Sunday, August 1, 2010

Housing: To Worry or Not to Worry

The good news: I have received my visa!  I will have no trouble staying in the country legally for 10 months.  This is a small victory, since I navigated the bureaucracy on my own--with some advice from my predecessors who also studied in Geneva.

The bad news:  I did not receive housing at the university.  Utterly surprised about this.  Hyperventilating ensued, along with some tears, since I know housing is hard to come by in Rousseau's city.  Evidence of this?  Every housing website has a disclaimer that goes something like this: "Avec un taux de logements vacants inférieur à 2 pour mille, le marché immobilier genevois est traditionnellement tendu. Les loyers sont donc coûteux et la recherche d'un logement souvent problématique." or "STP Dessine-moi un logement" (love the allusion to Le Petit Prince, less excited about what that means with regard to my prospects of housing) or "une grande crise de logement sévit à Genève" (we know it's serious if they're using the verbe sévir--the crisis is RAGING?  Yikes!).

I've been thinking more and more about faith lately though, and how things have a tendency to work out--it's a mystery, as they say in Shakespeare in Love!--God does provide.  And as someone I chatted with today said, "I don't know of any students yet who have had to sleep under a bridge."  Whew!  I was worried. :)

This will be my mantra until I arrive, find housing, and get settled in my new home for 10 months:

 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 Honestly, maybe this should just be my new life mantra.  Perhaps that's what this housing challenge is all about... I'm known to be a worrywart.  And this is what I need to learn right now.  Not to worry.  (The reading at church today WAS all about how our toil and anxiety on earth is just vanity-love Ecclesiastes!)

Easier said than done, but I've done all that I can on my end to make things work... and faith can fill in the gaps! :)



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  2. I'm with you my dear! ...perhaps not in terms of housing but in placing my faith firmly in God. In those difficult moments in life, I also turn to the following. I hope it serves as additional inspiration for you, and in the meantime, keep your chin up bella; I'm sure it will all work out better than you could have imagined. Bises!

    11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. --Jeremiah 29:11