The response to my previous post about my housing situation was so generous – thank you so much to everyone who took the time to read the article and special thanks for the prayers and encouraging comments. The review meeting was today so I thought I’d provide a brief update.
I was pretty nervous this morning before the meeting, but I managed to have a healthy breakfast and catch up on some emails. I spent a bit of time in prayer, too, and then just before 11am I left the flat and headed to the Mind office where the review was to take place.
The lady from the council had arrived before me, so I quickly got a glass of water and then we sat down and started chatting. We were waiting for a third person to join the meeting – my Mind support worker – who arrived a little later. Before long the meeting was underway and I was answering questions about my health, my background, and my accommodation.
The meeting lasted for around an hour, and I decided I would just be completely open about my thoughts and feelings, answering every question as truthfully as possible. The other people in the meeting had both read my blog post from last Wednesday, so they understood my situation and my thoughts pretty well.
The meeting went smoothly but got somewhat sticky when it came to the subject of why I wasn’t wanting to move on from my present accommodation. The lady from the council explained that they view my present accommodation as temporary, and as a stepping stone towards more independent living, and I explained that before moving in I had been told by the then housing manager at Mind that this would be permanent accommodation.
I explained that I have prayed often about my circumstances, work, health, finances, and the possibility of moving, but that God had told me he wanted me to stay where I am living. The others listened patiently, but I felt there was some tension around this particular topic, as I think all three of us felt my insistence on staying seemed somewhat counterintuitive, and contrary to societal pressure to be progressing, earning more, being more independent, etc. We did talk a little about my heart problems, but only in passing.
On reflection, perhaps the reason for the tension was that the others were both concerned about how they would handle the unusual situation of a client stating that their reason for not wanting to move on was an instruction from God. After all, they both will have had to report back to their managers after the meeting. What would they say? The fact is, people either don’t hear from God often or don’t speak openly about the fact that they do hear from God, which makes this a very taboo area, particularly in the mental health world where ‘hearing voices’ is often perceived to be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The council representative said she respects people’s religious beliefs, and it was reassuring to hear that. My Mind support worker is a Christian and said she understood very well what I was saying about hearing from God. But even so, there was tension in the room in relation to this topic.
I left the meeting feeling somewhat stressed, and I remain stressed now at 8pm in the evening. The lady from the council did reassure me that they won’t and can’t force me to leave my current accommodation, so that was reassuring. But I wanted there to be peace in the minds of all who attended the meeting, as well as an agreed way forward, and I didn’t feel like that happened.
I’m feeling uncertain. Uncertain about why God wants me to stay in this flat and uncertain about what will happen as a result of today’s review. I believe there will now be conversation between the social worker (the lady from the council), my Mind support worker, and my care coordinator (who wasn’t in the meeting), and I don’t know what will happen next.
This evening I’ve been listening to a few of my favourite hymns and spiritual songs, and I’ve found them to be very uplifting, although I still have a stress headache. This is all happening because I’m trying to trust God and be obedient to Him; trying to put my trust in His words to me rather than entertaining any desires and motivations that involve other living situations I’m tempted to explore.
I’m a bit frustrated with God, to be honest. He is so utterly wonderful and amazing, yet sometimes the way He unfolds events confuses me. His ways are higher than my ways, and He has been doing this game of life for a long time, so I’m trying to trust in that, as much as He allows me too. I will count my blessings, stay focused on my book project, and keep on keeping on.
Thank you for reading! Do you have any thoughts, insights, or advice to offer? Have you ever been in a similar situation? Feel free to leave a comment below. Much love and gratitude to everyone who follows this blog! ❤️