As the days and weeks dwindle down to my departure date, there’s only one thing I’m truly nervous about. It’s not learning a new city, it’s not submerging myself in a new culture and language, and it’s not even going back to school. It’s building a new community of friends to do life with. Truth is, I don't have the best track record with this. Have you ever heard the story of how I met Alexis, my college roommate?
Picture it: move-in day at Baylor. I had just said a tearful good-bye to the parents and walked back to my new dorm room to find it empty. Experiencing a bite of loneliness already, I gazed around my new room trying to take it in. Not ten minutes later, a knock sounded on the door and I opened it to find a red haired, blue-eyed, big smiled girl. Having been told by Sarah (a family friend to Alexis and future sister-in-law to me) that we had to meet, Alexis had come to introduce herself. I, however, having just said good-bye to my parents wasn't ready to make small talk and being unhappy with the dorm I had been placed in, wasn't looking to make many friends there. Apparently I said hello, my name and not much else, shutting the door in her face.
I literally still cringe thinking about how I acted. I'm embarrassed at how rude I was and laugh at my complete oblivious state- shutting the door in the face of my future best friend and roommate. Who does that?
As the semester went on, Alexis and I hung out a few times, but it wasn’t until second semester, at a time when I really needed a good friend, that the magic sparked. From that point on, there are very few of my college memories or even day-to-day experiences that didn't involve Alexis.
The summer between freshman and sophomore years of college, I consistently prayed for friendships: that the ones I already had would be deepened and that new ones would spring up and be rich in love and life. Ask any of my close friends from Baylor and they will attest to the undeniable, ridiculous fun that was our sophomore year at Baylor. You can’t bottle that kind of chemistry, love, or lack of sleep. It's a fact that nearly every one of my dearest Baylor relationships either grew or began my sophomore year. God is faithful.
A few weeks ago, while once again wondering if anyone will want be my friend at AUP, God helped me see that He tried to give me my best friend ten minutes into my Baylor experience. He tried. I’m the one that shut the door. I’m so thankful that God and Alexis gave me another chance because the next year when two of Alexis’ best high school friends joined us at Baylor, the magic multiplied and they too, are two of my favorite and best friends. I’ve learned my lesson and now know that January is my opportunity to not make the same mistakes: open heart, open mind, no shutting of doors.
God is forever faithful. I’ve seen His hand and love every step of this crazy journey so far- He’s not going to stop once I get there. Though I don’t know their names or their faces yet, I believe those new friends, people to do life with, learn from, share with, are out there.
One of the best things about life is that we get to share it with people. Look around your life. Who are the people you’ve been surrounded by that have made the difference? Aren’t you so glad for them? Me too. Past, present, and future, me too.