A New Roommate, Prayer, and a Perspective Change by Alexis
A recent obstacle has come into my life, one that I believe most people living on the college campus will run into: Receiving a new roommate. I was fortunate to have a good friend from high school be my roommate my entry year in college. However, she’s no longer going to be my roommate. I’m not one who likes change and this was pretty big for me, so my initial reaction to not having my best friend there with me was best described as fear of the unknown. I’d always heard of other people getting these terrible roommates who’d scream and get up your face. I witnessed a few of those fights on my floor and those were quite off putting.
As soon as I was my school started looking for a new roommate for me, I started praying. However, it was a really selfish prayer asking God to not place me with someone who would challenge my faith. Over the course of a few weeks and going to a Bible Camp, I came across Matthew 6: 30-34 as I was reading my Bible.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6: 30-34 (NIV)
As I read it and mulled it over in my mind, I realized that I was praying out of fear for my past experiences with my Mother who tore down my faith and people who could enter my life and would be like her. I realized that Christ doesn’t want me to live fearfully. This was later confirmed when I read 2 Timothy 1: 7-9.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 2 Timothy 1: 7-9 (NIV)
So, I worked on changing my perspective since, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8: 28). After a week, I found that my anxiety slipped away as I gave my anxieties to Christ and trusted Him. It’s amazing the kind of peace we receive when we allow God to take control in our lives and stop trying to control everything and worry about it.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. We should always be on our toes when receiving a new roommate, safety and sanity are important. Yet, we shouldn’t dwell on things we can’t change, that’s a distraction from God and the good He can do through us. So relax. God’s got you and the Holy Spirit is ready to guide you. Keep your eyes on Christ and no matter what, things will work out. It may not be what you want, but you’ll be stronger in the end!
Managing My Chaotic Life
Hello there Brothers and Sisters in Christ, my name’s Alexis! I’m an 18 year old student at a University in North Carolina. I’m working on my Bachelor's degree and ultimately my Masters or Ph.D in Communications Sciences and Disorders (that’s just a fancy name for me saying I want to help people with speech or auditory problems). Personally, I would like to be a Speech Pathologist. Now, telling you all of this has a purpose. Between my studies, keeping good relations with my roommate, learning how to be a good girlfriend, my internal struggles, and learning to balance independence with school, it’s hard to find time to time to be interactive with my peers, let alone my spiritual walk with Christ. Yes, I know this isn’t a good thing and that’s why I’m writing it down here for all of you to read.
Some of you, or your peers, are saying to yourselves, “Oh, my spiritual walk? Pfft… I’ll do that later, I’ve got time. Anyway, God’s always waiting for me with arms wide open”. Technically, yes, God is waiting for you, excited to pull you into his loving embrace, but He’s a Father. If you ignore Him, after a while He will let you go make your own mistakes and wait for you to return. He wants you to learn you can’t do everything by yourself. He wants you to trust and follow Him. If you wait till later, you’ll probably never get to it. Life gets busy. From studying, working, to finally having a break, if you don’t include God now, you may look back on your life and realize you never have.
Now saying all of this is great, but unless you actually engage in it, it doesn't really matter. So, I want you to see how I engage, for me, I pray at every major meal, read one chapter of the Bible before bed and try to pray honestly before bed. You may ask, “Why, why these ways in particular,” and the answers are actually rather simple.
Praying at every meal doesn’t just show Christ respect, but for me, it helps me remember and be connected to Him even in busy times. For me, some of my busiest times include meals since I’m usually with a friend or friends while eating and doing homework.
When I read my Bible, you can think of it as my unwind time. I tend to put all of my thoughts of the busy and stressful day to the side and allow my mind to explore the chapter I’m reading. During this time, I try to come up with questions or find tid-bits of information to latch onto, think about and research later. When I read, I tend to find it brings me a sense of security in such a fast pace life.
Lastly, I mentioned praying honestly. Now, this is something that takes time to develop, so, if you’re not eloquent that’s okay. Trust me; I don't pray wonderfully. However, that’s not really the point of praying. What really matters when you’re praying is that you are humble and honest, you admit where you failed for that day, ask forgiveness, be thankful for the things that have gone well, and pray for people you may or may not know. The best thing I’ve found is not to use a rehearsed prayer because it becomes a chore and, for me, doesn’t feel very honest nor respectful. Now, let me be clear, I’m saying this for teenagers and older people. Children should use recited prayers so they can get in the habit of praying and, in their own time, mature their prayers.
Now, there are other things I do, but those are in my free time. Things such as studying the Bible, researching Biblical Leadership, going to church are three things I do to stay active. However, there are many ways to stay connected: Reading a Devotional, participating in youth events, Apologetics Conferences (if you’re more of an intellectual or if you like evidence behind your faith), listening to a Christian Broadcasting station (AFR Radio, 106.9 the Light, and probably more), listening to Christian speakers (Ravi Zacharias is one in particular I like), reading Christian Books, listening to Christian Music, creating your own Christian Art or Music or Literature, etc.
There are so many ways you can stay connected and deepen your Faith with Christ, but never forget to try.