I’ve written before about my dorm floor at school. I’ve told you about my dorm. I’ve written about The Neighbor and The Roommate and Nelle and Jen and Mar and Ellie Rose, and the collection of other lovelies that live up and down that carpeted hall. I’ve told you how I want to remember these times, these conversations, these friends.
I’ve told you all that and it’s all been true: I love the school I attend, the floor that I live on, the ladies I live with. But recently, these past weeks, a shift that’s been creeping up quiet came slowly into focus, and I realized that my floor really is a home; these girls really are sisters.
It sounds a little bit redundant, probably, or maybe simplistic and obvious. Of course it’s home- I’ve lived there for almost two school years. Of course they’re sisters- aren’t we all family in Christ anyway?
And yes, I have lived on the floor rather a while (and I have every intention of returning to the same room this fall), and yes, we are all children of God, but these past days, I’ve settled into that floor, that home, like never before. God dropped me onto the floor, pushed me right along with That Roommate, 18 months ago, and I can only believe that He’s the One who’s making it home, making us family, now.
It’s a funny feeling, almost. Funny because I didn’t even think about it, didn’t realize it until later, because it all felt so natural, so settled, so peaceful, so right.
Felt like that when Jenny and I dumped backpacks in rooms, and grabbed jackets and purses for a Tuesday afternoon outing to Target. Maybe you remember that my love for Target is deep and wide, and it’s a long and lengthening list of floor sisters who I’ve accompanied on errands to that wonderful red and white store.
Jen and I rode the train, just a short trip deep under the busy Chicago streets, and it felt even shorter because there’s a bond of mutuality from living, studying, being together on that floor, and we talked about everything. We got to the big Target, the Roosevelt one, and pushed the cart up and down Easter aisles, past the school supplies, upstairs to look at mattress pads, and to survey the cute baby clothes, because we had a little time. Walking back down the hill is easier, and I bought a snack, we took turns dipping miniature crackers into the accompanying frosting all the way back to the underground train.
I study and I work, and my calendar is full of little boxes delineating just what there is to be done, but sometimes those things can be done alongside others; I took my computer into Nelle’s room the next day, to study and socialize. But she wasn’t there, even though she said she’d be, and the opportunity couldn’t be passed up. So I slipped right into that space between the wall and the bed, and knees curled to my chest, that’s where I did homework. And soon enough, the door clicked and swung open, and I waited a moment before raising my head, peeking my eyes over the side of the bed, and what a stroke of luck. Nelle was looking my way, and the silent surprise of a head appearing on the side of the bed made her eyes spread wide and her eyebrows shoot high, and in the moment before she could raise her voice against my creeping, we were already laughing.
We do Target and creeping and homework and laughing, but she comes into my room on Monday night, because the door was open, and I’m on the bed, surrounded by homework, doing not a thing. So she sits on my desk chair and I was right there on the bed, we talked about God and boys and sovereignty and fear, and the verse that she put on my wall.
And really, when you think about it, there’s so much that could go wrong, so much that could get off, that when 24 girls come together to make home, it really can only be the work of God.