I remember some time last year in my apartment thinking to myself, “it’s so nice to have my own space.”

After so many years of sharing a house I got to sprawl a little. Finally I could hang the art I wanted to on the walls, display the wine where I wanted it and I bought a new duvet cover and made a space I loved coming home to. It was a new season, a rebuilding, and in a way it was a rebirth of my creativity. It wasn’t without plenty of difficulty but somewhere in it all I got to go back to the person that had been buried and I could feel myself standing taller even though life seemed to try ever harder to push me down.

Somehow when everything caved in, I just felt like God had reached some huge hand out of the sky to pull me out of deep and dark waters. There was a strength I found in prayer and daily I would trust it would all come together. I cried, I let it all out, I looked it all in the face not giving in to the temptation to pretend all was fine. I realized I had loved well and despite the circumstances that had come my way I had the power to choose who I wanted to become out of it all. I trusted that somehow beyond all this it would come together and that God would carry me forward until the ground beneath me firmed up and I could walk again. Prayer was my first response after it all happened, occasionally spending more than half the day in prayer just to get by but those times helped me to understand, have hope and regain my strength and independence and gave me vision for the future.

Yesterday I found myself alone for the first time since I left Canada. Sure I had wandered the streets of Montreal and Paris on my own here and there but I was never truly alone. Claire had been dropped off at the train station to meet up with her parents and the other housemates weren’t due back for at least two hours. I gathered some wood, lit the fire, made myself some tea and positioned a chair just a couple feet away from the flames and with some music on, I prayed. Finally all the clutter in my head about where life is headed and what I’m doing seemed to feel at peace again. The last few days I was just on edge, I didn’t feel myself and perhaps it was the mounting tension of needing more time and space for prayer or feeling the distance of my best friends. Somehow my attempts of laying in bed trying to fight back sleep a few moments longer so I could have that really concentrated time of prayer just weren’t cutting it. But in the living room in this giant house, alone, I could sing without bothering anyone, I could listen, wait and recharge. The uninterrupted time gave me a chance to feel everything fitting back together and a sense of peace flooding over.

It wasn’t until I had this time alone that I remembered just how much I loved my little English row house, how it was my sanctuary and that I could shut the world out for an evening and pray. My whole being craves it. As I came to realize this, I just thought to myself if I’m given the luxury of space in the future I want a prayer room. Better yet would be a prayer room with a fireplace, but if that can’t happen, I’m okay with a room and a door and a place where I can be alone and think, reflect and restore. A space where all chaos has to cease and priorities are shifted to where they ought to be.

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