The Joy of Finding a Kindred Spirit
One of my favorite memories from college is watching Anne of Green Gables with my roommates. I read several of the books when I was young and loved the sense of wonder and adventure in them.
Anne Shirley is such a wonderfully written character. Smart, bold, and outspoken when it wasn’t fashionable or oftentimes acceptable for women to be smart, bold, and outspoken. I found her inspirational at a time when I was struggling to establish myself on my own.
There are many concepts in the books that I love but none more than the idea of a ‘kindred spirit.’
Anne often finds kindred spirits in the most unlikely of people. They are those wonderful people that come into our lives, sometimes quite unexpectedly, and you understand one another almost innately. Not necessarily on every subject but there is some aspect of that person that connects with you.
Some of my wonderful college roommates fall into this category. They are beautiful, strong women with which I matured and developed into adulthood. We laughed and cried and tried to figure out life together. Because we faced those coming of age trials together, there is a special bond. They are dear kindred spirits to me.
As a stay-at-home mom, it can be hard to run across kindred spirits. You would think that all you would have to do is meet another stay-at-home mom and, BOOM, you’d get along. I mean you do the same things, you live a similar life, and you face the same challenges.
But kindred spirits are more than having a similar outward life. You can be similar to someone in every way and still not see eye to eye on anything. That’s what makes kindred spirits so special. You can find them in the most unlikely of people and places.
Age is No Boundary
In my church, we have what are called ‘visiting teachers’. Women are organized into pairs and each pair is assigned two or three other women to visit and share a spiritual message with each month. I’ve had lovely visiting teachers over the years. Many of them were kind and faithful. I looked forward to their visits because I knew they were going to be the only adults I would be talking to that day or even that week.
A few years ago a woman became my visiting teacher who I had known for several years but we had never talked much. We were not the same age and neither were our children, so we didn’t have cause to run into each another.
It didn’t take very many visits for me to realize that she was, in fact, a kindred spirit. She laughed easily, had a sharp sense of humor, and deep spiritual insights. I looked forward to her visits because I knew I’d be uplifted when she came.
We laughed until we cried and cried over our heartaches. Her visits were a bright spot during some dark days. This dear woman has faced many challenges in the last two years and still texts me every now and then to see how I’m doing even after we moved away.
Our backgrounds, upbringing, and life experiences were different but those things didn’t matter. That’s what makes kindred spirits so special. You don’t know who it might be. More often than not, they aren’t just like you. They enrich your life because of their differences.
There Are More Than You Think
Other kindred spirits in my life have come and gone more quickly as I seem to have the luck of making friends with people right before they move across the country.
I’ve been slow to make friends in our new area. Work and family seem to take up so much time that I haven’t worried about it too much…maybe that’s why it hasn’t happened. But, lo and behold, another has shown up that I didn’t expect.
In fact, when I first met this woman I was sure we couldn’t be friends. Not because I didn’t like her or want to be her friend, but because I seemed so boring in comparison to her. She is a lot of things that I am not but, as with most kindred spirits, the friendship developed despite my initial doubts. I learned as Anne did:
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” – L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Sometimes when you meet a kindred spirit, you know it instantly. Other times it’s something you realize over time. I’m full of gratitude for such wonderful kindred spirits in this world. They enrich our lives by making them fuller, more vibrant, and fascinating.
What a blessing that God sends people into our lives that inspire and help us to become more than what we are. He is mindful and manages to send the right people into our lives at the right time. It reminds me that He has a plan if my eyes are open to see.
If you’ve found yourself on a dry spell of friendship, which I have on occasion, remember that He is aware of you and a kindred spirit may be lurking in the most unlikely of places.