good and busy.

People keep asking me about the Fellows Program. How is it, they say, how’s it going? I usually respond by saying, “good,” and then follow it up with, “busy.” Because I really have no idea how to describe how exactly it’s been.

This week, I’m writing over at the Greensboro Fellows blog. Keep up with us over there, won’t you?

press in.

press in. you can press in, or you can hide. i hope you don’t pick hiding.

there are thin places in you. the places where you are stretched, or cracked, or just worn down. the places where you feel as though the core of you resides, places where you tuck your secrets and your fears. and maybe someone will ask a question, or offer a sentence, and you will feel it brush up against the thin place in you. and you will want to run from the thin place. don’t. because the thin places, i think they might be where the divine can break in.

press in. press into the thin places. maybe it all comes down to this: pressing in. not running. not hiding. sitting with. sitting in. sitting among.

faith. all the messy, middle, still-stuck-in-it, silent, lonely parts of faith. and doubt, silence, un-answers, emptiness and friendships, the good and the hard and the painful and the truth-telling and the heart-wounding of it all. broken places and healing places and not-yet-healing places and freshly-healed places. aching places and longing places and hollow places.

it’s choosing. daily. it’s waking up and choosing to press in. choosing to fight. choosing to believe.

this is what i want for you: to choose the pressing-in.

and note, here, that when i say you, i mean me.

because perhaps, the thin places in me have been brushed against lately. perhaps the doubts have been settling into armchairs. perhaps i am needing to press in.

so i am learning, slowly and unsteadily, how to choose. how to lean against the tender spots instead of turning away.

and i am seeing the beauty when you press in.

seeing the divine break in through the thin places.

and that – oh that impossibility, the divine breaking in – that is what i want to press into.

an update.

It’s hard to try and sum up everything I learned and experienced during my college years. In May, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Dance and a minor in Computer Science. The past four years have been incredible, and I’m thankful for the experience I had at UNCG. I made life-long friends, had many opportunities to perform beautiful choreography, and, of course, learned a few things. The past two years I’ve been attending Church of the Redeemer, where I found a church family that welcomed me, drew me into community, and pointed me towards Christ. I was also able to spend a semester studying abroad in Malta – a semester that was challenging but amazing as I learned to navigate a new country on my own. Also, as many of you know, I spent July 2013 in Kenya with Adventures in Missions. My trip to Kenya was an experience I’ll never forget as I learned to trust God in new ways, developed deep relationships with my team, and was blessed by the love of the people we met there. My time at UNCG challenged and strengthened my faith in ways I didn’t expect. It’s been a journey of learning how to trust, how to surrender, and how to daily walk with Him.

This year, I’m taking part in the Greensboro Fellows Program. The Fellows Program is affiliated with Church of the Redeemer and seeks to develop young adults to live in a Christ-centered manner in every aspect of their lives. The program integrates professional experience, leadership development at the Center for Creative Leadership, discipleship, volunteer work, seminary classes, networking with local business owner and executives, intentional fellowship, and a year-end trip to visit our sister church in Rwanda, Africa. The Greensboro Fellows website (http://www.greensborofellows.com/) has more information about the program.

There are six Fellows this year – Sean, Graham, Kyle, Stacey, Sarah, and myself – and we’ve become a family, along with the program directors, Tripp and Sarah. They have already blessed me so much, from sing-alongs in the car to faith conversations around the dinner table. I’m interning at C12, a company of Christian business owners and CEOs that seeks to develop businesses from a Biblical perspective. This year, we’re developing rhythms of prayer, worship, service, and fellowship that will carry us through the rest of our life. I love the rhythms we’ve been practicing, especially morning prayer on Mondays. It’s a gift to start each week together in prayer and in Scripture.

The Fellows Program is an adventure that I can’t take alone. In Greensboro, there’s an entire network of people that are giving of their time and talents to help us – host families, internship providers, mentors, teachers, people who feed us and pray for us and bless us. I’m grateful for this cloud of witnesses that makes this program possible and I could not make it through this year without the prayer and support of God’s people. Would you partner with me in prayer and financial support this year? The Fellows program costs $6,500, and I have already paid the first half of my tuition. This means I need another $3,100 to be fully paid for the year. If you can support me financially, donations are tax deductible and can be made on the website or by check. Checks can be made out to:

Greensboro Fellows
P.O. Box 4764
Greensboro, NC 27404
       Please put my name in the memo line.

This year is a blessing but also a challenge, and I would be thankful for your prayers for myself and the other Fellows. I’m very humbled and grateful for this opportunity to take this year to learn and grow, and I could not be more excited about what God is going to do in and through our lives this year. We’ll be sending out a regular newsletter, and I’d love to keep you updated on what’s happening in the Fellows Program. If you’d like to be on the list, please let me know. I’m grateful for your love, your support, and your prayers, and for letting me share this journey with you.

 

a gathering of thoughts.

scattered fragments. i think my jigsaw puzzle is a missing a piece, that one piece that will make it all come clear.

i’ve been looking under tables, but it’s nowhere to be found.

so here i am, well past bedtime, attempting to gather thoughts. rearranging them into scribbles and syllables, hoping that some sense will appear.

thoughts remain scattered, but still i catch them in my hands.

—–

learning, as of late:

if by some gift of grace you find those special people that are your people – hold them tight and be grateful for them. every single day. love them as well as you possibly can.

sit and face yourself. take a good long look. stop running. come to terms. make peace. you’re gonna have to live with yourself for a good long time, hopefully, so make peace.

whitespace. white. space. leave margins in your life. fight for them, if you need to.

it’s okay to look at yourself in the mirror and declare yourself pretty. really. you can do it.

love wins.

always leave five minutes early. or ten. don’t be late. cool kids aren’t late.

monday is rough. but she just wants a little love, like everybody else. make monday your friend.

celebrate. everything.

do new things. even if they scare you. especially if they scare you. don’t miss the adventure because you were too scared.

find people who are better than you. who love better. who live better. people who make you want to be a better person. and then, listen to them. watch them. learn.

ask questions.

—–

maybe i’ll stop chasing jigsaw pieces.

let my hands be too busy seeking beauty to fret about the missing pieces.

come over me like water.

come over me

like water,

fill all the cracks

and crevices.

come,

you are so welcome here.

come like a flood,

come like rain,

overwhelm

with the force of your presence.

pour out all the waters

of you

onto my dry soul.

come like a river,

roaring down towards the sea,

roots and rocks giving way

in the power of your rush.

come like the sea,

crashing over me

as a wave

beating against

my weary heart

until all the rough

is smoothed away.

come like a lake,

calm and still

peace soothing

a troubled life.

as the deer

pants for water,

so I long for you

but I do not believe

that a drink will satisfy.

drown me

I will sink

until the waters close above my head

and there,

on the ocean floor,

perhaps I will

no longer thirst.