I hit my lowest point last week — I got extremely sick with a stomach bug. It came on without warning and left me bedridden for over 48 hours. It came on so quickly, I had to resort to something I never imagined doing, I threw up on the side of the road. It was humiliating and dehumanizing. It was an immense reality check. I have been living in New York for almost a year now and I thought I was doing pretty well taking care of myself. I had figured out laundry, grocery shopping, working, and monthly bills, yet there I was completely unprepared. I had nothing in my apartment for a stomach bug and I was so weak I couldn’t imagine how I was going to get any of the stuff. All I can really remember is falling into my bed and falling asleep. I woke up around midnight and I think I threw up again. I knew I needed to get some food and liquid in me because I didn’t want to get dehydrated. The benefit of New York is that there are so many 24-hour grocery stores within blocks of your apartment. I was able to make my way out of my apartment and pick up ginger ale, some crackers, and jam for toast. The next 48 hours were truly a test of strength, endurance and faith in the Lord. It got to the point where I couldn’t keep anything down and I was on the verge of severe dehydration. Immense fear came over me in the realization that I was all alone and I could barely get out of bed. I couldn’t take care of myself.
The Lord truly answers His children’s call right at the moment of need. Mere seconds after I came to the realization that I might need to go to the hospital, the Lord relieved all my discomfort. Suddenly, I had an appetite again. I had survived my first real illness on my own but the only reason I survived was because of my Heavenly Father. He took care of me. It was a big wake up call for me and once again called me to re-evaluate: what was I doing here? I lost my humanity, I truly hated how low I went and I really did not like the feeling of knowing that there was no-one I could call on for help. I do have friends that I am sure would have come and helped, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking them to take care of me — that is not their responsibility. I needed family, which brought me to realize how much I miss my family and how much I rely on them. I do believe this is one of the reasons the Lord brought me to New York in the first place, to learn to rely on Him instead of my family.
Through this entire process I was once again reminded of how differently people live in New York. I felt dehumanized by throwing up on the street, yet I am constantly seeing people go to the bathroom on the streets all the time. One of my regular customers who I see often at work came to me the other day extremely excited because she was finally moving out of her parents’ house. This came as a great surprise to me because she always comes across as being so put together, she shops at a high end grocery store on the upper east side. I would have never guessed she was still reliant on her parents.
Are we all just faking it until we make it? I have often referred to New York as Wonderland and I fell down the rabbit hole. Everything is upside-down, inside-out and nothing is as it seems. While I might feel as though I am losing my humanity in this new reality, I might be becoming more human. To wrap up, here I am feeling degraded, angry and frustrated. I have no idea what I am doing or what I am supposed to do next and most of all I have no desire to stay in New York for another minute. So what do I do? I officially register for a change of address at the Post Office! What is even more crazy is that it actually felt right. God has a strange way of doing things. I place my trust in Him.