In a matter of a couple weeks (literally) .. my life just took change to a whole other level.
At twenty-eight, I am finally admitting to myself that I may just be a perpetual student. January of next year (less than 2 months!) I will be moving to Harrisburg, technically, it’s a small town called Middletown, which is located a few miles from our state capital. I’ll be attending Penn State as a full-time Public Administration graduate student, with a Government Administration focus. I’m excited to take my background in Public Health and my love for justice and finally give it hands and feet.
Never in a million years did I ever think to enter into the world of politics. I always dreamed of working at a Christian non-profit somehow saving orphans, changing lives, selling the Story and juggling that plate alongside domestic diva-hood at home. Without even realizing it, I glamorized this scene and saw the Lord open my eyes to the ugliness of the reality. You’re not a ‘super Christian’ by working in a Christian non-profit, ministry, or church and more often than not, these people need Jesus just as much as the world that they’re selling their message to. You’re not closer to the heart of God because you choose to be a missionary overseas in some developing country. There is absolutely nothing special or holy about the above apart from Jesus Christ himself.
The irony of intentionally avoiding the mess of red tape and politics within the secular setting and somehow finding myself smack dab in it within Christian settings began to grieve my heart even more for the brokenness in our society. As a Christian, often times than not, you find yourself in these bubbles filled with Jesus-followers who speak Christianese and you unintentionally (and sometimes intentionally!) distance yourself from the world around you. It now becomes “us” and “them”. You build this wall of security around Christian people and communities thinking that they must be super heroes from God and you quickly watch God break down every wall to reveal to you the only safe refuge: Himself.
So, here I am.. looking at the nation I live in and absolutely loving the people of America and simultaneously hurting because depravity is all around. Sin is so loud. These days, mine more than any other’s, has been blaring at me. Change is needed. This country needs hope. I’m not talking about the hope that politicians soapbox about during inaugural speeches. I’m talking about hope that points us to the glory of Another. I’m talking about change that reconciles rival communities, restores broken families, heals the guilty and pleads for the innocent. To be honest, I’m sick of seeing it as “us” and “them”. I’m tired of watching politicians disappoint and listening to opposing parties bicker on my newsfeed.
I only know one thing to be true in my nebulous thoughts: God has given me a heart for injustice and nothing wakes me up more than seeing it in front of me. I don’t need to go to Africa to experience this (although I hope to one day!). My own backyard screams for hope and a genesis to occur. Just policies cannot be implemented in the United States without people who are relentlessly chasing after the heart of a just God. Relentlessly. As important as Christian settings are, the governmental scene is just as important. These are the men and women leading our nation. They are the voice.
I had so many thoughts to share with you all in this blog but they were too many for this specific post, so I will end here and continue the story soon. I promise. Thanks for all of your love and prayers, friends. Let’s walk this together?
Here’s a couple photos from my visit to Harrisburg, Middletown, Hershey and Hummelstown this week. These towns are all minutes from each other. Some of these photos are professional and are not taken by me, but are glimpses of my home for the next couple years.
Graduate School.. part 2. A part of me was tempted to have them re-take the photo, but I liked the volume in my hair and knew I couldn’t duplicate that.. haha, confessions of an honest female I tell ya!
My adventure buddy, Grace has been in every ‘new chapter’ of my life.. from undergrad to my first grad experience in NY.. and here we were walking around the chocolate-filled-aroma town of Hershey. We saw some beautiful old stony buildings. We liked this Methodist church.. yay for red doors that haven’t been painted over!
Bundled up and trying to stay toasty during 40-something degree weather! Hershey has got to be one of my favorite towns in the Harrisburg area. We saw stars that night as we drove back home. Coming from Philly, I can’t say I’ve seen much of that! I’m definitely looking forward to starry nights.. it’ll help the studying process go smoother
We grabbed dinner in this hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Miss Saigon. It’s family run and since the first time I went with my family, I’ve become friends with the girl whose family owns this place.. really sweet people. I’m all about grubbing in non-chain, ethnic places where mom and dad are in the kitchen and brother and sister are greeting and serving. Small businesses! If you’re looking for an authentic place in Hershey, this is your best bet for Vietnamese.