Iron Sharpens Iron: The Inspiring True Story of 8 Women Living The College Dream
A moist, pumpkin-flavored Bundt cake sitting on the coffee table begins to disappear, spoonful by spoonful, as each roommate enters the room, encounters the dessert, and finds her place on the sectional sofa. All eight of these eager University of Georgia Seniors feel excited and privileged to have an invitation to share their story:
*Their tidy and spacious home reveals God’s involvement in their lives.
*None of the girls are carbon copies of another. In fact, they are vastly different in personality and routine while sharing the Christian faith.
*All of the girls come from Christian homes, but they don’t live in a “Christian bubble” by any means. Each of them has taken ownership for her faith, and at the same time each has decided to be fully engaged with many peers who do not share their values.
*These roommates actively pursue relationship with Christ by sharing life authentically, doing book studies together, praying together, and engaging in spiritual disciplines in front of one another.
The Difference It’s Made
“Seeing other girls reading their Bible every single day and talking about Jesus to others has given me boldness.”
“These girls keep me accountable and set an example for me for the kinds of standards I want in my life.”
“These deep relationships have taught me that what I do doesn’t define me. These girls love me simply for who I am.”
“These girls are intimately involved; they want to know me. They love me with all my quirks.”
“Having deep, genuine conversations with one another is such a gift and has taught me how to be more vulnerable in relationship.”
“It’s incredible to live with others who are strong in their faith and who have introduced me to other Christians on campus.”
“We spend a lot of time with our group of Christian guy friends, mutually growing through our conversations with them. They push us with thought-provoking questions, and we do the same for them.”
“These roommates give me the kind of Christian community I’ve never had before.”
“It’s so meaningful to see eight different personalities pursue the Lord uniquely. None of our relationships with Him look identical; but what He means to us is the same.”
Their Advice for Others
*Your college story may look different than living with seven other strong Christians in a house. But trust God in the mystery of how He will arrange your college experience, and you’ll see powerful results too.
*This group and living arrangement didn’t come together the first year of college. In fact, “freshman year is not a forecast for all of college.” Getting settled and developing friendships takes time.
*You’re not the only freshman to sit in your dorm room sobbing about your loneliness. Ask around and you’ll hear that everyone is craving meaningful relationships.
*Be willing to be uncomfortable. The first semester – it’s very important to say yes to every Christian ministry, activity, event, group, etc. taking place on your campus. Then, once you’re there, take initiative. When you’ve seen the same person at church two weeks in a row, make lunch plans afterward. Or don’t just passively wait to see the same people once a week at small group. Invite them to meet up for coffee mid-week, and then make plans to walk to the group together next time, etc. Keep putting yourself out there while the Lord moves on your behalf.
*Stay prayerful and follow His lead.
*Find an older student to be your mentor. This makes a huge difference! An older student can keep you from thinking you’re the only one struggling to make close, like-minded friends. Ultimately, having a peer adviser who has been in your shoes can be a lifesaver while you’re learning to patiently develop a personal community.
*You don’t have to “do” college in an either/or manner. So many Christian college students put their faith on hold for four years, or on the other extreme, seclude themselves from the partiers to keep their faith. First, work to find a Christian community to give you strength and minister to you. Then, you can hold strong to your faith and shine a very bright light while intersecting with the many students around you who have no relationship with God. They desperately need the light of Christ, and you carry Him with you everywhere you go.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a (woman) sharpens the countenance of (her) friend.” Prov. 27:17