Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Start of Something New

     Bear with me...
Late this past September I moved from rural Pennsylvania to Rock Hill, SC. Why the move? I pondered the idea over in my mind for awhile, wondering if it was the best thing for me. It had great potential for the start of something new. Granted, anything I was going to do next, was going to be new, scary, and exciting because I was entering, "life outside of school." What I did not consider fully, was that faith and learning was going to be knocked up a few notches.

I just finished my undergrad and graduate career at Shippensburg receiving two degrees in Social Work. Now what? A question that many twenty-somethings in the U.S. ask. I really had no clue what was going to happen, except that I was supposed to get a job that would utilize my social work skills and other life experiences, and get paid what a Master's level employee should make. I moved to South Carolina on a whim, based on the perception of, "I might as well." I later realized, it was a pretty bold move. I was welcomed to live with my sister and her husband until my income would allow for me to move out. I haven't been able to move out yet...soon though.

Within a few weeks, I got a job at Target. I continued job searching for social work jobs, which became a tedious and anxiety ridden process. I ended up getting an entry level position at a treatment center for youth 5 minutes from my sister's house. So I find myself working with kids (boys and girls 12-21), many of which have already sexually offended, many have history of trauma done to them, and others have general mental health disorders, low/high cognitive functioning, and poor anger management skills.
 Intense work environment. Not the best pay. Great experience.

Okay, so long story short...soon after moving, I seriously considered moving back to PA to take a campus ministry position with an organization near and dear to my heart..CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach). After yet even more contemplation, prayer, and discussions with new friends and mentors placed in my life, I decided to stay.

You may be wondering..."Why is she telling me all this?" Well, I want to give you a peak into my life right now. I do so, to encourage you, challenge you, or just give you something else to do for a few minutes while you're scrolling through Facebook status', playing solitaire, listening to music, or playing some other computer game. Maybe that's just what I do?

Through this blog, I want to tell stories. Share poems, quotes, life lessons. I want to practice courage and share with you ways that practicing courage and faith, does lead to a more joyful and grateful life. Practicing courage is not an easy task. You have to live life with your whole heart. How often do we really do that? Even a little bit? I have had other experiences being courageous previous to this time in my life, but I am now just recognizing, through this new scenery, new job, new relationships, that I need to step it up. Quit complaining and worrying and be a leader and example for those around me.

These past couple months, almost a year, have actually been really difficult for me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I left close friends in PA. I'm working with kids I didn't even know existed in the quanitity they do, kid sex offenders! I don't think we even talked about that in any of my social work classes! I have had a hard time being confident at this job, and brave enough to ask strangers for help and spiritual guidence. I got into some interesting, not really the best relationships with guys at work. I find myself saying and praying, "I don't really know what to do or how to deal with this, God help me!"  BUT I am so thankful, for God's provision, care, and deep, never-ending love and grace for me daily. It's so evident, and I can't really put words to that.

There are seeds of courage planted inside each of us. We are made in God's image, and he is a courageous God... he loves and is using imperfect people to bring about justice and beauty in the world, displaying His glory. I want to be a part of that. It takes trust, belief, and ability to receive from who you are, as you are. I'm excited to start this blog, and remind you and myslef of His love for you as you are, and practice courage through my writing to you. Look forward to more messy, imperfect, funny, valuable, heart filled posts!