I had not even been living on my own for two weeks in my apartment when I found myself facing a very unfamiliar situation. My best friend who lives in Colorado was finally able to come and visit me. I had not seen her in over a year. Her visit was a wonderful though unexpected surprise, and it meant taking on a new role in life for me, which I wasn’t completely sure I was ready to handle. I suddenly had to play hostess.
The reality of what this role would actually require was harsh and scary. Even though my guest was my best friend and the main purpose of her visit was simply to see me, I was filled with fears. What if she got bored? What if she came and felt uncomfortable in my home? What if she thought my apartment is too dirty? Or, the worst fear of all, what if she came and then realized she never wanted to come back again?
I used to play the role of host all the time in high school. I would hold several small parties at my house throughout the year, usually movie nights, and back then, it was just fun! I got to decorate my house and pick out different foods that fit the theme of the party. As I grew older and became more introverted and more self-conscious of my lifestyle, I viewed my house as a place of solitude, a place to which I ran away from the world and could claim as my sanctuary.
Then when I moved to New York, I discovered the true beauty and self-sacrifice hosting embraced. Surviving in New York means relying on the generosity of others. There were numerous times when I was welcomed into friends’ homes; even when their space was small, they willingly offered everything they had for my comfort. I admired this hosting ability, mainly because I was convinced that I was not called to take on this role myself. Although some of my hosts had so little, I still perceived myself as having less.
When I moved to New Jersey, I moved in with a family and was blessed to experience firsthand what giving yourself entirely for another, even a complete stranger, truly meant. This family welcomed me into their home and offered me all the comforts I could imagine. They even provided a place to stay for my parents when they visited me. It was an honor and a privilege to stay with them. Through their generosity, I saw what the gift of hosting could do. It inspired me to really consider what I had to offer others and to give back. By giving to others as a host, I can “pay it forward,”and through what I received from my host family in New Jersey, I can now give to the people I will be welcoming into my apartment.
The Lord is once again calling me to become someone new. With every change, with every move, with every new day, the Lord continues to ask more of me, but He is also building me up so that I will be equipped to take on the new challenges. Yes, this new hosting role is stressful and involves a great deal of effort, but I place my faith in the Lord.
I can trust that if in my heart, I desire to be the best I can for the people I host, the Lord will take care of the rest and make sure all their needs are met. It was an incredible moment when the Holy Spirit chose to reveal to me everything I could offer to others. I recognized another part of my identity as a daughter of God. The Holy Spirit has filled me with an eagerness to do more and give more. In this new identity, I ask the Lord that “everything you have given to me, Lord, let me now give it all away.”