Something that I tried to keep up this summer was a journal of centering my heart on God. For me, writing is the best way I can connect with God. Most of the time, I put my pen to paper, converse with the Creator, and reread over it to see that the cry of my heart is what I really needed to clarify as I come before the Lord.
This summer, I was in an internship at Centenary UMC. It was wonderful (as most people can tell from my Facebook page or Instagram). However, I have a lot of entries into my journal that I feel I could share to help each of you better understand exactly what I did this summer and how I felt about it.
I’m loving rereading over these writings of mine and seeing where the Lord has led me and how He continues to work in my life. I’m astounded.
I’m calling these posts/entries “Centerings at Centenary” (“centering” because each time I wrote was a preparation of my heart for quiet time with God). Some I wrote in April and May before I even began my internship. Most were written on a day to day basis in the office. I will post the date that I wrote them originally.
April 27, 2016 (Spring semester of junior year)
This semester has not been my favorite semester in Boone thus far. I had 18 credit hours at school, which I handled like a baby; I dropped my campus ministry involvement to focus on my other Christian communities, and in turn, lost quite a few friendships; I also had quite the emotional rollercoaster – I experienced the most depression than I have during the rest of my college career and my anxiety attacks resurfaced.
It’s safe to say that this season I don’t feel that Boone is a safe or happy place for me. Therefore, when I was looking towards summer plans, I decided that I had to get out like a bat out of hell. It would not be good for my emotional or spiritual well-being if I continued through the summer in Boone, with most of my friends gone. I would have just worked at my part time job and binge-watched Netflix.
With the help of a friend, I found an opportunity to explore the call of God in my life. I applied for an internship with the United Methodist Church, being paired with an elder at a church, and being mentored by them. I am extremely happy to say that I have been placed in Winston-Salem, close to home and out of the mountains.
Most people ask what I will be doing. Right now…I have no idea. I am praying that I can befriend my mentor and learn how a large church functions. I can tell you that I am staying with a member of the church all summer and that I am required to participate in theological reflections with other interns in the Conference.
If you know me well, you know that recently I have entertained the thought of applying to Divinity School after I graduate from Appalachian (this time next year), but I want to say that I am not entertaining this thought lightly.
Am I avoiding the real world?
Do I want to stay in school as long as possible to keep responsibilities from surfacing?
Do I have a call on my life that I should just go straight into graduate school?
Could I actually make a difference?
Will Divinity school be the end of me?
Do I just want to say I have another degree?
Could I learn to love better and learn to love God better with further knowledge on the subject?
Depending on the day, my answer to “Are you applying to grad school?” changes.
I struggle so badly with wanting to help make a difference for Christians in this world. I want to love people well and somehow teach others to do the same. I want to be a voice in the changing of the Book of Discipline with things that I feel passionate about.
One person can’t change the world. There’s no bone in my body that believes that. BUT one person can open the conversation and see who feels the same way. Is that my job? Is that what I’m supposed to do?
Or should I just rethink everything I’ve ever thought…stop pursuing the church and the potential of working with one (on the local level or conference level) and just apply to a Communications job because that is what I’ve been learning over the past three years at App State?
For now, I can’t stop pursuing the church. I can’t stop pursuing the fact that I am called to figure this feeling inside me out. And I know that is hard for a lot of people to understand – an intangible God is hard for a lot of us to reckon with. I know that I can’t explore other options until I’ve fully given this one my best effort.
So here I go, jumping into this terribly dark abyss of exploring so many options that life has to offer. I officially start at the church in Winston-Salem on May 23. Now, I am attempting not to wish away the time between now and then.