When I came home from college the last thing I wanted to do was move back in with my mom. I loved the independence I experienced on campus. I loved going out at anytime I wanted. I loved random sleepovers with friends and enjoyed that sweet spot of being a young adult but not having bills to pay.
Then school ended and like so many of my peers I found myself jobless and no home to call my own. Thankfully my mom was cool and she pretty much let me do as I pleased. Still, independence was calling my name and the three-year stay with her seemed to take its time eeking by. By the end of that stay I couldn’t wait to move out, purchase my own condo, and live the introverted/only child’s dream.
But as was often the case with my desires, God had other plans. Instead of living on my own He laid it on my heart to move in with two girls I had never met before. Our pastors were project managers for a house and they were looking to get occupants for it. At His leading I traded my suburban dream home for one located in the inner city with two strangers.
To say my mom was freaked out at this prospect is an understatement. You simply do not live with people you don’t know and saying, “God is leading me to” does not suffice. But when you are born of the Spirit, you are led of the Spirit and sometimes He leads you into situations that make little sense to your natural mind. I moved in with those two girls and that was a part of God’s continued lesson on community.
After that season of roommates, I was able to live on my own for a while in a one-bedroom apartment while working and going to grad school. Then I felt led again to room with a friend. That experience ended up in a lot of heartbreak for both of us and I needed to recover from the fall out. Once again I was on my own and alone.
During this time of living alone people often asked me if I would get a roommate since I had a spare room. Many of my friends live in community and it seemed odd to them that I did not. I was certainly open to having another roommate and had even interviewed one prospect. But nothing came of it and that door seemed to be closed. I felt God was giving me time to recover and heal from my past experience.
Then an unexpected door opened. I had been connecting with a blog reader of mine and she mentioned we lived in the same city. We then met up a few times and began building a relationship for about a year. All of a sudden during one of these meet ups she says, “I’m thinking about downsizing to save money and I feel I need community. Do you know anyone who wants a roommate or has a spare room I could rent?” Before I even thought about it I heard myself say, “I have a room!”
Although I knew God was orchestrating this event I had no idea how healing having her in my home would be. Not only have I benefited from her encouragement, faith and joy, she has introduced a new addition to the home—our cat Ben Samuel. Ben is much like a dog in that he loves affection and loves to be around us.
Having had experiences of living on my own and living with roommates I can see the benefit of each season. Since I am a natural loner, I automatically value being alone but there is something beautiful about having a full house.
There is something wonderful when someone greets you at the door after a long day of work and wants to hear about your day. There is something touching when you both are writers, working on your individual projects on your laptops in the living room, not engaging but just being in the same space. And I could never have understood the benefit of having a friendly, loving creature to snuggle up with after a season of anxiety and depression.
With all of my roommate situations there was a leap of faith. In most of them I hardly knew the individuals. But I knew God. And He knew us. And He knows the perfect timing to bring about the best match.