It was a world I’d never been to and yet had known was there all along, one I’d staggered to in sorrow and confusion and fear and hope. A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I’d once been.
Cheryl Strayed, Wild

A short sermon I gave back at Forest Hill Church when I was home for the holidays describing my experience as a YAV thus far and including some reflections on that experience. 

I appreciated this chance to do some much-needed excavation of my thoughts and feelings about this year. I think the talk speaks for itself, so please have a listen!

The lectionary text for the 29th was Matthew 2:13-23.

Presenting my most recent project for the Gateway Center! I am hoping to have the chance to do more interviews and turn this small experimental project into a series of videos. 

Since his arrival at the Gateway Center, Emmanuel has completed his program, become a mentor and role model for other Gateway clients through the Resident Assistant program, and is now working on obtaining his GED as well as considering a higher education degree in Sociology. 

I met Emmanuel during the first week of my internship at the Gateway Center and was immediately struck by his depth of character and incredible insight. On an average day at Gateway, Emmanuel can be found around the building greeting clients, studying for class, and engaging others in meaningful conversation. Emmanuel is a great guy and a wonderful example of the powerful impact Gateway can have on a person’s life. It has been a privilege to become friends with Emmanuel during my time at Gateway and I am so thankful to him for being willing to share his story through this video. 

I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I have!

After living in community for a month and some change, I have found that one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects has been learning to confront myself—in all of my strengths and flaws—on a daily basis. 

The Myers Briggs personality test has been a helpful resource in dealing with personality conflicts and in coming to terms with difference within the house. I, myself, am an INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). The Myers Briggs test allows for me to take a step back, stop scrutinizing myself, and take the long view. 

It is often hard to accept that there are some things about yourself that you cannot necessarily control. You are who you are and, beyond that, other people are who they are too. You can’t control or change others. The best you can do is let go and try to understand and love others in spite of fundamental differences. 

And while you’re at it, try to understand and love yourself too.