I'm not going to lie to you. Writing this blog post is going to be hard. I say that for a couple of different reasons. First of all, I'm not exactly sure how to approach this topic. I started off writing a summer re-cap, but I don't think that's the best use of this post. Really what I'm trying to get at in this post is not so much where I've been but where I am now, at this exact time. That's a little difficult to define and even more difficult to express, which is one reason why writing this post won't be easy. But I'm going to do my best.
The other thing making the writing of this blog post hard is that, honestly, where I'm at isn't 100% a good place. It's certainly not 100% a bad place either. It's not even mostly a bad place; I'd say the vast majority of it is good. But there's some bad stuff mixed in there, and I don't want to be dishonest about that. I want this post to be an honest, transparent look at where I am right now. That's what I feel led to write, so I'm going to write it even if it isn't the easiest thing to do.
Let's start with where I'm located. That should be easy, right? I'm back in Waco, which is where I've lived for over a year now. It's really hard to believe that I've been in Texas for that long. I spent a month traveling to different places this summer, and I was surprised to find that I actually missed Waco. I missed my apartment. I missed my friends and co-workers. I even missed my school. It's good to have a home that you can long for when you're away from it. Waco is that place for me now, so that's where I'm at in the most literal sense.
Next up, let's talk about where I'm at school-wise. I've just started my second of (hopefully only) three years at seminary. I've completed 30 out of the 93 required hours for the Master of Divinity program, and I'm starting to put a serious dent in my basic requirements. I'm taking 12 hours this semester, and all my classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that should be fun. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm really enjoying my classes so far—even Hebrew, surprisingly.
As far as work goes, I'm really happy with where I'm at. During the week, I work for Baylor Spiritual Life, where I serve as the Ministry Associate for Worship and Technology. (That's a fancy way of saying I create and run slides for chapel.) And on the weekends, I serve as a monitor at My Brother's Keeper homeless shelter. I think both of my jobs appeal to different—but integral—areas of my calling, so I'm feeling very fulfilled and energized by that.
Physically, I'm not exactly where I'd like to be. I got out of the habit of exercising over the summer because my schedule was just so sporadic. I've also fallen into the habit of eating the most convenient food I can get ahold of, which obviously isn't the healthy kind. But I'm on the up-and-up! I've been running five days a week for the past couple of weeks, and I'm starting to add some colorful foods back to my diet. Not only do I feel better physically, but I feel better about myself now that I'm putting forth the effort to actually take care of my body.
And now we get to the part that's not so fun. Feelings. Bleh. Emotionally, I've been pretty good, but not necessarily as good as I could be. This summer was really good for my emotional state in some ways and really bad for it in other ways.
Saying goodbye to Millie as she headed off to New York was difficult, but we've been rocking the long-distance thing and I visited her last month, so that relationship has been a real source of joy and fulfillment. Traveling with my friends and family was a blast and definitely made me really happy. I've made some memories that I'll cherish forever, and that's an emotional high that doesn't quickly fade.
But like I said, summer was a mixed bag. Most of you have probably heard or deduced that my family had a major change this summer. My parents have decided to go their separate ways, and obviously that's been quite a shock for everyone involved. Things were really stressful and confusing for a while, and they'll probably continue to be at least somewhat stressful and confusing for the foreseeable future, but that's the thing about life. It goes on. People adjust. Wounds heal. Things may be different, but life goes on.
And in the midst of the change and the pain, there is grace. There is a loving God who draws me to himself. There are friends who encourage me in ways that they'll never even know about, but that mean the world to me. There is my education, where I learn about what I'm passionate about, and my job, where I do meaningful work that ministers to others and to my own soul. And there is always my family, no matter what it looks like, that always offers me beautiful moments and wonderful memories.
So I guess you could say that's where I'm at. I'm in the midst of it all. It's a lot, but in the end, it's good. I'm thankful for where I am, I have hope for where I'm heading, and I cherish all the people who have joined me on my journey thus far. I'm also thankful for this opportunity to reflect deeply and share honestly about where I am right now.
I'd like to end with some lyrics from a song you probably haven't heard before. They are from the class hymn of Baylor's class of 2018, written by our chaplain Dr. Burt Burleson, but I think they capture pretty well where I'm at right now. I hope that you'll read these lyrics and not only get a glimpse of where I am but allow the lyrics to meet you where you are so that you can experience the same grace that I do. Hear these words:
In between the seeking and the finding,
Underneath the wand’ring and the winding,
All around the hearing and the seeing,
Deep within the changing and the dreaming…
There is Truth that will meet us.
There is Love that will lead us.
There is Light that will waken us,
And Grace to make us whole,
And Grace to make us whole.
Now that you've heard where I'm at, I'd love to hear from you. Where are you at right now? That could mean in any area of your life: school, family, career, relationships, even just location. Whatever you think defines your current state, I'd really like to hear about it in the comments!