Three months after our wedding, a chain of unfortunate circumstances left my husband, Darren, and I packing our things. We'd been in the midst of raising financial support to join an east coast mission organization, but finances hadn't come in and the logistics weren't coming together. After a final meeting with the director, the opportunity fell through.
Darren had been working a few hours a week as a software developer to supplement our income, but it wasn't a permanent position. I didn't have a job since we'd moved to a new city. Worst of all, our basement apartment, its lease due to run out in one week, was suddenly overrun with flies.
"Pack a bag," Darren said. "Let's go to my parents."
Darren's parents lived 15 minutes away. I figured we'd need to stay only a few weeks at most. No problem.
As expected, we were welcomed with open arms and a lovely guestroom. What I didn't expect was how deeply I'd be affected by living so closely with another family.
I usually spent each day at the house, scouring the paper for apartment and job listings, and searching through our muddled boxes for possessions gone missing. Because Darren's father worked the night shift, and Darren worked on the computer from home, the three of us were in each other's way most of the day.
"Darren, what time can we go to Catherine's for dinner tonight?" I asked, walking into his makeshift workspace in the kitchen.1