December 27, 2017
The following is purely a space bragging about my best friend.
“A freshman year success story”, it could be described.
Furthermore, I hope to impart some of what I’ve experienced in living with a roommate, especially with a friend.
Living with Lana
Filling out a roommate questionnaire, honestly, I probably look like the crazy roommate. ‘Type A’, neat freak with 6 A.M. wakeup call that reads for fun? Hard pass.
And freshman year Lana and I both kind of had that “hard pass” attitude towards each other. We were fine roommates, but friends? Ha. No thanks. We were just too different.
One of the first nights at school, Lana asked one of our suitemates in a self-admitted, more condescending way, “so is Aly like super religious?”.
Time passed and conversations about faith started to arise between us. I remember reading my Bible in the living room one morning and her asking how people even begin reading that big, confusing book.
As her curiosity grew, I started praying for Lana. My heart’s desire was for her to know this personal relationship with God in a fresh way.
Later that year I got the joy of watching her be baptized. Compared to her demeanor at the onset of the semester, she radiated a new smile. A joy from the Holy Spirit was undeniable on her face. Today, Lana is someone that pushes me in my walk with Christ and living with her has been an unexpected blessing.
Now… contrary to what our Instagram accounts may portray about each other, there are days and weeks that we take advantage of knowing how to push one another’s buttons or have a little less mercy. We’ll be the first to admit our feelings about each other ebb and flow.
But the nights we stay up until 2 in the morning talking about the vastness of creation or she asks me to pray for her about an area of stress, I remember our friendship is rooted in something so much deeper. It’s not about me. It is about showing Christ, being a good listener, and encouraging her in the only thing in this world worth pursuing.
Tips for Living with a Roommate
Sharing a place of living with someone is hard. With beds that are maybe 2 feet apart, it’s near impossible to avoid getting to know the uncensored version of someone. This reality results in memories we’ll share with our kids (like the one time I threatened to pin our fish on the wall if it died and followed through) or the times of conflict (I’ll find the positive and say, ‘made us stronger’).
Here are some things I’ve learned…
If you and the people closest to you have similar deep convictions, it is simply easier to live harmoniously. If this isn’t your situation, you can love your roommate even if you don’t agree with the way they live their life. Listen without judgement. Let your actions speak louder than words in ways that point to Christ. (Yes, this is easier said than done.)
Sometimes we think of service as something we do for people outside of our living spaces. We’ll wake up early on a Saturday morning to serve, but miss the opportunity to love the people closest to us. It’s easy to make excuses, but we are called to think of other’s needs before our own in both contexts. And someday I’ll get to serve my husband in the same manner. So, better start practicing now. Right?
Just because you are friends does not mean you have to spend every waking moment together. Follow your personal passions. Live your life. But at the end of the day, I am so thankful my best friend is there to listen when I need to rant, offer advice when I’m struggling, or be someone to laugh with after a crazy day. There’s nothing like time spent with someone that just ‘gets you’.
It is so easy to take a long day out on the people in proximity. Pray for patience. Pray for the anxieties you’re aware of in their life. Pray for your friendship. Just pray.
I hope you get to live with someone as great as my roommate. Someone that doesn’t take life too seriously, has a kind spirit, and a truly thoughtful heart.
In a roommate situation, be one another’s number one cheerleader. While the world fights to tear them down, desire to see them succeed in their endeavors. The world needs more of that.
Being in-between semesters, maybe you’re dreading going back to school because of your roommate situation. Maybe you’ve been a little too “Minnesota nice” and there is unsaid conflict that you need to bring into the light. I promise holding it in just manifests everything but goodness. Or maybe you’re excited to go back to school and try out this idea of serving your roommate. Either way, in apprehensive or enthusiastic anticipation, ask God for a desire to live like He calls us to.