While one part of my life begins to wind down, another part is just beginning. Graduation is officially 20 days away. In that time I have two 10 page papers, two 5 page papers, and two exams. My last day of work is next Sunday. My last sorority meeting is next Sunday. Our pledge class gets initiated on Friday and my senior formals are on Saturday. My role as Cooper House Student Leader is coming to an end, and leadership has been chosen for next year. And for the most part, I am ready for all of these things (okay well maybe not all the school work, but I am definitely ready for all that to be done).
A time to break down, A time to weep, A time to throw away stones, A time to embrace
At the same time as all of this ending, there is also so much beginning. In 22 days I depart for Guatemala with Cooper House. In 34 days I begin a month long adventure at Montreat Conference Center. The first two weeks I will be a small group leader, and the next two weeks I will be working with youth at the Music and Worship Conference. I will also be working at Massanetta for two different conferences in July and August. And then on August 18th I will depart for Stony Point, NY for orientation for my YAV year in Hollywood! And amidst all this excitement, I received an acceptance from San Francisco Theological Seminary and I have sent my deposit so that I can enroll in the Fall of 2015.
A time to build up, A time to dance, A time to laugh, A time to embrace
As I planned my last Sunday school lesson for Fairlawn Presbyterian I came upon Ecclesiastes 3. This verse is common in Funerals as a sort of comfort during the extreme grief that comes from loss. But why limit this beautiful verse. As I begin this awesome transition, how fitting is it for my present and future. Graduation means leaving all my friends, my home, and only taking my memories with me. But all my new adventures contain the promise of new friends and new experiences.
A time to embrace
It is time to embrace in every sense of the word. Embrace all that is coming to an end. Embrace all that is beginning. Embrace those I will leave. Embrace those whom I will meet.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
And look at my Mom’s puppies! Lady (RIGHT) has been with us for a year but we just got Duchess (LEFT) Yesterday(April 26th!)
I am excited to announce that I will be spending the next year with the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program in Hollywood CA. This time last week I was in Little Rock, Arkansas at the YAV discernment event. I spent the weekend meeting amazing people and discerning my call. Discerning is an interesting word. I have never heard and thought about discernment as much as I did at the Discernment weekend. The role of call and discernment is very unique. I am about to graduate college and all of my friends are talking about what they want to do when they leave, or what graduate program will get them to what they want to do. However, throughout the YAV process, as well as my plans to enter seminary, discernment is a key role. To discern what God is calling you to do, not what you want to do. To know where you are suppose to be, opposed to where you just want to be.
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me? *
So why Hollywood? Hollywood elicits images of celebrities, red carpets, and movie premieres. Streets are often blocked off for filming and big signs are put up behind those red carpets for the celebrities to pose in front of. But what is behind the sign? On any given night in Hollywood, 60,000-100,000 people sleep on the street.The amount of youth, young adults, and families that are homeless is growing rapidly. And First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood is located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
“Seeing the Face of God in the City.” This is the call that I have accepted. This the DOOR motto for all of their sites. (DOOR is the organization that YAV partners with, and whom I will be working through!) Though there is so much homelessness and poverty in Hollywood, there is also so much beauty.
Hollywood is often called the City of Stories. It will not just be the place where stories are created in a studio, but a place where I will be able to share in the real stories of the people around me. My hope is that as I become a part of a story, you will join with me. I want you to be a part of my story. I have been extremely blessed to be a part of so many great communities. As I embark on this adventure, I hope that you, my cloud of witnesses, will join me.
For more information on YAV and on the Hollywood site click here. And come back for more post as I prepare to go to Hollywood!
*Song lyrics from The Summons