United

This post started out about nursing school, then turned into a sermon. You’ve been warned.

I’m graduating in a few days. Part of me is rejecting this reality, preferring to believe that I will continue in the caffeine-infused, sleep-deprived, laughter-filled days that have filled my four years. And part of me is beyond happy to be past this stage of my life and into the career I have dreamed of for ages. Right now, everything is just a very jumbled bag of emotion. Because as exciting as this time is, it’s also a period of mourning. These past four years have been the hardest four of my life (besides the two years of middle school I thoroughly suffered through). I’ve seen the paradoxes of death and life, questioned the core of what I’ve believed in, and come out stronger on the other side. But the hardest part of it all is knowing the community of beautiful people around me is going to be shattered and scattered very soon. Yes, we will always be friends. Yes, there will be weddings to go to and baby showers to plan. There will be no loss of contact, but mi comadre will no longer be five minutes away. And that’s hard. I was sharing these feelings with my people last night. Funny thing is, we are all experiencing the same joyful grief! So just like our four years of nursing school, we were bound together in laughter and tears with the overwhelming knowledge that we are not alone.

When I feel overwhelmed or scared or fearful, I have a tendency to self-isolate. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t go to church. I mostly sleep a lot. And sometimes this can be very healing, but sometimes my self-imposed lockdown breeds more fear and anxiety. I need my people around me to remind me I am not alone, I’ve never been alone. And as much as my rugged individualist only child self kicks and screams at the idea of social contact when all I want to do is eat my weight in salted caramel and watch another season of Arrested Development, I need my people. Because they remind me to get over my sixteen year oldĀ  angsty melodramatics. Life is not about me. I am not the only one consumed by the looming battle that is the NCLEX.

This semester, I took a theology class for fun. The title of the class was “Biblical Theology”, and basically, I can boil the class down to this: “Jeeeeesuusssss” (read that in your highest sing-songy Sunday school voice). Theology is how to speak well about God, and Scripture (the bible) is about Jesus. Simple as that. Scripture is not a formula to solve my life problems. It is not “basic instructions before leaving earth”. It’s a narrative pointing the reader/listener to Christ. It’s striking, isn’t it? The simplicity of it all? That it all boils down to Jesus?

I’m focusing on that. Remember Jesus. Remember I am not-you are not-alone in this strange world. Life is not about me. It’s about Jesus. We, the Church, are privileged with the enormous gift of being the Body of Christ. We are hands and feet, eyes and ears. We are united through the celebration of Eucharist. We are united by the power of the Holy Spirit (CAN I GET A WITNESS?). The Spirit that moves and lives and breathes in me is the same that lives and moves in every follower of Jesus globally. I am united with my sisters through the bond of peace. And in that knowledge I rest. We are never alone.

Later Days,

Jess

Of course I have a video that ties this all in. It’s the song “Timshel” by Mumford and Sons. Enjoy.