I have always believed in God’s existence. His existence was always presented to me through my parents, family, and church. Although this was a fact for me growing up, it wasn’t until I attended college where I noticed the difference between what I’ve been raised to believe, and what I truly believed in for myself.
During my time in college, I was involved with Student Government as well as being a Resident Assistant in our lowerclassmen dormitory. I’ve always been a charismatic and energetic girl. As an education major, creating events, crafts, and projects came naturally to me. All seemed to be going smoothly at my university, until I met… her. Another girl, same age as me, born in the same month of June in fact, entered my seemingly perfect Christian life. She was an education major herself, on the student government alongside me, and as luck would have it, she was a Resident Assistant as well. You would think that having so much in common, we’d be the best of friends. Our relationship couldn’t have been worse. She and I clashed like a wave against a concrete wall. She would point out my mistakes during meetings and I as well back to her. Life became a competition between the both of us. Our anger for each other created a darkness inside of me that became a literal weight on my chest and shoulders. After many weeks of our going back and forth to each other, one day I realized that for the first time in my life, I hated her.
Hatred. I wanted this girl to disappear. I wanted her gone from this world. When that realization came over me, it was an eye opening revelation. It was as though I was looking in a mirror at myself when I thought of her. This girl reminded me of myself. I felt a wave of emotions come over me: embarrassment, shame, disgust, fear, shock. Here I was a “Christian” woman who allowed my dislike of this girl to take control of me and escalate to the point where I wanted her dead. That moment, alone in my dorm room, I knelt down to pray. This prayer was unlike any prayer that I have ever heard or said before. It was raw, true, and broken. I poured my heart out to God and admitted my feelings about this girl to him. I prayed for one thing, and it was for Peace. I yearned to let go of the hatred I had for her and I desired to feel true peace. I then went to sleep.
The next morning as I woke up, my body had a lighter feel to it. The weight that had been pressing on my shoulders and chest for weeks was completely gone. I immediately thought of her and I felt for the first time in my life, true peace! It was a new sensation to me, something that could not be replicated. It’s not something you can feel by sitting in a chair staring out at the beach, or perhaps drinking a hot beverage during the winter months. I had no ill feelings toward her. Not one. My prayer was answered immediately when I saught him and let go. I let God carry my burden.
In the book of James, he wrote, “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise…if he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:13-16. The Bible is full of advice and stories of people who made mistakes and have been redeemed through the power of prayer. God became “real” to me after my prayer for peace. He became someone who saved me personally in my life. That girl became a dear friend to me in whom I still speak to this day over 10 years later. I encourage you to pray earnestly, words from your very heart and soul. He is real! I implore you to seek him and allow him to be in your life as he now is in mine.
Alejandra Rodriguez Clark is an elementary school teacher and currently resides in McAllen, Texas.