Do you ever catch yourself humming a tune only to realize later that the song had something to do with your life experience at the moment? Yesterday, I found myself humming the song “Circle of Life” from the Lion King–annoyingly, all day long. I finally realized that it had a lot to do with two events coming up this week: my oldest daughter’s entry into college, and the arrival of a high school student exchange student from Japan into our home (less than 24 hours later!)
While my daughter isn’t attending the same college that I did, she is attending my husband’s alma mater, and she has friends from our church camp there to welcome her, just like I did. I’ll never forget the nervousness I felt as my dad and I drove into Chicago for the first day of college. It was amazing how fast those feelings disappeared when the first person I saw on campus was my new friend, Debbi, a girl I had met that summer working at camp. I walked into my dorm and found friendly messages from a couple of other friends from camp. I still had to meet my roommate, make friends with the girls on my floor, etc., but just knowing that a couple of other people cared that I was there made a big difference. I’m so happy that my daughter is about to start college with a similar head start.
Having a Japanese exchange student in our home is also like completing a circle. When I was in graduate school, a young Japanese woman named Yuri came into our life. I got to know her during vacations, and then was privileged to become her friend when I moved to Tokyo the next year. The conversations we had about the differences between our two countries, and the trips we’ve taken together to Hiroshima, Mt. Fuji, Yokohama, and other places (in our younger days as well as in recent years with our families) are precious memories for me. Now we get to host a young person here, and she’ll spend a week getting to know our younger daughter, visit her high school, attend church with us, and sightsee around Seattle.
May we be as faithful in this opportunity to befriend someone from Japan as my Dad and his wife were when they took Yuri in to their home so many years ago! May my oldest daughter’s college experience be as blessed as mine was as well. Those are my prayers today as we head into this special week.
What song have you had stuck in YOUR head lately?