A few years back an unmarried brother in Christ blogged about the importance of people in different seasons of life sharing their lives with one another. He shared about how he enjoyed time in the homes of families just as much as he enjoyed hanging out with his single friends. I’ve pondered this through the years because it’s easy for me to think that people without children might find time with us a drag; or perhaps our single friends might find our marriage as irritating as salt in a wound; or maybe couples with one or two children will find our family dynamics chaotic; or….maybe I’m overthinking it.
A few months ago God did something He is so good at doing: intersecting lives. On my first night volunteering at my favorite pregnancy resource center, after a year’s absence, I met Vanessa. She was a recent college graduate and was clearly in a holding pattern with life. She wasn’t being idle, however; she was ministering and serving and studying and kneeling at the Throne of Grace with every spare moment she had. Conversation flowed well between us and as the weeks rolled by we became friends.
Then she asked me something that blew me away! She wanted to start coming over a couple times a week just to be a part of our family life. She had been praying for a chance to witness a large family in action and she viewed my family as that answer. I welcomed her in and since that first Monday visit the children refer to her as “our Ms. Vanessa.” She became my teacher assistant during school, prepping crafts, sharpening pencils, supervising little fingers; she helped me in the kitchen; she read and sang and danced with the children and soothed the baby; she even babysat a couple of times.
But what blessed me more than anything was that Vanessa found value in my life, enough value to open up and share her life with me. She shared her bucket list with me; her hopes and dreams and fears and big decisions. In sharing with me, she helped me remember my experiences and thoughts I had recorded in journals and then forgotten. And she soaked in all of the details about our daily life but didn’t find them mundane in the least. Even our lunch menu intrigued her! Looking back on our time together I can see such beauty in what God did. He brought two of His daughters together, in very different seasons of life, to help them see the necessity of being exactly where they are in life. Each step we take is necessary for the next step to be taken.
I wish our chapter with Vanessa could have been much, much longer but I am humbled that we were able to open our doors and share our life with her for any length of time at all. And going forward I’ll try to overthink things a little less: may we always be ready to share the season we are in.