When I was in college I went through 11 roommates over the course of 3 years. Seven of those 11 were in the town home 6a my final semester in college. We lived in the green town home at DBU, perfectly in the middle of the row, the kitchen was tiny, we had to use one of the tiny Harry Potter-esque closet downstairs to have enough space for all of us to have our clothes hung, we had to label each of our items in the pantry in our own little section, and I was in the room of 3 girls in a room hardly large enough for one person to live comfortably. Town home 6a quickly became a space that holds some of my best memories from college with some of the sweetest girls. There was me, two Alyssas, a Caitie, a Katie, a Paige, and a Caitlin AKA Smoochie. (Werk it Smoochie!)
We fondly named ourselves the #girlsof6a which we still use today when any of us are together, and even when some of us would move, graduate or get married, we continued to fill the spots with girls who were welcomed with open arms into the 6a family. We have married off one another, cheered one another on in new endeavors and jobs, we have mourned with one another, we have fought for one another in times of controversy or heart ache, and experienced just about everything you can imagine with one another. Many of us traveled to London together for a dance team trip where we danced our way across the city and to the country side at over 20 schools, and we danced in the snow at Piccadilly Square. We also performed a flashmob in the middle of the tube one busy work morning, which we still die laughing about. We used to gather in the living room together to snuggle with one another after a long work day, often half of us in our sequins and the other half in their professional business attire. We would stumble around one another early in the morning, trying not to wake the house while we would make our breakfast and fill our coffee mugs. We would leave each other funny notes or ‘I Owe You’s’ (usually for eggs) around the house, and we had revolving closet doors. We truly were like sisters.
On Saturday, some of us got together once again for dinner and a bittersweet goodbye. Alyssa C. packed her bags again to move back over to East Asia for mission work. The first time was hard enough for a year long mission, but this time we said goodbye for two years. Though my insides ache at the thought of knowing she is so far away in a foreign country doing what is truly dangerous work, I can’t help but scream with excitement thinking of all she is doing for a far greater work than what we can even grasp. This is the hardest part about friendships rooted in love. And I mean love that is Jesus. Love that comes from something so much deeper. Because, love stemmed from our own desires is selfish. It doesn’t want to let go, it wants only what it can see and grasp right in front of it. Gospel rooted friendship is knowing the fact we have to go through heart wrenching goodbyes for the sake of doing what we are called to. We HAVE to. We are called to multiply, expand, and cover the earth. If we hold tight comfortably to what we want to selfishly keep by our our side, then the world will not, and would not, know Jesus. We have to let go of those we love if they are called to leave. Paul and I experienced this heartache when we moved from Dallas to Mckinney. When we moved we also left a community of about 20 twenty-something year olds who we had met with every single week in our apartment for over a year and a half. It was bittersweet.
Acts 20 talks about this. The Apostle Paul lived with the Ephesians for 3 years, preaching the gospel and helping to form their church. He was a cornerstone to their city, and then there came a time he had to leave to head out to the next city. They grieved because he was leaving them and because they would likely never see his face again. I am sure even Paul felt the sting of heartbreak leaving people he grew to love so deeply, but he had a conviction and calling.
“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all;they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.” (v. 34-38)
I know I will see Alyssa again. But, it is the same idea of Paul leaving the Ephesians. As the girls of 6a who love her so deeply, we have to live openhandedly. We have to share her, as well as the rest of us, with the rest of the world so that the love of Christ can spread beyond our comfort zones and inner circle of deeply rooted friendship. This is what love is, this is what Christianity calls us to. It says go be, go do, go love lavishly and wholeheartedly, but live by all these truths openhandedly.
I am forever grateful for the girls of 6a, and I look forward to the next time we get sit around a table to dine and laugh with each other again. Half of us are married now, so who knows, the next time we all get to be together, one of us might have a baby bump, a new home, or perhaps another one will have a husband! So much can happen in the next two years, and we excitedly and expectantly cheer each other on until we gather together once again as a unit.
Happy Monday, beauties. Go be kindness and love to a world that desperately needs it.