Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Girl Comes Around

The Townhouses
This is where I spent three out of four of my college years:

Aren't they...well, they're hideous. But they were home. The Townhouses. I was a resident assistant (RA) for three years at The University of Akron, and this is where I lived with three other RAs during the school year. Over the course of three years, I had approximately 11 roommates (there may be one I'm forgetting). One is now a gospel singer. Another one is a missionary living on the other side of the globe. A couple of them work in higher education now.

And the Townhouses have been demolished.

The good old U of A (which is also Tickled Pink Tammy's alma mater, as I learned at She Speaks!) has to make way for bigger and better housing structures. Ones that will hold more students and be flashier, I'm sure. Such is life. Out with the old, in with the new.

But there's a story from these Townhouses that I'd like to share. During my second year as an RA (my junior year of college), I lived with Kristy, Colleen, and Renee. I think it was the only year I had the same roommates from the beginning of the school year to the end. The other two years, there seemed to be a revolving door on our townhouse.

Colleen and Renee went to church. They had Bible studies. They prayed and stuff. They had devoted Christian boyfriends (to whom they're now married). They were really nice.

I didn't do any of these things. In fact, Kristy and I called them "The Christian Coalition" behind their backs.

Look! It's College Rachel!
Oh, I still called myself a Christian. I'd gone to a Christian school for seven years, after all. I was a Christian. But I'd never really learned what that looked like as an adult. So all the things my roommates were doing looked like overkill, especially to cynical, academic Rachel.

When I think about that year and the things I said and did to my roommates, I'm incredibly embarrassed. I've spoken to both of them since then and even asked forgiveness for being a jerk. They were kind and both said the equivalent of, "Well, we knew what you were going through. We just prayed for you to figure it out."

And I did. Eventually. Took about two years after I lived with those girls, but I came around.

Is there someone in your life right now who needs to "figure it out?" Someone who is feigning Christianity, or doing Christianity "lite?"

I'll tell you, those girls never preached at me. They never said, "Hey, if you're a Christian, you need to straighten up, woman." Because they knew I wasn't really being a Christian. We had a few conversations, sure, but they were all very non-threatening. Made me think, but didn't make me feel bad. They never acted like they knew better than I did, and they were never ashamed of their faith and how they were living it out.

But they prayed. For me. And here I am, a girl who writes about God all the time. Who'd have thought?

Who can you pray for today? Better yet, who can I help you pray for today? Send me an email and I'll help you pray for your friend. Because we all need people praying for us. You never know what might come of it.


  1. This is so powerful, Rachel. Open my eyes, God, to see those who long to draw closr to you but just don't know how.

  2. LOVE this post! God placed you in a "non-traditional" hall for some "non-traditional" spiritual pruning!

    Went and took some photos of what's left of The Townhouses for you. Weird isn't it! Big new hall (South Hall) is going up quick. Another 500 bed dorm.

    Goooooo Zips!

  3. I pray that I can be a part of a " Christian Coalition" to help those around to "figure it out". There are many in my circle that are searching for that one thing instead of looking to the One.

  4. I love you Rachel! I remember that year very fondly except for when you put the naked people artwork in the dining room!

    It was my best roommate year of college though. I really enjoyed getting to know you, and I looked up to you academically and socially.

    And today, I like hearing these reflections on your journey. It inspires us to be more thoughtful about our own lives and interactions with others.

  5. I love this Rachel and it is just what I am struggling with with someone right now. Thanks for the great reminder to PRAY, simply PRAY is what I need to do :)

  6. @Colleen Penn Heavens, Colleen! I forgot all about the nude artwork. lol I think it was Cupid and Pysche by David, which I still stand by as one of my favorites! I just wouldn't hang it in my house. :)

  7. Great post. We must persevere with those people that drive us crazy. :)
    God is so good to wait on us, to woo us, and to provide people in our life that will make a difference in our walk with Him.


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