Friday, July 28, 2006

Open Hearts

Yesterday I found out that my boyfriend's ex might be our new housemate in September.

My initial reaction to this was not one of joy, understandably. I don't particularly like this girl. I don't think she made a very good first impression on me when I first met her on her scout week. Even without the complication of her history with S. I wouldn't be thrilled to live with her. She is young and headstrong, dominant and loud - none of which are traits I would choose in a housemate.

However, I have no choice in the matter. That is one of the joys of living in student housing, a joy that I think I was well prepared for by living in rented houses all of my life. Everyone else in my house, all of whom feel vast reluctance to live with M. as well, have the impression that they can simply put their foot down and not allow her to live in 'our' house. None of them are life-long renters, and the notion of simply submitting to this is not even in their minds.

Surprisingly, I am the most receptive to the idea, which makes me laugh a little. I have the most reason not to want to live with her, after all. I think knowing that I have no say in the matter means that instead of a mindset of fighting M.'s inclusion to our house, I immediately go to a place of 'how can I deal with this?'. Well, not first thought was something more along the lines of "God, make another solution present itself. Make her live with first years - they don't know any better."

Because part of the problem is that none of her class mates from last year want to live with her either. She has not made a reputation for being easy to get along with, and on top of all of her grating personality traits, she's a messy person. There's just not a lot of incentive to live with this girl.

After brooding on this for an hour and then writing furiously for a while during the show, I was able to ask God for grace, love, courage and trust that this would all work out somehow. Either that another house would be found for M. to live in, or that her living with us would be a good thing. Somehow.

And somehow, when I fronted the concept to my housemates that night, I was the least venomous towards M., and the most accepting of the idea of her living with us. I guess God had already started giving me that grace and love that I'd asked for.

Since it is really likely that M. will live with us, I hope that God can open everyone's hearts in our house towards her. She is going into the busiest year of her life here, and the last thing she needs is to live in a house full of hostility and judgement. And, quite frankly, I don't need to live in a house of tension either. I like that our house is a sanctuary, a place where we can all come and be safe. Right now I trust my housemates and they trust me - and regardless of who comes in, they are going to upset that for a while, at least. I really desire for us to be able to bring M. into our sanctuary instead of having her destroy it.

In a way, it might be good that M. comes into our house. I can see that some other people could have been too quickly and easily integrated into our circle of trust without having to prove that they belonged there. At least M. will not be accepted into our confidences without good, good reason.

It's a gift that I can see how good it could be for M. to live in our house, if we can get rid of our walls towards her. She has enough walls of her own, which will need to come down if she is going to succeed here, and they won't come down if she isn't somewhere that she feels is safe. It could be really good for us too - I can see that it will make me learn all kinds of things that I would be able to ignore otherwise.

Pray for us, please. Where ever M. lives, it will not be easy for her or her housemates. If she lives with us, I anticipate a stretching, growing, painful experience - and yet I have hope that good will come out of it. But pray for us anyway...we will need all the love God can embellish us with, and very open hearts.


Tim said...

I love it how you can turn your focus around to wanting to bless her. I really hope she responds well to your wanting to create a safe place for her. You have such a wonderful vision of how to help her.

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