On Home

Since I moved to Saltillo last September, I had been renting a house with a wonderful roommate who became a good friend. Last December, someone attempted to break into our house. From that point, I didn’t necessarily feel unsafe all the time, but I always felt a little uneasy.

About a month ago, I started to get a greater sense of anxiety every time I was in my house. Carlos and I had already started talking about where we would move after we get married and that if we found a place to live before, I could move first. However, our plans to house-hunt were put on hold when Carlos’ dad got very sick and had to be hospitalized for over 2 weeks. I began to ask God that He would keep me safe-emotionally, physically, everything. I accepted that it might mean staying in my current house for a while longer, but I also knew it might mean moving to whatever new house we were to find.

Two and a half weeks ago, my roommate called me one night as I was leaving work to say that our house had gotten robbed. When I got home to check the damage, it was a little disturbing. They broke the protection on our back window, climbed in, and then walked out the back door. While they thankfully didn’t take many of my valuables (they took more of my roommates :(), they had pulled clothes out of my drawers, dumped contents of bags and containers all over my bed, and scattered my important papers on the floor.  Perhaps the most disturbing thing is that they took photos-two of mine and several of my roommate’s. Even if it was just stupid teenage boys who grabbed the photos  to scare us, the thought that a random person in Mexico has a picture of me without me knowing who it is is scary.

Despite everything, I felt relieved. I felt like God had given me my answer-that it was time to leave that house. I went to Carlos’ house that night and both of us agreed that I shouldn’t go back there. That I would stay with him and his family indefinitely until we found the place we would buy for us.

Two weekends ago, and 2 days after the break-in, we went house-hunting. We saw 2 neighborhoods with new houses for sale. While I would have been content to live in either one, I have never wanted to live in a neighborhood where all the houses look the same. That’s just me. Not to mention, we would have had to spend a lot of extra money to make the house fully functional and livable (Mexican houses don’t even come with closets!). Our final stop of the day was to see a “furnished apartment” that Carlos had seen listed in a Facebook group. As we drove to the house I was hopeful.  We turned off of the main road near the house (a road I’ve been on several times before) and it was like we entered a different world. The roads grew narrower and the houses smaller and older. It didn’t seem like we were in Saltillo, but in a little Mexican town that hadn’t changed for 50 years. In short, I wanted to live there and I hadn’t even seen the apartment yet.

We got there, and though it wasn’t amazing from the outside, it wasn’t bad-looking either. However, the minute the owners opened the door, I was in love. The “apartment” was actually a small but very spacious house with one fully-furnished living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, complete with appliances (it even has a dryer, which is such a luxury in Mexico) and closets!  Though I have nothing against Mexican style, this house looked decidedly un-Mexican inside, which I loved. I kept thinking, “I didn’t know houses like this existed in Mexico!” Thankfully, Carlos was just as excited as I was.

We drove away dreaming about our new life there, not wanting to get our hopes up but yet unable to contain our excitement. It seemed as if that house had been made for us. The next day, we brought Carlos’ mom to see the house and to give her opinion. She liked it. She more she saw of the house, the more she kept nodding her head in agreement. What a relief! Having the future mother-in-law’s support before you make a huge life decision is crucial, let’s be honest.

Over the next few days, I talked to my parents, Carlos asked some knowledgeable friends for advice, and we decided to do it-to make a down-payment on that beautiful house. The owners were so nice and understanding of my situation that they said I could move in after they received the 10% down-payment. I moved in last weekend.

To say that I am thankful might be the understatement of my life. God’s handwriting is all over the walls of the house. He’s written something like:

“To: Emily and Carlos

From: Me”

There’s been times when I wondered if I would ever really feel at home in Mexico, but the moment I walked into that house I knew that I would there. I feel safe falling asleep at night, happy that even when it was raining last week I could wash clothes because I had a dryer, and so comfortable and relaxed sitting on the couch in the living room. Yes, it’s definitely home.

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