who I am

I am comfortable with deconstruction
I am comfortable with doubt

It’s the assurance that I’m right about the mystery
justin mcroberts

You think you know what life holds. You imagine a path. A direction. Details may be a little off. But you had no idea just how “off” you were.

I was 6 when I learned that lesson the first time. Then I was 10. Then I was 12. Then I was 13. Death was  the one experince that sealed the deal in my adolescent heart: life is not fair, easy, right, just, simple, confinable, nor always fun. Bad things happen to good people, and sometimes the good girl cries.

When my younger brother was first diagnosed with cancer, I was clearly far too young to really understand much of anything. But what I did know, was that I was unlike everybody else. My life forever would include change. And 20 years later, I am well aware that those differences still separate me from the crowd. I used to be begrudge them, hiding from, ignoring, and hating them. I used to think that my wisdom was a fluke. I started my first “let’s change the world” endeavor while I was in second grade. (Yes, 2nd grade.) Support group for kids whose siblings had cancer. I realized in that year, very clearly – you are a rebel: with a cause.

Why was my vocabulary list in fourth grade filled with words like Leukemia, chemotherapy, and the like? My teacher told me that I was special. Whatever. This was life. 

I was awkward and outcast in middle school. Maybe it was the four major deaths in my life that ensured these fears. Of course my brother’s death was rather significant. Those moments in life are, of course. When we recognize that life is not ours to control: not fun, fair or easy, our anger billows. We run, hide, or ignore life. It was during high school when I finally became aware that I needed to love who I was, and why I am who I am. To be honest, it’s still a question, still a pain, still a confusion. But I learned in college that these are the questions we all grapple with, and I was not just the only girl who felt alone all the way through high school.

Somehow pieces started to line together in a deeper, longer, more confusing story than this details. But for some reason and somehow God has called me into ministry – youth ministry. For all those years of hating my childhood, suddenly after college I was working in full-time youth ministry in an unfamiliar place.

And now, I find myself studying adolescents, the church, and God. I find myself asking questions that I shouldn’t, according to some. I find myself involved in leadership, administration, and people’s lives. I work too much, laugh too much, and live a life I love. I am rediscovering gifts that were hidden in my ministry years. I am finding my voice and my passions colliding in crazy avenues. And in the midst of it all, I am critically analyzing the world.

So, here I am. A critic at heart. Sitting far away from many friends from the East Coast, out here on the West Wing, asking questions and figuring out what that next jump looks like after seminary. This keyboard may relocate in a year or two, but the critic will remain attached. Welcome.

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