Becoming Family

When I was younger I used to pray and ask God for community. I didn’t realize I was praying for community at the time, but I was–I wanted to be close with other people’s families, to spend holidays with them and have a level of comfortability with them where we all sort of just felt like one big family. I wanted people to know me and I wanted to know them.

I think my desire partially stemmed from being an only child for ten years and not really having close relationships with my extended family. It was just me, mom, and dad for so long but while God created my parents with more introverted natures, he created me to crave and thrive on close relationships.

I’m saying all of this because when I was younger I started praying for families who we could become family with and then freshman year my family moved to Japan…without me. And while I understood why they left and supported them in their mission, my heart sort of broke from the distance. The move was for an indefinite amount of time and when the summer after freshman year came around and I realized I didn’t really have a home to go to…it was sort of, well, sad.

But then one of my roommates invited me to stay with her and her family in St. Louis and I got to know her parents and siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles and close family friends and I realized how much of an answered prayer it was that my family moved to Japan–it was devastating, but it opened up doors for me that would have never been opened if my family had stayed local. All throughout the school year, families from my church opened up their homes for me during holidays and weekends and I had the opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level, just how I had always hoped I would.

I’m writing this specifically tonight because I’ve been feeling a little homeless lately as I’ve tried to figure out how to avoid a two hour commute through L.A. traffic on Wednesday mornings. I’ve been making it work by spending Tuesday nights at my best friend’s apartment, but she’s in Brazil for the next month and a half so…I’m homeless again.

And I was sort of giving way to anxiety when I got a text from Summer saying that I could stay with her and her family. And I realized once again how much of a blessing it is to be some version of homeless for a time, when people open up their homes and allow you to become a part of their families. Tonight, I am grateful for uncertainty and not sleeping in my own bed.

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