The thing I loved most about the house in which I use to live was obviously that beautiful, big, bodacious doberman.
But the women that I lived with were definitely a close second. And the corner of the countertop that was always filled with baked goods and snickity snacks to share was a strong third.
The women that occupied that space alongside me taught me so many lessons. Lessons about loving God, loving neighbors, loving each other. They are exceptional individuals and frankly, I can’t wait to live near them again soon. The year that I spent with them was a very… tricky year in my life. And looking back I’m so thankful that God put them next to me during those trials so that I would have friends to cry with and laugh with and eat ice cream with. We entered into that house together because we all happened to need a place to live, but we entered into each others lives because God creates beautiful things.
Because what’s even more lovely is the fact that I really wasn’t active friends with these ladies before living together. I had met some of them almost immediately after moving to Tampa back in college, but I was too distracted by other friendships and school and trying to figure out how to be funny to pay them much attention. I was very selfish with my time and did not invest in others well. I was too preoccupied with myself to get to know girls who would one day become some of my closest friends. One girl in fact I actively disliked, and man – did she dislike me too. This disdain for one another was based off of nothing. Misunderstanding the other. Jumping to conclusions. Thinking, “Well she doesn’t like me, so fine. I don’t like her either”. And I’m here to say, that kind of thinking is nonsense and there isn’t room in the Kingdom for it. I adore her now. Seeing God redeem our relationship was so so beautiful.
And that’s the thing – I wouldn’t have picked any of those women to live with on my own. I would have never felt up to the task of living with a girl I knew didn’t like me and I didn’t like either. But God is so much bigger than we are. He knew how much my life would be touched by that group of women. He made me go with my tail in-between my legs and learn that I was, in fact, very wrong in my judgements. Praise God.
Now, as I’m getting ready to move back to Tampa, I am going to be living with a new group of ladies. Ladies who I, again, don’t know very well. Ladies who, once again, have been in my church and life and friend group for quite some time but I have never taken the time to know well. I feel really blessed to be given another chance to rub shoulders with daughters of God who I have, by my own admission, never made it a point to know. I’m anxious for the lessons they have for me – to see God in them. I’m thankful that I worship an intentional God who doesn’t just provide a house and roommates to help with rent, but stitches lives and souls and paths together to unite the Kingdom.
He is doing this always. I’ve learned and am learning that the people in our midsts – our roommates, our classmates, our peers at work, our next door neighbors – are placed in our lives by our Father who desires to see relationships and love and care. We need to pay attention to the people next to us, and we need to love them. And moreover, we need to ditch the bad attitudes. Like I said earlier, God showed me that there isn’t room in His Kingdom for cattiness and biting remarks and tossing others aside. There is too much to do for us to waste our time disapproving of others. I wish with my entire being that I had spent my years in college with those girls I eventually came to love. I would have been so enriched by their friendship much earlier on. Don’t miss the opportunity to be blessed and bless those currently in your midst.