Well hello world!
I have been sort of MIA for the past few weeks due to a number of things.
Number one is my Internship. STEP-UP has kept me incredibly busy, exhausted, away from the internet :-), but oh-so happy. I have been learning a ton, and making so many connections here in the Aubrun-Gresham community of Chicago.
Number two has been wedding planning. Most of you who know me well know that Dennis and I have changed our date for the wedding. We are now going to get married this summer!
It has been heavy on my heart…this sense that the people around me must think I am absolutely crazy. I am trying so hard not to play the game of pleasing people, but in the process, I feel I might be hurting people or leaving them in the dark. My family has been so wonderful about helping with wedding plans, and Dennis has become Head Planner while I am here in the city. He is allowing me to be present and to focus on soaking in all I can in this unique and fully immersed program. I know that getting married this early and planning it this way is the best thing. I know that God is blessing it and will make it something I will always remember and smile. It defiantly reflects the adventurous nature of our relationship…. and the unconventional nature of it as well.
I know that the way Dennis and I handle our lives is not always easy to understand. I know that trying to explain it might cause more harm than good at times, but I do know that right here, in this exact situation, with a head so full of information and new names that it might burst, with a heart so aching for time with God and time to breath together, with a body so exhausted and stretched and sore… right here is exactly where I need to be. All I can say is that we will live the way God requires us. We will follow Him in all we do as best we can, and that usually is not logical in the eyes of most.
It is very similar to how I felt yesterday during our Peace Circle Reflection. Mitch asked us to explain why we will be good urban educators, and then why we feel especially and specifically drawn to teach in the urban setting. The truth is that God has chosen this for me; I have not. I can’t explain entirely how I know except that I placed my future in God’s hands about a year ago, with all the ideas and dreams of what I’d like for myself and my career floating around in my head, and my heart has taken me here. God chose this internship for me to challenge me, even more so than my dream role could do in a profession production. He put me in this difficult classroom with a teacher who discourages rather than inspires and in a house without my staple foods to help me overcome the insecurities and crutches which cripple my ability to grow in Christ. I know I am capable of loving through God alone. I know I can teach in Christ’s love. I know I am here because God has placed me here.
While I can’t think of a better reason than God’s plan to be here now, it is difficult to explain this to other people. The same way it is difficult to explain why Dennis and I are getting married now as opposed to later. The same way it was difficult to explain why we spent 40 days away from one another without communication before we decided to say “I love you”, after 2 years of dating…
I can already foresee that the way I live my life, if I live it in Christ, is going to be controversial. The way anyone of God lives their life is radical and sparks interest, and sometimes it comes about as negative. The way Jesus lived was controversial, and it angered many. The way I live should do the same, if I commit to taking up my own cross and following Christ. Living in Truth is difficult to understand….
But I have learned that we must not rely on our own understanding; we cannot be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Today I have already seen the Holy Spirit at work. I know I will continue to see it more and more here, where I, a total minority as a middle class white girl, in an unfamiliar City, am beginning to fee at home.