Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Nostalgia: my week in a word. My last undergrad class, my last final, my last choir rehearsal, my last Improv performance, my last concert in the Howard Performing Arts Center, and last time seeing who knows how many of my friends and acquaintances.

As the school year draws to a close, I find that I've got lots of connections to lots of people. I'm pretty comfy in this web of connections, a cocoon of sorts; like a hammock just snug enough to feel secure, but not so rigid as to make me uncomfortable. The tricky thing about connections: it's scary to stretch them, and ties between two continents are by necessity very stretched.

Those generic office rubber bands are super fun to use – until one snaps. It's much safer to leave them be. But safer doesn't describe what I'm called to do.

I'm thankful for my one-of-a-kind, limited edition, irreplaceable titanium-steel-tungsten alloy JesusBand that's already anchored in Kenya.

P.S. In my hunt for a rubberband photo to spruce up this blog, I stumbled upon this rubberband masterpiece. Bahaha. What ingenuity is spent upon...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Journal Entry

I live life on a curve. I do just enough homework to stay with the pack, finish just enough hours to keep the boss happy, join just enough religious activities and groups to satisfy my self-righteousness and feel comfortable.

I need to ditch the curve.

Live like you've lived your whole life on a deserted island; only you are the standard. Don't submit to the status quo; rise above, do more than what is expected, offer more than asked. God will sustain. God will give wisdom to know where the line to friendly decline lies.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Journal Entry

To: God.
From: Jess.

You know what? I love You. I want to do what You want me to do. Give me the will to do so. Equip me.

A REAL Update

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday. One week ago, it was Thursday. Two weeks ago, it was Thursday. Four weeks ago, it was Thursday. And four weeks ago, on Thursday, I found out that I wasn't going where I planned as an SM. Again.

Rain, rain, rain. Today is Thursday. Today it rained. Four weeks ago, it was Thursday. Four weeks ago, it rained. And four weeks ago, more than just rain tracked down my cheeks.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. Thoughts of frustration. Thoughts of disappointment. Thoughts of confusion. Thoughts of hope.

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday. Today is Thursday. Today I learned that I'm going to be tutoring/teaching science at Maxwell Adventist Academy; Nairobi, Kenya.

I'm not quite sure what to do, how to feel, what to think. But I paused to simply thank God; thank Him for guidance, for patience (though perhaps not expressed to a saintly degree), for a plan, and especially for an answer. That joy way down in my heart started gushing and overflowing, beaming from my face, even leaking from my eyes. A feeling washed over me: a feeling of letting go, of calm, a loss of apprehension; a feeling that passes understanding.

I'm speechless. After 15 months of wishing and hoping and praying and waiting, I expected to have more to say. For a roller coaster full of twists and turns, dips and loops, this is the first predictable turn. I feel as though I should be struggling to hold back all the words and stories and hallelujahs – but perhaps silence is a more profound expression.

The application was approved by the receiving division of your first call interest and is waiting for the General Conference vote.

Boy is that a sight for joy-filled eyes.

I've been through the other steps of the student missionary process a few times before. Now it's back to new territory.

Bring it on.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Journal Entry

All this waiting, all this praying, all this angst, all this learning, all this worrying, all this mess... and now it's Kenya.

I can't believe how speechless I am, how thought-less. My mind is blank, but in a very peaceful way. SM destination questions have become a part of my life. I've become afraid to envision myself somewhere for fear of losing it. But now... it finally works out. I guess I'm uust not realizing that I'm going, that I'll be gone for a year, that I won't be in school (well, taking classes...).

Boy, did I run from teaching. And now I'm excited about it.

I feel emotionless. Well, no; I feel at ease. Pleasantly happy. I don't know. It's inexpressible. It passes understanding.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Worthy of Consideration

After the Norway hiccup, I had to re-prioritize my call choices. So I prayerfully did.

Today I received an email notifying me that my volunteer application has been re-submitted: Jessica Mae Stotz, your application has been sent to the East-Central Africa Division for consideration for filling the following call: Science Tutor/Teacher, Maxwell Adventist Academy (Kenya). WHOA. A board of wise, God-fearing leaders will read (well, at least skim) my résumé, look at my picture, and "consider" me. Will she work hard? Will she be willing? Will she show love? Will she live up to her name as a Christian, an Adventist, a Wisconian, an Andrews student, a 21-year-old, a Stotz? Will she facilitate the change that this world needs, the change that this call provides the opportunity to make?

It's a good thing they're not asking these questions of me in person. I'd probably feel the need to answer honestly; I'm not so sure I could answer "yes" to each pregunta. I'm sure there will be many days that I don't feel like working hard. I'm positive that there are a few tasks that I won't feel willing to complete. I know that I may not appear loving at times. I realize that I'm human and that I'll let my name and expectations down. I absolutely know that I cannot change anything, especially the world.

So why consider me?

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Yep. Everything.          [Cue first 45 sec of "I've Got the Power" by Snap]

So why am I still apprehensive?