After experiencing Chicago, I made my way down to St. Louis to see some family.
Three sisters, to be exact.
The four of us make an unlikely combo. Peggy is a hipster with a touch of southern girl attending seminary. Laira is a full-bred Puerto Rican with an incredible mind who is in her first year at Wash U. Marly is Puerto Rican by blood, with a little Texas culture mixed in. She loves high heels and Twitter more than anyone else I know. And then there’s me- highly introverted, but deep down thrives on taking risks and adventure.
The common denominator for all of us is Puerto Rico, and our time there from September 2010 to May 2011.
Our lives crossed at different points in a span of nine months. I met Peggy on a muggy September night hours after I arrived to the island. I was there working for Young Life, and Peggy was the nanny for a family I would soon become dear friends with. I met Laira the summer before- she was one of the first students from Puerto Rico that went to Young Life camp. We reunited in Puerto Rico that fall as we started Young Life club for the first time. Marly and I met that following spring after God led the area director of Young Life to the Pottery Barn where Marly worked on his day off. Marly and I began meeting together while she was going through training to become a volunteer YL leader. During that time, she was introduced to Peggy.
As I was preparing to leave Puerto Rico, I asked Peggy to reach out to Marly. We had been hanging out a lot and I didn’t want to leave her high and dry. They became great friends. Meanwhile, Marly became a YL leader and began developing a close friendship with Laira.
Now, two years later, Peggy is in seminary in St. Louis and Laira is in her first year at Wash U. Marly is still in Puerto Rico volunteering with Young Life, and I’m in Austin working at an ad agency.
Last weekend, as we were driving around St. Louis together, Peggy told Laira this:
Laira, we’re going to be hanging out a lot. I want you to know that. And I want you to know that Lindsay and Marly didn’t ask me to do this. They didn’t have to. When I heard you were moving to St. Louis I just knew this is what I needed to do.
We are family in the deepest sense of the word.
No matter who is where, we’re going to make sure that our sister is taken care of, that she’s surrounded by people who care about her, that she has somewhere to go when she has questions. or just needs rest. That’s what the family of Christ does for each other. We bear each others burdens, we step in to help when others have to step away.
We were made to live in community. We are not irreplaceable in our current roles, and that’s how it’s meant to be. Sometimes we step in for a season and carry others, and other times we’re the ones who need to be carried.
I’m thankful for this little group of sisters that I get to be a part of, for how they’ve taught me to accept love instead of trying to earn it, for being a picture of what the family of God looks like. We love, not because we expect something in return, but simply because we’re family.