Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer in the city

A little over a year ago I moved to Tallahassee to impact the city, to be Jesus with skin on to the college kids and homeless folks and retired ladies & gents. I don't think I could recap this year into one post, but I will try to hit some of the highlights.

I was 21 when I finally had moved out of my mom's house - it was time. I felt like I needed to get out of St. Petersburg and try things out on my own. Hence, Tallahassee. It was far enough away that I wouldn't be able to be in my usual surroundings very easily, but not too far that I'd need a new license plate. I had two friends up here - Malee and Blake - but other than that, I didn't know anyone or anything about the city (eventually I found out that some of the people I met at Total Bummer [music festival] lived in Tallahassee).

I went one month without a job and spent most of my summer hanging out with Blake and Malee, steadily meeting more people and exploring new places. I started gathering with Calvary Chapel Tallahassee and started a prayer night at my house. I went to see Malee's band, Aircraft, whenever they played. I got a job at an animal clinic and eventually started taking classes at Tallahassee Community College.

Somewhere after getting a job and before Thanksgiving I got really selfish. When I first moved up here, I had nothing and had to rely on God for everything. Once He gave me what I needed and I was able to sustain it, I forgot where it originally came from. So naturally, cutting myself off from my source disabled me from giving to other people. I spent most of fall semester consumed with college and work, often using the excuse, "I don't have enough time," even for things like gathering with the Church and spending my own time with God. But somewhere around or shortly after Thanksgiving God got my attention.

(Also, Toper and Abbey and I started a music project together.)

I spent Christmas break realigning myself to Him and remembering where to find rest and peace and hope. Christ had revived the life in me and I was starting to become more like myself again. Spring semester was a great improvement from the fall. I was intentionally investing in people (something I'd set out to do when I moved here) and seeking to be change and be changed. Spending time with God was refreshing and I was thirsty. I also started driving to and from St. Pete every so often to practice with the band. I'd been learning a lot about cultivating relationships at this time.

 (Also, I got really into biking, and adopted a kitten and named her Tovah.)

Now it's summer again and my time here in this city is almost up. I'm finishing up my last class until I can get my Associate in Arts degree, and my last day of work is July 26th. The prayer night I host is still a weekly gathering and it has been fruitful. I have made many friends up here and hopefully I have been able to be Love for them. However, I am moving back to St. Pete at the end of July to pursue mutual goals and dreams with my bandmates and cultivating the community there. I realize I have only scratched the surface of everything that has happened and all the things I experienced, but this was basically my time of reflection and nostalgia in getting ready to move on. I was faced with more challenge and struggle than I've ever had (with one exception), but I've also been filled with so much more joy and peace and understanding because of it. Stay classy, Tallahassee.

peace, love, and reruns.