozen prepared vegetables are far cheaper than their fresh counterparts, ie: within our budget. (Yay, vegetables!) Tumble drier, dishwasher and freezer will mean extra on our electricity bill… but the new flat doesn’t have a key system, so the electricity is cheaper!
The market research I have been doing from time to time suddenly paid off, with a couple of special panel things which paid very well, as well as some cashback from a site I had been using. This meant we could afford a whole huge bunch of things: my birthday present, a new game for Greg, supplements (my parents also bought me some), bras I could actually tolerate, birthday presents for various family members and probably some stuff I’m forgetting.
We had a lot of difficulties with our phone line when we moved, which was long and stressful, but ended with us being able to switch to a different company, who gave us a better internet connection at a much cheaper price! We also don’t have to pay for a phone line anymore, which is brilliant because we frankly don’t use it.
I have also had some folk from the church come round, and talk about maybe having a Bible group at my flat. That would be amazing, as so far with me being ill our church has pretty much disappeared out of our lives, and we have been praying for a long time that they would actually support us and let us be involved. As it’s a young church, this is the first chronic illness situation they have had to deal with, and I am hoping that it will lead them to be able to minister to other ill people too. It’s an area that most churches now days are neglecting, but the Bible is very keen on it… so hopefully some good will result!
Finally, the new doctor we registered with didn’t respond to the diagnosis of ME with the usual “oh, chronic fatigue? You just need to exercise and think positively, dear”. It’s early days, but the first appointment seemed very hopeful! They also straight away switched the contraceptive I was on, because it’s been known to worsen people with migraine… and the new one is one of the ones where you don’t get a monthly bleed. Now, that was a prayer answer I didn’t see coming!
So, that is my huge, long, not particularly eloquent list of answers to prayer. Right now I am lying in a beautiful small flat, with a proper black-out blind on the window. The toilet is so close that walking to it doesn’t drain all my energy – same for the kitchen – and the pain in my legs is so much reduced just from that! I’ve been able to go outside every week, because it’s so easy to get out. When we worked out our budget, we actually have enough to live on, and we’re hoping that we might be able to start saving small amounts again, too!
Next week I have the tribunal for disability living allowance, which would pay for me to actually get home help and mobility help. As I’ve written about before, the system is very corrupt and the report against me was a complete farce. I am praying for justice to prevail, but I’m feeling confident – whatever happens, it is pretty clear that God will be taking care of us.