A Couch and a Lawn Chair

By Kristi Steidley

When I got divorced, I had only the belongings I could fit in my car, which included my digital piano and my dog. I drove across several states to my parents’ house. I didn’t know what I was going to do next. I took a few days to pray and think about what to do. 

I decided to go back to working at The Olive Garden in Layton, UT, which is where I worked before moving across the country. I borrowed money from my parents to get an apartment and some food. I also borrowed an air mattress to sleep on and a lawn chair to sit on. I had a small TV that sat on crates, I had my digital piano, and a few articles of clothing. That was it! 

Only months before, I was sleeping in my car. To have a small apartment (even with little to no furniture) was an improvement. It was a pretty empty apartment, but I didn’t mind. I didn’t care at all about stuff, I was grateful to be living in peace. I was grateful to have a lawn chair to sit on and an air mattress to sleep on. I was grateful to be living alone with my dog. Although the apartment felt empty, my heart felt full. I expressed continual prayers of gratitude. 

I worked as often as I could, picking up extra shifts whenever possible. I was able to make enough money to buy a couch. That was exciting! I had a big, soft couch to replace the lawn chair and air mattress. I could sit on it and sleep on it. That was such a big purchase for me and a big upgrade. 

Within a few short months I had met and married my husband. He was living in a brand new home. I had a home! It was beautiful and it had furniture. The funny thing is, his couch was super old. Fortunately, that’s the one thing I had. That was my contribution to our marriage as far as possessions go. We were soon able to pay back the money I owed my parents. 

I went from living out of my car to an empty apartment with no furniture to a big, beautiful home. I went from living on Olive Garden’s minestrone soup to eating delicious home-cooked meals. I went from sleeping on an air mattress alone to sleeping in a king-size bed with someone who filled my heart with love. 

Kristi Steidley
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