As I’m sitting down to write this post, the song title “How long has it been?” popped up into my head. The last time I wrote anything was at the beginning of Lent. So, when was that? Hmmm…Ash Wednesday was February 14, so it’s been four months. Wow! That’s a long time to go without any kind of update.
So much has happened since the last time I wrote. My mother had a stroke, I was accepted into seminary, I’ve begun seeing a therapist, I’ve become more of a reader than I ever thought I would be, I’ve been much more physically active and have lost almost 15 pounds! I’ve attended a couple of conferences that have been beneficial to me, and through those opportunities I’ve been able to meet some really great people!
I’ll start by giving an update about my mother. She is doing very well now! For those who knew and were praying while all of that was going on, I thank you very much! She has had to adapt her diet and cut back a bit at work, but she is doing great! I’ll also talk about my dad a bit, too. Back in October he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It is believed to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange while he was in the military stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War. He is on medication, and they seem to be working in keeping things under control. Thanks for your prayers past, current, and future regarding the health of my parents.
I’m not good with transitions, so I’ll just hop right on into my next topic. Therapy. As many of you know, I’ve been through a lot of things in my 29 years of life. I had been trying to deal with a lot of these issues on my own or by talking things through with friends, but nothing really seemed to be helping. I began looking around for a therapist that I might begin the healing process with. I was able to get into the Center on Halsted, which is one of the largest LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning) resource centers in the US. I was very fortunate to be offered free services. This process has been difficult, but very freeing and rewarding at the same time.
Who likes to read? ME!! I used to hate reading, but since moving here I’ve become much more of a reader than I ever thought I would be! I’ve been reading books related to social justice issues, faith, the arts, and other topics. I know this is a good thing because I’m going to be reading a lot while in seminary. A couple of the books that I’ve read or am currently reading that I would highly recommend would be: Love Is an Orientation by Andrew Marin, This Odd and Wondrous Calling by Lillian Daniel & Martin B. Copenhaver, Take This Bread by Sara Miles, and When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough by Lillian Daniel. Please, take a look at these books, read them, and let me know what you think of them! My housemates and I are currently reading a book called 50 Ways to Pray by Teresa A. Blythe. This book is very awesome! I love that there are many different types of prayers and you can try many of them to see what works for you. I would definitely recommend this book as well! I do have an amazon.com wishlist of books I would like to get at some point in the future. A majority of the books on the list are things I believe would help in my journey through seminary and also just my spiritual journey and life in general. I’ll provide the link if anyone would like to take it upon themselves to purchase a book or two.
I’ve lost weight! But yet my pants still don’t fit me. I’m losing weight, but gaining muscle, so this explains why my pants don’t fit. Since moving here, I walk pretty much everywhere and I’ve recently begun biking more as well. I’m waiting for a free weekend when I can take my bike down by the lake and bike along the shore. Something else I’m really looking forward to doing is going to the lake very early in the morning and watching the sunrise. I’ll probably take the book about praying and my prayer journal with me and have a time of meditation while I watch the sunrise. God’s creation is so beautiful and to experience the beauty of a sunrise over Lake Michigan is something everyone should do!
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…I got accepted to seminary! I’m so super excited about this! I’ll be working on a Master of Divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary which is in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. This is definitely something I would covet your prayers about. Even though I’m excited about this new adventure, I’m definitely very nervous as well. See, I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree and to go from some early college work to working on a Master’s degree is quite nerve-wracking! I know, however, that God would not lead me to something and then just let me try and do everything on my own. As I pray about this new journey, I am amazed at how calm and worry-free I have been. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m not worried, it just means that I’m not constantly thinking about how I’m going to pay for school or where I’m going to live or where my rent money is going to come from. Up to this point, everything has been provided in some way or another.
So, now to leave you with a few prayer requests:
1) I would ask that you pray for God’s continued leading in my life. Even though I’m going to seminary, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to be doing after. Am I going to become a minister, a hospital chaplain, a university chaplain, etc.?
2) I would ask prayer for God’s provision. Something specific in this area is finances. I have received my housing assignment, and am to pay a deposit and first month’s rent before being able to move in.
3) I would ask you pray for my emotional health. Even though I am receiving some professional help, that doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle from time to time.
I thank you so much for your prayers and your encouragement throughout the year and also while I begin this new journey of seminary.