It seems to have been a while since I’ve updated . . . especially since so much has happened since I’ve last written. For one, I’ve relocated from the lovely Midwest to the true West—or at least in my mind—to Denver, Colorado: Rocky Mountain view and all.
Here’s a lovely picture of the Rocky mountains I took my first week in Denver
Not that I’ve actually made it out to the mountains . . . every single morning I have a reminder that I want to go on an all-day hike in the hills (I suppose they’re a bit bigger than hills, but that’s what us country folk called the Appalachians, so cut me a little slack).
I also have a job that doesn’t suck away my soul little by little each day.
So yes, things are going pretty great for me, if I do say so myself. (Well, other than when I managed to smash up a truck, but none of us really want to hear that story…mostly because I don’t like to rehash my horrible driving skills.)
It may seem a bit cliché: moving out West to “find myself.” However, even though I’ve only been here for about two months, I feel that’s what I’m doing. In some ways, at least. I’m meeting a lot of new people; I’m trying out a few different churches; I’m attempting to figure out what it is I’m called to do for the rest of this amazing life God has given me.
It’s not really that I don’t know what I want to do…it’s that there’s so MUCH I want to do. So many different paths that are open before me, and there’s a big part of me that fears that if I go down one, I’m going to be missing something really amazing if I had just chosen the second or third or fourth path.
That’s where trusting in God comes into play . . . but what do you do when you feel like he’s telling you that either choice can be utilized to bring him glory? Yeah, I know; what a horrible concept . . . being able to choose. But there’s something about choice that, while exciting, is a bit scary as well.
I kind of think of the passage in Corinthians about how when we were children, we thought like children—reasoning like children—but now that we’re adults, we must put our childish ways behind us. As a kid, we’re forced to eat our vegetables, forced to go to school (okay, I confess, I’ve always loved school), forced to go to bed at an early hour. We were told what was okay to watch and what was bad; we were taught to never talk to strangers and to be respectful to all adults, regardless of their personality.
I think you get the point.
Everything was decided for us . . . and fine, maybe we were able to pick out our own outfit—no matter how ridiculous it may have looked—but for the most part, we didn’t have to make any serious decisions. Like are we desensitizing ourselves to sex and violence when we continue to watch movies and television shows that glorify it? How is it that I can be so obsessed with a vampire who regularly enjoys killing people on a whim (any other Vampire Diaries enthusiasts?) – I mean, I knew I used to have a problem for falling for “bad boy” types, but this takes that former issue to a whole ‘nother level! Or is it acceptable to go out to a bar for drinks after a long work week and when I do, should I be capping myself at one drink or is two or three or four okay? Where is the limit between drinking socially and drunkenness?
But perhaps these issues are a bit too legalistic? Maybe these details don’t even matter . . . after all, there is that line in the Bible that says everything is permissible—of course Paul quickly goes on to say not everything is beneficial. I think the biggest problem I have with issues such as drinking limits isn’t that I’m afraid that I’ll go off the deep end into drunkenness, but rather that my decisions will be a stumbling block for others. And I guess I have a big issue with being the person in the way of another’s salvation.
But on the other side of the coin, if my going out for a drink with somebody is a way to lower down barriers and actually open up a conversation with a friend who’s ordinarily wary about hanging with “Christian-types,”. . . . You don’t need to tell me twice that I’m way over-thinking this. I honestly don’t think that drinking is wrong. But I know a lot of Christians that do—otherwise, this wouldn’t even be a conversation I’m having—because of this tension, I’m careful about who I drink around. If a person is offended by others who drink, I mostly likely won’t. If I’m around teenagers, especially youth that I work with, I definitely won’t.
But I have no clue how I segued into drinking.
The point I was really trying to make had to do with my future plans not a subject that’s way over-talked in the Christian field—especially in light of the more persistent faith-issue of ignoring those who are in the greatest need—I feel another segue coming on . . .
Really, what I care most about is finding some way to serve teenagers and young people—to give under-privileged young people opportunities to follow their God-given dreams that they may not otherwise be able to realize—to help teenagers who may have those opportunities see that there is a world of people out there who need a hand. I want to help build a stronger relationship between the Church and the community. But most importantly, I desire to aid others in the journey of becoming true Disciples of Christ.
So what’s all this about not knowing what you want to do, Cassandra?! That seems to be a pretty nice vision statement if you ask me!
Why, thank you alter-ego; it’s good to know that you have opinions as well . . . the vision is easy; it’s simple. When I was in high school, the plan seemed concrete. I want to lead a youth group. That was all there was to it. In college, it was: I want to move to the city and come alongside churches who are dedicated to serving their community. And now, it’s like: well, I’m working for Americorps, which I love doing. And maybe I want to work on the “secular” side to bring help bring churches and other faith communities into the conversation of economic development. But I also want to dedicate time to mentoring young people, so perhaps I could volunteer with a church youth group. But really, I would love to be in charge of a youth group program and help churches see the importance of coming alongside teenagers in their journey and while volunteering is nice for now, it is something I feel like I’m called to full-time. Can I just have two full-time jobs working on both sides of the playing field? After all, with the amount of student loans I’m going to have to pay off, I’m going to need at least six minimum-paying jobs. And if we’re all being completely honest here, getting married, settling down, and spending forty hours a week volunteering could be just as appealing as any of the above plans.
But I think I over-think my future. A LOT. No, I don’t know if this time next year, I’ll still be here in Denver. Or if I’ll be back in Indiana, working on a Master’s in Public Policy. For all I know I could be in an entirely different state, or even country, working or living with people I haven’t even met yet. And yes, there are parts of that that seem a bit scary. This whole “not knowing” thing. But I think it’s really super exciting, as well.
I mean, I’m not going to be 23 forever. And okay, there are people my age who have already done amazing, awesome things with their lives. But I believe that God has blessed me with so much and has given me the chance to do so many amazing awesome things, even though I’m still young. And honestly and truly believe that the best is truly yet to come.
And I just said “truly” twice in the same sentence. Heh. That’s truly scrumptious…..