I never really knew I was hospitable until I came to college and people told me that I was, but as I’ve lived on campus over these past few years, I’ve noticed that I am. See, generally, I’m a happy person. I’m overly optimistic, and I always choose to see the good in people, giving them the benefit of the doubt, showing them grace, and just being an out pour of God’s love. I know what it feels like to be not welcomed, to be pushed aside, to be forgotten and left out, and to be on the outskirts of the group, and because I know what all of that feels like, I’ve always tried to make sure people never feel that way because it sucks. It honestly sucks.
Throughout middle school and high school, I never understood why I went through all of that and felt all that I felt, but it wasn’t until college that I finally made sense of my past and how God had transformed my heartache to a burning passion for His people. This passion carried out in my dorm (now apartment), my ministry, and in all aspects of my life. Now I open up my apartment a lot, whether it’s to hang out, do homework, eat food, sleep, etc., but I never knew to what extent this “hospitality” was a part of my whole being until tonight.
Last week during small group, we went over the topic of love and hate, and one way that I wanted to challenge my girls was to have us do something together to love on our ministry, so we decided to bake something. A week later and here we are. We went out to eat, bought all the ingredients, came back, and baked. People from our ministry came and ate our baked goods (yay!), but it was almost 11:30 PM. I was sure everyone had a lot of work to do (I have an exam tomorrow yay…) and that we all had class the next day, so after I had washed all the dishes, I stood in the kitchen for a good 10-15 minutes debating whether or not I should tell people to leave. After a while, I decided to do it, but man was I nervous.
My heart was beating really fast as I said “Hey guys. I hate to be that person, but we have school tomorrow and I’m sure we all have a lot of work to do tonight so I’m going to have to ask y’all to leave. Thanks for coming though!”, and then I started to sweat and my eyes were tearing up. I felt SO bad. Now I know I didn’t need to feel bad whatsoever because my reasons were valid and it was my home, but I felt SO bad about it all. They were all talking and hanging out, having a really great time, and I wanted them to continue having a really great time.
The tears soon turned into crying and that really took me aback because it made me realize that I was so hospitable that I almost couldn’t tell people to leave my home. It got to the point where I started crying because as much as I wanted to continue to be hospitable, I couldn’t and that broke my heart. It really sucked that I had to tell them to leave and that my apartment could no longer be a place for them to hang and have a good time, and I really hated that I had to do that.
I’ll be okay, but man, those tears really took me by surprise. Me crying made me realize how God had intently used my past to create and shape me into the person I am today. Looking forward and excited to see how else God will use my gifts and strengths to glorify His kingdom, only He will know what is in stored for me in the years to come.