Out with the old, in with the new . . . roommate?
My beloved roommate was finishing a stint on Capitol Hill, and it was time to transition to a new roommate for the apartment we had been sharing. The new girl came with rave reviews from a friend who knew us both. But there was a problem: This roommate and I had a history. And it wasn’t a great one.
In college, we’d worked together on some projects, and it hadn’t gone well, leaving our relationship distant and tinged with resentment. Nevertheless, she needed a place to live, and I needed a roommate. So it was decided that she would come.
There was a problem: This roommate and I had a history. And it wasn’t a great one.
Given our history, I was fairly anxious about her arrival. Would home life become awkward and tense? Would we be able to forgive each other and move on? Though at first I had my doubts about the whole situation, I quickly recognized that this was an opportunity for healing.
One of the things I’ve learned from studying Christian Science is that every challenge is an opportunity to learn something more about God. It was Jesus’ understanding of God that enabled him to heal so effortlessly. So I knew that gaining a better, fuller understanding of God, Love, could only help my relationship with my new roommate.
The Bible says: “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10, New King James Version). I realized that since, in reality, we are all sisters and brothers in Love, any history of a strained relationship was doomed to be erased and replaced by the spiritual fact of this loving sisterhood. As I prayed to gain this clearer understanding of my unbroken, spiritual relation to God and my genuine, harmonious relationship with my future roommate, I felt more at ease. As I persisted with my prayers, all previous resentment and anxiety melted into happy expectation. With fresh eyes and a warmed heart, I focused on welcoming her with open arms.
When my new roommate arrived, the transition felt natural and seamless. But even better, I could feel the prayerful preparation that both of us had poured into this new beginning. Neither of us even mentioned our previous conflict—at least not until many months later when I suggested writing this testimony. We didn’t need a long verbal reconciliation or a rehearsal of previous ill feelings. It was clear that the mending of our relationship had happened completely mentally as we individually turned to God. We were starting anew, on higher ground.
When I think of her now, all that stands out are the countless fun times we’ve shared as we’ve lived together. In fact, the many laughs and meaningful conversations and our mutual prayerful support have made us much more than roommates; I consider her a treasured friend. My gratitude is overflowing.
During a move to Washington, DC, I learned that I would be rooming with someone I knew from college. We’d both been part of our student government, and we’d had issues getting along and working together.
In prayer, I addressed the competitive feelings that had felt like a wedge between us.
I knew that in order for us to live in harmony as roommates, I would have to address any lingering feelings of resentment and guilt stemming from these past experiences. It seemed to me that the issues between us had been caused by a competitiveness that, in the past, I’d tried to mitigate through conversations and human reasoning. This time, though, I turned to God.
In prayer, I addressed the competitive feelings that had felt like a wedge between us. Although I’ve heard it said that women are especially competitive with each other, I knew from everything I’d learned in Christian Science that I didn’t have to go along with that perception of female relationships. I found this passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures especially helpful in my prayers: “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 13). I realized that there is no situation where good for one means less good for another, because all good comes from God and is there for everyone.
I also took comfort in knowing that my future roommate loved Christian Science and would most certainly be praying about this situation as well.
When I finally moved in, rather than awkwardness, I felt an uplifting sense of welcome and home. There was no need to talk about the past or work through our differences. As the weeks went by, our troubled history melted away, and the notion that we had ever been in conflict even became ridiculous.
I’m so grateful for this relationship being made new through prayer, and for the adventures, support, and fun we’ve shared as roommates.