Fall 2013

This past semester absolutely flew by. Between working pretty much full time and taking some difficult classes, I barely had the time to slow down and really think about everything that’s happened and that I have experienced. This post is equal parts weird, deep, and goofy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This semester, I was able to start to engage at a deeper level in the life of my church.  I grew up attending an Episcopalian church, so I fell in love at a young age with the mysteries and beauties of liturgy, of Eucharist, of tradition. My church is liturgical, there’s an order and balance to everything. We listen to Scripture read out loud, and say “thanks be to God” even after the difficult passages, the ones which seem to make “God has great plans for you” look a bit trite. No one pretends here. We’re all a bit of a hot mess, a little bit unstable (maybe). But the way people love Jesus here? It’s enough to make a cynic fall in love with the church all over again.

I spent mostly every Tuesday this semester at a mental health hospital, and let me tell you, I love the people I interacted with there. Every time I walked into a unit, I was acutely aware of how much Jesus loves these people, how if Jesus walked the earth today, he’d probably hang out with my friends at the hospital. The best part of the whole place is how no one pretends (like my church); everyone is a bit of a hot mess and a bit unstable (definitely), but there is so much hope for these individuals. It’s beautiful how my friends (in the words of the band Bastille) “wore their flaws upon their sleeves”. Their “flaws” were prominent, and I had the  choice to love them regardless, or to ignore them entirely. I chose to love them, and it breaks you a little, because you see how the broken can be beautiful.

My roommate and I sing “Another One Bites the Dust” anytime someone gets engaged. And seriously guys. There’s been a lot of those this semester. Ring by spring is no joke (side note: to all my people who did not attend a Christian University- “ring by spring” is the idea that a girl should strive to be engaged by the spring of her Senior year). And I am so happy for my friends who’ve made this life commitment! Really, I am. I’ll just be over here, alone on Friday nights, watching 30 Rock and laughing about how I am turning maybe a little into Liz Lemon. Alright, that’s an exaggeration. I’m 21 years old. I’m young. I get it. But “ring by spring” is real. Anyhow, when I was in elementary school, I played this computer game called “The Oregon Trail”. Basically, you were virtually reenacting the journey the pioneers took to the West. Obstacles in the game included snakebites, cholera, and drownings of other members in your party after a failed attempt to ford a river. I was so bad at this game, my Mom made a game out of how quickly I could kill everyone in my wagon. I was pretty good at that game. So I’m applying the Oregon Trail strategy to my whole relationship status. I am emerging from college victorious because I outwitted everyone and managed not to get a ring on my finger (insert female power ballad here). And I am young and I have my life in front of me, yes, I have heard it all before. So to all the people who ask if I’ve met any nice young men lately, the answer is yes. I’ve simply outwitted them all. Also, Carrie Hope Fletcher taught me that boys in books are better (see video below for further explanation). Augustus Waters will always have a bit of my heart.

So that’s kind of a brief snapshot of this semester. It’s a little all over the place, I know. But that’s been my life recently. And I kind of like it that way.

Later Days,

Jess

This is the song, “Flaws”, by Bastille. I think there’s a lot of truth here, if we listen closely.

Advertisements