A few months ago I purchased Paramore tickets for the Atlanta show on October 2nd. They’d make their way to Charlotte, but I was putting my faith in the fact I’d be living in the A by then. In fact, my prayer was that’d I’d be leaving my apartment or place of work en route to the show.
Considering neither my residency or place of employment had changed in 5 months, I felt pretty defeated, but booked the Airbnb anyway believing there had to be a reason behind it all.
I’d make a trip of it. Check out hospitals I could transfer to and apartments within reach. I visited Grace Midtown Church to hear the voice of Kirby Kaple and the Housefires worship band. I felt God insist I not force things, and when I went up for prayer and communion I was reassured to remain in His presence which could never be the wrong place to be.
I posted a video clip of the gathering to Instagram and Kirby reposted it calling that night’s worship “lit” thanking me for capturing it.
I promise I don’t just visit churches to hear my favorite Pandora stations live.
The next morning my phone lit up with the news reports from Vegas, and my Airbnb host Monique asked me the same question she asks her students, and that is: what was my why is in this world.
We grieved in conversation, and then she urged me not to freak out, opening up to me about how her car had been stolen from the very property throughout the night.
Monique and her husband moved to Historic Southwest Atlanta to gain better understanding of the community they serve. Monique is a volunteer teacher for underprivileged kids. She was more concerned with what had led someone to take her car more than she was her own loss. Their neighborhood is the only enclosed housing development in the area. Most of the other homes lay in rows right on the street, every other one boarded up or abandoned.
I’m learning to acknowledge the good in this world even in light of the bad. Monique is a part of that good.
Instead of venturing off as I planned I stayed right there in the heart of her home praying for God to show up.
And he did.
In the form of Mexican food and margarita specials with an elementary school friend. In the form of strangers at the Paramore concert to my left and right who complimented my liveliness and fed my dreams. In the form of Hayley Williams. In the form of a friendly face from college. In the form of a pen pal turned sister. I had not taken residency in this place, but it was taking residency in me.
As the concert came to its close that night I exited the theater pulling up my Uber app, but a fight broke out slightly delaying me from selecting my pick up location. I got the cops, got out the way, and got Dwain as my driver who was 4 min away.
He had heard about the fight, and after dissecting the chaos I asked him the normal Uber ride questions like what brought him here and why he drives.
He asked me why I was in Atlanta, and I broke it down for him about how I hoped to have already relocated here and get involved with certain non-profits, but unfortunately at this point I was only there for a concert.
He asked me what kind of non-profits, and after I said HIV/AIDS he paused and finally said that was his exact line of work handing me his card, offering himself as a resource on this journey of mine.
It was never about the concert. It was always about the beauty that unfolded from a story written by the best author I’ve ever known.