When I was in high school, one of my Young Life leader’s best friends had a blog called “Overlap.” The phrase behind it was “the highlights of my life are anytime our worlds overlap.”
Although it’s been probably four years since I’ve read her blog, I think about that saying all the time. I think about it when I pass a businessman and homeless man on the same block. Will their worlds overlap? I think about it when I spend too much time scrolling through other people’s lives on Instagram, those who come up “based on people you follow”. Will our worlds ever overlap?
Thankfully, God’s hand is in who our worlds do overlap with. Realizing this makes me grateful.
I had no idea what to expect from sophomore year of college. After this year, I now know to say, “I have no idea what to expect from God in this time.” Sophomore year was a hard and good year, one that brought me leaps and bounds closer to God, something I so desperately needed. Although I am quick to remember the hard parts of this year, a closer look reminds me that the people I know at school brought me to the feet of Jesus over and over again through their friendship. I’ve been home from school for a week and a half now, which I hope is enough space to be able to write this without crying.
For two years, our worlds overlapped. They overlapped in the places we lived and the routes we took to walk to class and the places we chose to study and to eat our meals and to worship our Jesus. They overlapped in ways that fostered deep understanding of who she is and what God is doing in her life.
To the girls who my world overlapped with this past year:
Thanks. Thanks so much. Thanks for the conversations and studying at Edgehill and the Well, for the walks to class, for letting me pretend to play uke on your bed, for letting me cry in your bed, for jumping on my bed in the morning, for sharing Fido cake with me, for texting me well-timed Bible verses, for texting me from the next room over, for sharing your love of chocolate covered bananas with me, for going to Sanctuary with me, for spontaneous birthday trips to Target, for necessary conversations about misunderstandings, for beginning and ending our semester with IHOP, for helping me learn how to be inclusive, for letting me externally process, for letting me play rap really loudly, for relentlessly pursuing my friendship, for sitting on my floor, for reminding me that we are the “Messfield,” for going to church twice in one day with me, for being so invested in our missing air plant, for making a megabed in our common room, for making time for discipleship every week, for being my inspiration to climb into a waterfall, for telling me when I’m wrong, for forgiving me when I’m wrong, for taking grandma walks with me, for making new friends so late into our second year, for showing me Jesus. Thanks for believing friendship is worth it and thanks for loving me.
As of this summer, all our worlds will not overlap in the same way until senior year, our last year. Our worlds overlapping will look less like trips to Cookout for milkshakes or blasting the White Album in the common room or studying in MRB for finals and more like sporadic texts and Facetimes from faraway countries.
I won’t know what it is like to spend a semester in New Zealand or France or South Africa or anywhere other than Copenhagen. I won’t know what junior year at Vanderbilt looks like. I won’t know what a semester at home is like. I won’t know what it’s like for me to miss sophomore years and senior years of people I care about.
This worlds no longer overlapping stuff is scary. But I recently read that leaving is brave and staying is brave. There is a divine author to our stories. Sometimes he writes them to overlap with the people we love and often he writes them so the comfort of people we love is taken from us, to learn bravery. I wish we could all always overlap, but then I think we would miss the beauty God has written all through our stories. And through it all, Jesus is constant.
What love the Father has lavished on us! And how precious that he so often shows up through friendship! I love, love, love yall.