My wife and I just experienced the most challenging move ever on date. Everything that we planned, I mean, everything didn’t work at first. Clearly, the enemy was working very hard to make our lives a living hell but the Lord provided, so much in the end because He is good.
Before I begin, let me tell you about how I was feeling the day we finally moved to Lexington. I was tired, frustrated, a bit more tired but not angry, did I say exhausted yet after getting only 4 hours of sleep in 48 hours? The former? It’s all true. I can’t never be mad at God because He is the only God who loves us unconditionally even when we don’t deserve it and experience the events like the one that I will describe for you in this article.
Let me be real with you, as I always am… The saga that I am about to write is 100% true, maybe 179% unbelievable to say the least but God, in His immense and grandiose wisdom and love must have an explanation for why our move was so eventful the way it was. I trust Him to understand this fiasco as He reveals it to us, overtime.
Although our move was marked by many unbelievable challenges, It was a divine appointment because after the eventful negative experiences we had, God have always provided. Maybe even a collection of small miracles, I would say. Are you ready to hear the stories and the truthful events that organically transpired during this hell of a move that our family experienced? Here we go. Let me begin.
Somewhere in the end of July, after waiting for five months on a response to serve as a Dean for a micro College, among a number of other issues, I got sick of waiting and being ignored by the provost and decided to leave the university to a place where where my family would actually settle for Good — Near the beach, in a more prestigious university, on my wife’s birth state.
I applied to a number of institutions and got seven interviews in a week, including the University of Florida and Hard Rock. I was ready to get out, I must add. Anyways…
On August 3rd, when coming back from a long working day at Talladega College and receiving the newly updated contract from the university, after days interviewing for the position of Associate Professor in other institutions via zoom, Claflin University calls me over the phone and makes me a verbal job offer to serve as a professor of mass communication starting Fall 2021. I didn’t hesitate the offer and accepted the position immediately. Now, I had 7 days to move. Holy cow but life is good! Not quite… Not yet. Let me elaborate.
Chapter 1 — The Impasse.
I thought, great! Now I can call my former employer and finally officially resign and celebrate a little bit since I am now going back to an institution of higher learning that is nationally ranked again, near the beach, in a bigger area, all that jazz.
All that I needed was the actual written contract generated by the university (on paper) to be able to feel completely at ease because until there is a formal contract, in my book at least, there is no contract at all. In my mind I thought: We are a week from the beginning of Fall semester classes. This contract will come quick! In fact, It did; the problem was that a glitch in the system delayed me having the contract for 7 days.
I was feeling the pressure, I must admit. I was days away from starting my job at Talladega without having any desire to be there. The devil was operating in full force, trying the possible and impossible to have me stay in a bad situation in Alabama instead of me moving out and joining a leading college. The good news? He ended up losing because the Lord is the creator and he is creation. Let me elaborate on the former a bit more for you in this piece.
Between August 3 and August 11 when the contract was still in transit, I decided to make my way to Claflin to see if my presence on campus would speed up the contract emitting process. Although I had great conversations with the nice people at the university, toured the campus and spoke with a division Dean, no contract was emitted to me during my visit at the university. What an impasse! I kept inquiring about it for a while but at that point, I decided to give the other organizations a bit more weight than Claflin in my search process (for about two days), even though Claflin was my top choice from the beginning.
Still no written contract! How could it be? The pressure started to kick in even more. I wanted to give Talladega more time, I wanted to get out of a bad situation. Hard rock was ready to make me an offer to work in industry at any minute. The University of Florida now had interviewed me for a management leadership position for the third time but their search was expected to end a week after Claflin’s.
Nothing was a guarantee. Then in a Tuesday, Claflin’s Department Chair calls me saying, “I’m so glad you are joining us…” that great stuff we hear in normal universities. When the Chair stated the she was looking forward to seeing me the following day for new hire orientation, I replied, I would love to be there but I got no contract yet. She then replied, You’re coming. Let me follow up on it.
Right after that, I receiveda phone call from the Dean asking if I got the contract via email from HR, yet. I prayed! Checked my email and called him back shortly after. I definitely did, I replied and signed the contract electronically. Now, I was officially a faculty member of Claflin University, a day before classes begin. My next problem? Where in the world was I going to live for less that $1700 a month? All the reasonable apartments were already rented. God had a plan… He always has.
Chapter II: In Need of a Crib
After choosing to resign from an university in Alabama, the devil and his demonic army legions have been trying to terrorize our household tirelessly in an attempt to shake our family. The enemy, however, forgets that we have the Lord on our side. Beelzebub, you tried to block us from coming to this wonderful school but the Lord again put you in your place when the contract came while I was driving back from our local Wal-Mart. God is faithful! And He does justice.
You kept firing rockets! Let me describe to the reader what we passed through to get a house to live here in South Carolina, after your attempts to break of family. Most people would have broken down in tears by what we have gone through but we are faithful. Now the situation was basically this: Either pay little rent and live in a trailer like housing or pay premium rent, like paying $1700 a month and live in the best apartment complex in Charleston, an hour away from work. All the other apartment complexes were sold out! We needed a crib! I admit. I was concerned about this situation especially because I resigned from my job the same day I got the offer. We were moving! There were no turning back. But anyhow… I had to do something.
We thought: Even though we lost one application money deposit, 300 dollars value, for a complex near the university because of not having a contract on hand in time, we can’t lose faith in the process, it would be a bad decision if we did. So, we submitted a second application fee (before getting the formal contract) with the hopes that we get approval in the process. We kept praying and fasting. We must have called all the apartments in the region up to the outskirts of Charleston, and nothing!
Then, a miracle happened later that afternoon. Out of nowhere, an affordable 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment opened up in Lexington with 1400 square feet in size, reasonable rent. We applied to it immediately and prayed it would work out. We got our place to live in a few days, thank God.
We planed and executed well but the outcome didn’t work out as planned at first. The issue was outside of our control but life doesn’t care whether your problems or mine are yours or somebody else’s. We accepted this fact in faith. This is life! We lost money in deposits and applications but finally, we could breathe calm and sleep at night again because we got a place to live.
Our problems were all solved, we thought. Not really, not too fast. More hell on earth came our way, stay tuned.
Chapter III: Pack, unpack, hotel life for 15 Days
Now that we had a contract and a place to live, we needed a truck to move. Let me just say that we changed our moving day twice due to the impasse of not having a solid address to serve as a primary residence in South Carolina. When we finally found a place to live, then we could set the date to get the truck and start our move.
when I received the verbal offer, because of time constraints, I told my wife, that we needed to start packing. She agreed. We drove to uhaul and we bought $200 worth of boxes and in two days, we had all of our house packed, literally. This was on August 3rd. On August 9th, without having a formal contract in hand, we decided to unpack everything due to the little hope we had to moving to Claflin. My wife was vivid! With a good reason. I didn’t know what to do so all that I could do was to pray.
At that point, if I were to work in South Carolina, I wouldn’t start my classes on time and I de facto didn’t. When the contract finally came, I was a day from orientation day, four days from the second week of classes, with nothing in my house packed since we unpacked our whole house on the 9th.
Stop for a minute and think about this. How would you have felt if you had to pack your house and in a few days unpack and then pack your house again two days later? It was tough, very tough. Irritating.
Because our apartment in Lexington wouldn’t be ready until August 30th, we decided that the only logical move we could make for me to live in a hotel in Orangeburg for two weeks while my wife stayed in Alabama packing our house, with an active kid and a loud dog. The situation was difficult for everyone but by the grace of God, it ended up working out.
The days were short, the nights were long. On August 27th, I went home to finally move. I thought to myself. This nightmare was coming to an end… little that I knew that the nightmare was going for get worse for me, in particular. Help me God!
Chapter III: Even the mundane was unbelievable
On August 28th, early in the morning, we were ready to get our uhaul truck in Oxford but the location employee stated that there were no trucks available there (even though we made a reservation) and that we had to drive 40 minutes each way to get our truck. It was annoying, more expensive, but we needed the truck to move that day. We headed north to Widawii, Alabama.
As we approached the uhaul location in Widawii, Alabama, nothing appeared open in town around 9:00am, where our appointment was to get the truck. We started to freeze and be concerned. Not knowing what a 20 feet truck was (which was the size recommended by the organization for our move), we had no idea if our truck was there in the lot or not. As we approached the main uhaul office, we found out that the place was open but not really.
There was a very old couple in there serving as babysitters who told us that the owner wasn’t around and that she usually arrives at 11:00am. We asked if our 20 feet truck was available for pickup. A nasty old man went outside in the lot and guaranteed to us that a 20 feet truck wasn’t available in the lot. At that point, we asked them if there was another uhaul around? Maybe our truck was there, I said. They quickly replied, “yes, eight miles away.”
It was now 9:30am. Where is our truck! So we drove to this close uhaul location to see if our truck was indeed there. When we arrived, we found out that the location was closed and wouldn’t open until 11:00am. It was 9:45am. My wife was furious and I was very concerned. I didn’t see any big trucks out there either. To make my life more complicated, I needed to pee but no stories were open for the public due to COVID precautions. I had to go!
It took me at least 25 minutes to find a place to pee, walking like a dancer trying to not pee on my pants. I finally found an open gun shop, pretended to be interested in buying a gun, and asked if I could use their bathroom. I could finally pee in peace, thank God. As I was getting back to my wife’s car she screamed, “Where were you? I couldn’t find you in 20 minutes!” I then explained to her that it took me all that time to find a place to pee. What a heck of a day!
She was lived. We waited and waited and around 11:15am, uhaul finally opened their doors in that location. We went there immediately. As we got inside, we asked the attendant if our truck was there and that we had an urgent matter. The veredicto? Our truck wasn’t there, man replied because our reservation wasn’t in his system. We panicked! We had to drive back to the other uhaul location according to the uhal fella. As we were driving down, my wife calls uhaul customer service and explained to them the hell of a time that we were having and that we had to leave Oxford that day for a move to South Carolina.
Uhaul guaranteed that the uhaul location we had our truck reservation would be opened and functional when we arrived. We arrived there around noon and nothing. The same old couple were there doing what they do best… nothing. I took the initiative to tell the lady that we had a reservation for a truck and that they were the location where our truck was.
The lady then tried to help but was computer illiterate, incapable of using the uhaul system. She decided to call the owner of that establishment to come help us. To make long story short, the owner didn’t come to her establishment for an additional hour! As the old lady was pressured by us to do something (we needed our truck!), she attempted to use the system, without luck. I then intervened and said, “Ma’am, if you don’t mind, let me check us out so we can keep moving. It’s already almost 1:00pm and we don’t have our truck. We still need to drive this truck 40 minutes, load our truck in Oxford, and drive 5 hours to South Carolina today.
She allowed me to be a “uhaul employee” for a day. Believe it or not, I was self checking us out to get our uhal truck because the uhaul owner, who was supposed to be there, wasn’t there. It was now 1:00pm. It took me about 20 minutes to do everything, a process that probably should have taken 5 minutes for someone who works for uhaul.
As we were going out to get our truck, finally, I see the old man screaming at my wife staying that we were stealing their truck from their parking lot because we didn’t have a uhaul lock???? Nuts, to say the least. So we went back to the uhaul store and I explained to him that we were not returning the truck to their 24/7 location but to a location in South Carolina. He was skeptical and accused us of trying to fire his wife. ?????
To our luck, around 1:45pm, the owner finally arrived and cleared the truck for us, staring that everything that I did on their system was correct. The old man looked like an idiot in front of me and we finally left the store back to Oxford, Alabama. It was 2:00pm.
We arrived in our house at 2:45pm, my wife immediately called the movers and they arrived in our house around 3:30pm. They were good! But the main mover told me that our truck wouldn’t be able to fit all the boxes and furniture we had. I froze and knew that this would be a problem without an immediate solution. I told my wife and she panicked.
At 6:00pm, the movers packed as much as they could in the truck and recommended that we get another small truck to complement the move. The chance for that scenario to happen was zero. We had to leave that evening which meant that we will have to pay more rent and come back the following week to complete the move.
It wasn’t good enough for me I told my wife,
Let’s try to fit as many things as we can in this truck and cars. I took some of the things that the movers had cautiously put in the truck out and started to Dump our small (and not so small) boxes, furnitures, toys in the truck again. We did this for about an hour and a half, non-stop, along with loading both of our cars.
At 7:30pm, we then went to uhaul in Oxford again to connect our car to the truck, a task that should have been completed back in Widawii by the uhaulers there. We finally left Oxford at 8:30pm heading to South Carolina and thought to ourselves — At least we are finally leaving this place (for now)… nothing could get worst! We were brutally wrong. What happened to us next is literally unbelievable, film like characteristic clearly orchestrated by the devil to make our lives a living hell.
Chapter IV: 47 Years Old What? Show me your arms
After driving through the night tired and sleeping very poorly in a hotel in Columbia, we left the hotel premises to finally go to our new dwelling. As we arrive at the Complex’s management building, with our cars full and stuck with everything we own, were told that our moving time wasn’t 11:00am but 2:00pm.
My wife then said, the letter said we could arrive at 11:00am to move in. If we can’t move in at 11:00am, then we are going to wait here. We have no place to go. By noon, we had our keys and finally got into our apartment. The place as clean, cold and ready to be furnished with our stuff.
My wife then called the movers and they didn’t get the phone. We decided to move the smaller things first from both of our cars to the third floor where we now reside. We could wait any longer. If you have done this kind of moving work before you understand that going up and down three set of stairs 60 times bringing belongings can be a pretty tiring and tedious endeavor.
We did this for two hours straight. Time is now 2:00pm. My wife called the movers again and asks where they were. They were in Charleston (2 hours away) and that they were in the middle of a move that will take them until 4:00pm to finish and that they would come to help us around 6:00pm at night.
I was very skeptical and told my wife. I doubt that these movers will be here at 6:00pm after a huge move two hours away from us. We both panicked! We had to return the truck the next day by 10:00am. It was now 2:45pm.
We both decided that we had to do something about it because we could run the risk of not being able to move our belongings out of the truck and having to pay much more in moving expenses especially because the following day was a Saturday. We then started to desperately call local movers to see if they could help us. No luck. We were on our own without the capacity to move our heavy furniture up to our new apartment.
We moved as much as we could up for two straight hours until the original movers we hired called us stating that they were driving for one hour and forty-five minutes and were 15 minutes away from our place. We had a sigh of relief! But unfortunately, it wasn’t a complete relief. The devil has more evil planned under his sleeves.
Although the movers helped us a lot, they were incapable of making the whole moving for us. When we pay for movers to move our belongings is because we need it! Well, ours were too tired to do our move. I stepped in at 8:00pm to help them to moving boxes and myself carried up 45 heavy boxes to our apartment, as well as some furniture. At 9:15pm, my wife came to help me out and move up the remaining of our belongings with a dolly, something that our movers seemed to be too incompetent to do it.
At 10:15pm, we finally completed the move! Things were everywhere, our apartment was dirty as it could be, and to finish the madness, my dog breaks from his cage and has a gigantic pee and diarrhea poop in our new carpet. What a night! I was exhausted, hungry and all I could think of was… oh God, why is this happening to us?
Chapter V: Finally the End
It was 8:45am. I had a terrible night of sleep. My wife and I have slept for maybe three hours total combined. Our kid had a panic attack at 3:00am and the dog went ballistic overnight. The devil hit us hard, I must say but we are still alive and well by God’s grace.
We must return the truck by 10:00am, I said. Because of the former, we left our messy apartment without eating, brushing our teeth, thirsty looking like a dead zombie family. After all, the uhaul’s location was 25 minutes away from home but we had to drop a piece of uhaul moving hardware in another uhaul location first.
When we arrived at the first uhaul location, the uhaul attendant asked us for our renting documents contract in order for her to do a return of the tow dolly we had in our possession and kindly asked us to to unattach the tow dolly from our car. How in the world would we know that we needed to do this? It was already 9:15am when we started to learn how to unattach the tow dolly from my car. It took us about 20 minutes to get the job done.
After that, we drove straight to our final destination and arrived there at exactly 10:01am where we could then check out our truck and go home. As we arrived in our new place, my wife gets sick and throws up everywhere, with my kid screaming and the dog barking as loud as she can bark. My wife sleeps, I work for four more hours non-stop to organize the boxes in our rooms.
Finally when my wife wakes up, She is feeling better, my kid is sleeping and the dog is in the cage snoring. I am inexplicably as energized as I could be. It was Sunday afternoon and on Monday, I had a full day.
This was our move from Alabama to South Carolina… a devilish move that made us tired but by the grace of the Lord, we made it safe. He has never let us hanging and in the end, he was there for us all along the way. This is how Good God is.
In our lowest moments, He was there. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3.
“ The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1 to 21.
Give the Lord a chance. Be faithful, fearless and loyal to Him. In the end, He will take care of you in His time and His time is just perfect.