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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How Did This Happen?

Well, I finished my last final for the fall semester. I am currently planning for graduation. Yeah, you heard me. It has taken 18 years! That's right! I started college at the University of Evansville in 1999. I attended that college with the expectation that I would graduate in four years like all the normal students. After an unexpected illness, I continued to doubt if college was even an option for me. I needed a community to undergird me, challenge me, and believe in me. I found that at Taylor University! The campus is known for its promotion of intentional community. Thanks to the investments of several intentional friends, I have found the footing to move forward. I have found the potential to hold a degree in my hand!

I found satisfaction in my theatre major. During high school, all those many years ago, I knew theatre was in my soul. I knew I wanted to follow my love for this worthy art. However, I often convinced myself I was talented or confident enough to pursue a degree in theatre. Thanks to the wisdom of my academic adviser, Tracy Manning, I have learned that theatre is rarely about your talent and is NEVER about your ego. Christian artists give theatre as a gift. She introduced me to a sacrificial approach to theatre. This brand of theatre gives the audience an ability to investigate their own souls. Theatre gives the broader community an opportunity to commune in a sacred space. 

I can honestly say I am exactly where I belong. My twin brother likes to remind me that he graduated from college a long time ago. He teases me that it has taken this long. But I have come to realize that my journey will never look like my neighbors. I need to be okay with that. I am satisfied that I am about to graduate. I feel equipped for whatever life hands me. I am ready to influence others. I am ready introduce people to the beauty of live theatre. I am ready to serve with extravagance and with humility. I am graduating. This dream is happening. God has proved His faithfulness. Wow! Yes! Wow!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sanity Returns

I am happy to report that I am sane. I am thinking my own thoughts and am no longer manic. Sanity feels really good. Not having control of your reality is a scary experience, so returning to sanity is something to be celebrated.

This journey to wholeness is not completely finished. I still deal with the trauma. I struggle with depression. Certain days, I have no motivation to pursue the things I love. I have numerous outlets for creativity and authentic community, but fear often prevents my engagement. Since I suffered yet another breakdown, I feel exhausted. I have to delay my graduation date yet another semester. Don't get me wrong. I am excited to spend more time with my Taylor community. Nevertheless, it is socially awkward to delay the graduation date yet again.

I am proud of myself. I was afraid to audition for a short film, but I knew God wanted me to accept the challenge. I auditioned and was cast. The following weekend, I joined Huntington University's media group to act in a short film based on the story of Cain and Abel. I was in full possession of my mental faculties, so it was exceptionally worthwhile. I met people who share similar passions. I felt like I had known these people all my life. I could hang out with them, joke with them, dream with them, and create with them.

If you want to pray for me, pray that I persevere. There have been late nights when homework is not even close to being done, and I have little motivation to complete it. I am behind in two of my three classes. I was still sick in September, so classes were hard to navigate. Pray that my teachers give me grace, and pray that my motivation returns so I can finish strong.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Changing Leaves

I've been climbing this mountain for awhile now. Today during my walk to campus, I felt drained and incapable. Thankfully, the sun was shinning, the temperature was just right, the leaves are turning color, and I ARRIVED on campus.
I am starting to see signs that the battle is coming to an end. I feel like God disciplined me enough to help me stop bad behavior. I feel like my reality is coming into focus. Taylor is such a nurturing environment.
I am still struggling to commit to my studies. There are so many distractions. I am loving directing class even though I feel completely incapable. I am uncomfortable taking a make-up class, so I have skipped a few classes and missed assignments (not something I normally do.) I am succeeding at exercising! I have consistently walked 9 miles each day. I really have lots of energy, so I have more motivation to physically challenge myself.
Normally, transition is not a good experience for me. That is why I usually lose myself after a large event or right before a big event. However, the changing leaves are inspirational enough.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

All at Once

When it rains, it pours. Hospital visit, unable to perform in a show I care deeply for, unable to audition for a play I want to be in, WAY behind on my homework, car repairs, needed a new pair of sneakers, negative account balance, Senioritous, and many more.

Thank the Lord I get to be a part of an organization on campus that is talking about Middle Eastern culture.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Stop Yelling at the Bride

I attended a sermon yesterday and today. Both times I left angry. Church is not about yelling at the congregation. Church is a time of communion and celebration. I get so angry when people yell at me. I allow their venom to trick me into thinking there is something wrong with my relationship with God. But, I am reconciled to Him. I already stand in complete confidence. Perhaps others need to be convicted and reprimanded, but I get so selfish when I am in the presence of God. I want to celebrate the joy and peace He has given me..not be reminded of past failure or potential failure.

I often get angry when church leaders use Adam and Eve as a metaphor for the sinner's life. They don't own Adam and Eve. They don't know Adam and Eve personally. I care very little for the past sins, now that Jesus has ransomed us from separation. Why can't we commune with the Spirit. I suppose since my gift is not teaching, it feels wrong to me. Nevertheless, God calls me to love teachers of the law, so I gritted my teeth and listened to the message. Spent an entire day angry and separated from the body of Christ. It's annoying!

As far as my health is concerned. I am not in control right now. To overcome the fear that my illness might spike, I am avoiding stress and resting in one of my favorite places on campus.