Upon coming to UCLA, I expected to learn how to become a better musician. I expected to learn how to be independent. I expected to learn how to build relationships and make connections for my future career. But I never realized the biggest lesson I would have to learn was how to let God fight for me when I have done all I can.
On one of my first nights after moving in, a debate about abortion starts up in my lounge. It’s about ten people arguing for pro-choice against one person arguing for pro-life. I sit and listen for quite some time as I hear these friends turning on each other. I sit, and listen, and tremble with fear and anger all at the same time at the injustice I’m witnessing…until one guy arguing for pro-choice says something I could not stand. He says, “We give the decision to abort to the older, wiser people in the situation. If I were to get a girl down the hall pregnant, don’t you think it should be our decision to abort since we know we can’t handle having a child?”
I walk right into the circle, wait my turn to speak, and ask him, “You say you give the decision to the wiser person? Then how come you had sex when you knew you weren’t ready to have a child?”
What intrigues me is that no one can respond. The very person who so confidently argued against me is now silent, scrolling on his phone until someone else speaks up. Eventually, they all exclude me from the conversation and I have to leave the room to calm down. I cannot tell if I won or lost. All I know is that God triumphs in the end. All I know is that God will fight for me – I need only be still.
Fast forward to a week ago.
People are smoking weed down the hall, and it’s obvious. It’s happened before, but this time their door is open and the smell is making me nauseous. After taking some deep breaths and gathering all the courage I can, I knock on their door. Twice.
A girl I know from choir answers. I ask, “Is someone smoking in here?”
After a quick glance down the hall, she whispers “yes.” Something in me becomes brave and I respond, “The smell is making me sick, and if you don’t want me to throw up on your front door, I suggest you stop.” She closes the door slightly behind her and frantically explains that she doesn’t personally smoke. I tell her I understand, but it’s still a choice to have those people in her room. After some hesitation, she says, “Okay I’ll tell them.”
I leave, still shaking with adrenaline. I can feel her friends in the room call me ugly things. I can hear the Enemy whispering that I’m weak. I message the girl later that night, apologizing for scaring her but not apologizing for doing what’s right. I tell myself again and again, God will fight for you. You need only be still. Eventually, I fall asleep.