Queridas Gemelas

A couple years ago I headed to a district of Mexico City called Coyoacan for a week-long mission trip with six other young adults. The director of the missionary program, Jonathan, was in the early stages of planting a church which would later be called La Fuente (“the fountain” or “source”). It was a short trip, but very powerful. We made a lot of friends and got them plugged in to the ministry that Jonathan was leading.

As our trip ended, Jonathan invited two of the girls from our team to be interns in the heart of Mexico City for 10 months! Needless to say, after many long weeks of prayer and careful consideration, they both accepted the offer. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll call these girls “Heather” and “Abi,” even though those are, in fact, their actual names. :)

Prior to our initial trip, I had been very close friends with Heather for many years and knew her very well. I hadn’t met Abi before our trip, but it didn’t take long for her and I to get to know one another on a semi-personal level.

What I, as well as the girls themselves, found pretty interesting was that they were fairly opposite one another when it came to their personalities. I had always known Heather to be very easy-going, laid-back, and low-stress in all walks of life. She was the one that would show up five minutes late to every class we had in college, and could never fail to find a reason to smile even in the bleakest of circumstances.

Abi, on the other hand, would tell you that she was a classic example of a Type-A planner and organizer. She stuck to a schedule, was punctual about it, and liked to know what was going on, what was around her, and how everything was going to pan out.

It goes without saying that I anticipated quite a bit of personal conflict between Heather and Abi with them being so different from one another and being chosen to embark on such a lengthy voyage together. During their internships, Heather and Abi would be heavily and frequently involved in ministry outreach programs such as Alpha, English courses, and small groups. On top of that, they would be roommates for the duration of their time as missionaries. Not a day would go by when they wouldn’t have to spend a significant amount of time together.

But, I was completely taken aback by something I’ve been seeing over and over since they got back to the US from their 10-month internships in late November.

It was subtle at first. Over a conversation with Abi, I would hear her agree with something I’d say with an extended “Uh huuuuuh!” which was something I had always known Heather to do. Likewise, I had noticed Heather using several verbal mannerisms that I always remembered Abi using, such as sarcastically referring to risqué humor as “classy.”

But that was just the tip of the iceberg that sunk my Titanic of an incorrect assumption. Over many conversations with the girls, more and more significant examples of their seemingly inverted personalities emerged. Heather recounted stories to me of being frustrated because she had no plan, no knowledge of what was to come, which was totally unlike the Heather I had known for years. And Abi, on the other hand, spent a long conversation explaining to me about how she had come to let so many details that she used to sweat vigorously pass by her without so much as a glance anymore.

It was as if, because they were around each other so frequently for so long, they had started to become each other.

At first I just found this whole thing a point of humor, but it occurred to me the other day that what happened with Heather and Abi is a beautiful representation of what happens as we let Christ into our lives.

When Christ finds most of us, or rather, when we’re at the end of our rope and finally turn to him for help, he is completely foreign to us. We’re so unlike Christ in every way. But as we spend time with him every day, as we read his words and see the great example of how to live set before us in the scriptures, and pray to him from the bottom of our broken hearts, we start to become more like him and less like the self we became when we were trying to live life on our own.

Whether it’s when you wake up, during your lunch break, or before you go to bed at night, make time for Christ every day. Take time to hear FROM him, as well as talking TO him. Christ calls us to a relationship, and like any relationship, it requires full disclosure, emotional intimacy, and frequency. And, with your willing heart, Christ will make you more like him.


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