Musings

/Musings
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What I’m Learning from my High-Church Friends

[Note: This post begins a new shift in writing. During my time in Bible college, this blog served the wonderful purpose of assisting me in processing my musings about the Lord working in my life. I will still seek to honor him in all my writing, but now that I’ve graduated, I’d like to make my posts more structured and topic-focused.]

 

I am hardly a high-church type of person, although I spent the first seven years of my life in a place full of chant-y rituals, clerical robes, and passing the communion cup. That church, sadly, was a dead and cold place, and my parents left seeking Christ’s face in a church elsewhere. From then on, I have been fed and nourished in a series of Bible-based denominational and non-denominational Bodies.

In Bible College, I met my first Anglican friend. In a curious pendulum swing from our parents and pastors of our youth,

Wisdom from Pooh

I am in the process of ending Year 4. I will soon cross the stage. I will shortly have my piece of paper. I will be sent.

Bible College has been the most incredible experience of my life. Trying to say goodbye “well” has involved a large, Hermoine Granger-sized mixed bag of emotions. This has been my favorite season, favorite place on earth, and now it is time to leave.

Maggie took me to a ridiculously sketchy-but-good grilled cheese dive tonight for one last spontaneous dinner. God continues his profound stooping as he constantly uses agents to encourage me and mediate his love. I love the Body of Christ for this reason and so many more.

Reading Romans 8 shows the tension between the already-but-not-yet world we live in. There are goodbyes, and pain, and sufferings, yes, but we as Christians await the new heavens and the new earth, we have hope that

Much so Far has Happened

Approximately fifteen minutes ago I was crying in the girls’ bathroom as a shaky eighteen-year-old who was starting her first day of college.

It is now April of Year 4. I have just left a friend’s apartment where we discussed and prayed and dreamed about the next phase of life, hopefully living together and working full time and seeking the Lord for his wisdom and clarity.

I am waiting to hear back from nonprofit administrative positions. I have been published. I am helping my boyfriend apply for seminary scholarships. I am hearing friends lease in the northern part of town and receive job offers and get engaged on the beach and I am being asked to speak at our last senior gathering and and and

 

Lord, so much has happened.

I am reading Exodus. A lot happened for those people of God in that time, too, albeit a lot more grander of a scale

Reflections and Cardboard

My mind seeks to organize life in boxes. That’s how I work, and it’s great for many things.

This year has certainly been one to break the boxes. I’ve been challenged, humbled, confronted, and forced to process much–my own sin, my own fears, my own judgments about others that are incorrect and wrong.

I’ve cycled through the topics of race and gender roles and Christians needing to vote too many times to count; I’ve read Matthew, Acts, Hosea, Joel, Luke, Obadiah, and Amos; I’ve completed and started another year of Bible college; I’ve said goodbye to friends and welcomed new ones; I’ve walked with other through mental illness, relational difficulties, anxiety, and a lot of prayer for more faith that God will provide; I’ve been heartbroken over the state of sin in the world more than ever; I’ve discovered a desire to hone my teaching skills; I’ve begun dating a wonderfully complicated

Proper Goodbyes

Tears welled up in his eyes and his throat closed shut and he creaked out the words between swallows.

“I don’t want to write a book…I don’t need a big church…if you guys email me or call me in five, ten, fifteen, thirty years and tell me you’re still following Jesus, that’s all I want.”

That is my college pastor’s desired legacy. I yearn to have that same devotion to Christ, to people.

Today was his last Sunday morning with us. I’ve been encouraged, inspired, and fed under the teaching of this incredible pastor for the past 8 months. He has called out potential in me, stimulated the faith of others, and welcomed countless students into him and his family’s lives.

As I read the book of Genesis, I’m seeing the incredible faith and devotion of Abraham. Like my pastor, I look at this guy who demonstrated such a devotion to God’s call. My

Kitchen Table and Expectations

I’m sitting at the breakfast bar in my parents’ kitchen. It’s 9:30pm and I’m knocking back coconut chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, courtesy of my mom and her practical love.

I’m thinking about a lot of things. Tomorrow I leave the Northwoods after a short stint home to begin: Year 4. I feel so funny about starting my last year at Bible College in the big city when three years ago, freshmen orientation was happening and I was scared to walk down the street by myself. In my head it’s only been about a week and maybe five minutes.

This summer, I completed an internship serving in suburbia with a local church’s women’s ministry. I have written a paper encapsulating my current philosophy of ministry to women, studied the Word immensely, took ownership of my retirement account, and upgraded my solo-highway-driving skills. I have struggled with anxieties, calling, future,

Please Get Me a Bigger Box

I’ve recently noticed that I have a natural aversion to things I cannot figure out, pin down, hammer out. It stresses me out if I cannot put something  in a box; life is so complex, this obviously is not a problem I can avoid. I am learning more to lean into the complicated rather than shying away, as this is where so much growth happens, but it’s not my favorite. It’s an intentional, arduous mental process for me as such a strategic thinker.

Perhaps that’s why, in an ironic way, I love studying the Bible so much. It’s like an eternal treasure chest that I can’t figure out. Instead of the stress that clutches me when I cannot wade through the loud forum of Protestant evangelical grey areas (here’s my latest), conversations about yet another thing the church should be doing, and arguments about race without a frustrated headache, I rejoice.

A Snicket in Time

Motto for the summer, courtesy of a fictional children’s hero:

“Get scared later.”

I have been blessedly led to an internship in The Suburbs. I have been working with H the Women’s Ministry Director. I have been thrown into ministry and tested and humbled and busy with writing and loving my grandmother, aka my landlord for the summer, along with my Jesus-needing extended family and the aging neighbors down the street. I am being filmed every time I teach. I have been riding the train alone, driving down the scariest highway in the state, navigating a relationship, praying for my friends serving overseas, dealing with future and money.

I am being taught so much. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a summer of insanity that I couldn’t have imagined 9 months or a year or five years ago. It seems scary, and I joke about my mantra, but by the Spirit, I’ve been able to

Formica Counter-ing Culture

“Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.”   -King Solomon. Prov 4:23.

I grew up in the mid-2000s, hyper-purity youth group culture of Christianity. Youth group emphasized saving yourself for marriage, dating was implied to be bad, and everyone was always wondering whether or not you “liked” a guy because you talked to him for more than eight seconds. I remember specifically attending a conference on relationships as a teenager where the entire emphasis was, literally, about keeping your pants on. They were selling checkered suspenders in the lobby.

And then I went to Bible College.

Cue confusion over courtship, paranoia about sneak-attack coffee dates (“Is is a date? Does he like me? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN”), and engagements left and right. It’s a strange arena to attempt navigation, and the Starbucks counter down the street has witnessed many a DTR

Broken Batteries

“I’ve been told I’m just a body.”

“I struggle feeling like I’m too broken for God to actually use me.”

“I think God sees me as a piece of dirt.”

“I look so ugly unless I wear makeup.”

“I never want to be raped again.”

Heartbreak, over and over again. I am sitting across Starbucks tables, carpet floors, couches, cups of tea and coffee when I hear these words. My spirit is continually rent by the twisted lies coming out of the mouths of these women, young twenty-somethings who have been repressed and depressed and caged by various turmoils.

I am small. So. Terribly. Small. What on earth am I supposed to say, when the backstories come out and I haven’t lived through half of the nightmares of half of these voices? What do you offer souls that have been busted? How can I reverse a lifetime of degradation at the hands of an abusive father,