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tune. my. heart.

This week was full of moments of clarity. The world in Austin is becoming more tangible, more real. I am beginning to feel that initial sense of belonging.

Wednesday was a day of crazy ups and downs. Birthdays are such a reminder of those that mean the most in life. I appreciated all of those who reached out to check on me and see how life was going. The best moment of the day came when Olivia walked in my room at 9 PM ready to go out and celebrate. I was already in my jammies. Diamond joined us and we celebrated by hanging out, talking about how the first few weeks have been, and eating chocolate. It was wonderful.

Things at Habitat are going so smoothly. I feel like Amy is the perfect leader: she balances teaching opportunities with letting me learn independently. I appreciate her willingness to incorporate my personal interests with what the organization needs.

This week also brought new friendships. I met up with some friends of friends and spent Thursday evening giggling. Getting to know other girls in Austin who are getting their bearings was so refreshing.

This weekend, the AYAVA House has their first retreat. We were asked to bring with us a chapter of our spiritual autobiography. Even though it was focused on one turning point in our journey, my first chapter encompassed an overall summary of my college experience.

Here are some pieces of the story I constructed:

“There’s a sense of urgency around transitions in my life. The urgency stems from a deep desire to absorb my surroundings; connecting myself so that I feel within the community, not a mere bystander. Feelings of exploration seize my entire being and I find myself running: running to see, running to empower, running to find faith, running to heal.”

“Places shape us. They contribute to who we are and what we do. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.””

“For the first time in a year and a half, I was able to physically move again with much less pain. I began to run. I ran without stopping, I ran without looking back, and I ran to heal. Sewanee provided the scenery, my friends provided the encouragement, and my heart provided the desire to heal. I would find myself on a run that led to sitting under a tree to journal. I would be running and notice myself chanting: tune. my. heart. Other runs brought tears. Runs with different people provided fellowship and insight. Running to get lost brought more intimacy with the place I had been living in for three years. I began to process life through my treks on different trails. Running became an outlet for this urgency to transition.”

“My relationship with the Lord is just that, a relationship. I go through times of distance and times of infatuation. I see that stable presence and know I can leave and return, as I would like. I find myself growing in my faith and questioning it constantly.”

“Things during that first semester of my sophomore year led to a constant struggle with my faith. My God is great, all-powerful, mysterious. The plan was for me to slow down. I was broken. I had to be repaired and restored. By bringing a time of brokenness, God provided me with the tools to run back to a relationship that I could rely on more consciously. By being disenchanted by religion, I went through the process of reenchantment: reclaiming truths that I believe in was an extraordinary process.”

“Currently my wonder has instilled in me a newfound urgency to discover spiritual belonging. I know I want to pursue theological education to better understand the word God gave us, to see my spiritual truths, and to follow God’s call to incorporate my faith in whatever profession I pursue. I run into the unknown with an optimistic heart, a rebuilt soul, and a desire to continue on the journey to discover. Being uncomfortable provides extreme opportunity for growth. Going into the uncomfortable place with no path, I am encouraged by the urge to run like the wind, clearing the trail as I go.”

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.