Sitting on the floor of her apartment, Anna drew her knees to her chest and sobbed. 

It didn't make sense. How could she be here?

Six months ago, everything had been going so well. She was well on her way to finally running a marathon. A promotion seemed imminent. The weather was nice, her friends were all within a few block radius. Money was coming in steadily and she'd built a tidy little savings account. 

But then everything came crashing down.

It started slowly. 

What had been just a sore ankle turned out to be a stress fracture that put a halt to Anna's running. But that was okay; she'd found a great yoga studio near her place so she just started taking more classes there instead of running. No biggie. 

A few weeks later, red flags began to pop up at work. Clients weren't coming in and that promotion never showed up. Staff had dwindled down to just a few people and even they were cutting back their hours and looking for work elsewhere. 

Her friends all moved away. Some moved several states away. Some only moved 30 minutes away. But still. She couldn't walk to a friend's place anymore when she was having a rough day. 

Before she knew it, it came time to renew her lease. The letter with the reminder to renew came with a nasty surprise: rent would be going up by close to $50 a month. She was going to have to move.

The day of the move had been dismal. Thunderstorms raged the entire time; in addition to lugging all her stuff (a moving crew was out of the question now that the promotion wasn't happening) up to her third floor walk-up, she was soaked to the bone. The weather didn't improve much after that. 

Things took another step downhill from there: the office closed. She was officially out of work. Before she knew it, Anna had burned through her savings account and was unable to buy food, let alone pay rent. Anna took a job waiting tables alongside a job in retail just to make ends meet. 

Earlier that day she had been at her retail job, chatting with a customer while she rang up the customer's new clothes. The conversation turned and Anna found herself telling the customer of her dream to be staff counsel at a major multinational corporation.  The woman at the register next to her snorted.

"I didn't realize you had to sell t-shirts to be a lawyer these days." The woman rolled her eyes and left with her clothes. 

Anna's customer had given her a look of pity but remained silent until the transaction was finished. 

To  make matters worse, Anna's friends were all in the city and had all gone out for drinks. Anna hadn't been able to afford a night out. She couldn't stomach the thought of them paying for her yet again so she'd stayed home that evening. 

As the night wore on, her mood darkened. Finally something broke inside her and she grew furiously angry with God. Where the hell was He? Certainly He wasn't here. How could He be?

Having vented at the heavens, Anna had little energy left to do anything but cry. No matter where she turned, she couldn't find a single silver lining in all this mess. 

Anna scraped herself up off the floor and went into the kitchen to get some water. As she reached into the fridge to get the water pitcher, Anna froze. 

The fridge was full.

The food hadn't miraculously appeared. She'd bought all of it yesterday.

But it was there. 

There was food, and plenty of it. 

She picked at the shirt she was wearing and wandered towards the closet. When she opened the closet door, Anna saw a closet full of clothes. They were outdated but they were there. 

She backed up until she was standing in the middle of her studio apartment. It wasn't much: there was no cable TV or even a separate bedroom. The windows were drafty and the front door sometimes didn't shut all the way. But it was there. 

Her phone buzzed announcing a text message saying how much everyone missed her; her friends were there too.

It was all there.

It wasn't the nicest. It wasn't the newest.

But it was there. 

And it was hers. 

With a smile on her face, Anna grabbed the nearest notebook and jotted down a list of 5 things she was grateful for. Everyday for the next year she took a little time to write down her list.  And everyday for the next year, life got a little better. 

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