It’s been four months since joining the internship. Woah. I’ll never forget sitting down on the couch in Casa Sofia listening to Jeff’s great idea of planting a church and what we want that church to look like and my only response was, “Uh, I don’t want to plant a church with people I don’t know…” I knew God called me to the program, I knew it was going to be good, but I was scared. Patrick has since nailed my personality when he pointed out that I greatly distrust what I don’t know but as I learn, I’m quick to fall in love. It’s so true. I’ve gotten to know the people, I’ve been introduced to new theology, books, and ways of study and I have fallen in love.
The community of this group has been healing to my soul. I’ve always hated small talk (shout out to the INFJs of the world) and this group gets that. I’ve been challenged in some of my views, encouraged in others, and always loved. The example of Christ’s love and pursuing of our hearts echoes in this group. Every Sunday I get to break bread, laugh, cry, and pray with my brothers and sisters in Christ. That is a blessing I haven’t experienced in my time on earth.
Saving Acts has become my love and brain baby. It’s scary stepping into the unknown, creating a ministry, and going over seas to see if the idea actually works. I’m scared this idea may die in a few months, or even a few good years; but I’ve never been this willing to put all my eggs in the basket and pray it works. If it dies, I’ve learned some amazing skills and found where my passion to serve The Kingdom lies. If it is successful, I’ve learned more of God’s faithfulness and His provision. Either way, it’s a win-win.
This paragraph was supposed to be about my soul’s growth. Instead, I’ve stared at this screen for 26 minutes with a small smile slowly growing on my face and the inability to explain in summary how the past four months have impacted my individual faith. A story will have to suffice. Today, I was walking around a book store with my best friend looking for Christmas presents for family. We approached the “theology” section of the store and began discussing the rumors of certain authors being uber wise dudes but really crappy husbands. My response was, “that’s why I want to be a pastor instead of a… shoot…” and then ran out of the isle into another to avoid the conversation that was about to unfold. The following hour had me finally admitting my desire to enter ministry full time and to the small soft call on my heart to go to seminary. It was terrifyingly freeing. After moving home from PLNU a few years ago, I gave up the idea of a theological education and a place in ministry as a woman. In the past four months, Jeff and the others have opened some deeply scarred wounds, cleaned them out and covered them in salve. It’s been five years since I could freely say I wanted to go to seminary and be a pastor, and I said it today in a book store. That’s the best way to describe my soul growth over the past four months. I’m not sure when I will go to seminary or what is ahead in my future, but I know it’s good things. I know this internship is preparing me for what I’ve been prepared for, whatever that may be.
We are all made different, it’s just another reason why I love God’s creativity through personalities He makes, it’s also another reason why I struggle on this planet. The ordinary life of 9-5 is the American Dream; but the ordinary is where I feel rattled, unused, boxed in, and helpless. I call this the curse of the millennial. This dream is what our generation has been taught to pursue for the past twenty years and yet we hate it. We are the generation that grew up and saw the world change before our eyes through technology. We are the CEOs of billion-dollar social media companies, the college drop outs that moved to Africa to adopt twenty children, the one who creates micro-loans for developing countries; we are the generation that gets shit done and disrupts the status quo. Our Instragrams are dotted with fancy five-dollar lattes, views from rooftop bars or beaches across the world, and perfectly staged brunches. We have access to information 24/7 and act on that information 24/7. That’s what we think the millennial life should be. It should be busy and disruptive. But it’s not necessarily that way for everyone.
Some of us find comfort working the 9-5, getting married and caring for a family [this post might not be helpful to you folks]; and then there’s some of us, myself included, that find more comfort in the constant chaos and feel more at home in a third-world country than on the couch. Today, I woke up at 5:30am, drove to work, sent a few dozen e-mails, consumed 7 shots of espresso, drove home, ate cold pizza for dinner, and I just popped a Nyquil at 8:42 because I feel a cold coming on. I’ve been doing the past couple weeks. I am living in the ordinary. It seems easy for some, but every night I lay my head down and worry that corporate America is slowly killing my soul. I’ve learned what it’s like to be courageous when sharing The Gospel in a country that hates the name of Jesus; I know what it’s like to be courageous in the hospital; I am learning what it looks like to be courageous in the ordinary. I’ve learned that it’s actually really hard.
Why does “ordinary” require courage? The ordinary requires courage because, honestly, I’m selfish. I want to go do the fun crazy adventure stuff. I want to have the fun Instagram posts at 2pm on Tuesday. I want to know I’m tangibly making a different in this world and 60 hours of my week isn’t a waste. The pride that sits so deep in my soul thinks I should be the one bathing the feet of the marginalized, not hanging out with the engineers at a social media company. I would like to say this is how I’m built; I was designed to do the crazy stuff. I carry this thought alongside the undeniable knowledge that God put me at this job, with this company, and with the dozens of others on my team. So, how do I deal with this dissonance? Prayer. A lot of prayer. I really don’t have the confidence in God like I ought to have, He’s continually faithful to give a perfect amount of grace in all circumstances but I will continue to ask for more every Monday morning when everyone else is grumpy. I pray for courage to avoid the gossip and the temptation to leave 10 minutes early. I pray for courage to stand up for the right thing and cultivate ideas that point us towards love. I pray for courage that I represent Christ well. It’s a scary world out there in the 9-to-5, but God is faithful.