Monday, May 31, 2010


Well, in addition to graduating, getting a much cooler and better-paying job, and spending a ton of time in beautiful Iowa, I have some other news...

I'm now officially a catechumen of the Antiochian Orthodox Church! (so basically, I'm going to be an official Orthodox Christian in a few months)

Lots of life changes happening right now, but I figure this one I can really sink my teeth into. Any of you who know me and have followed my journey into Orthodoxy know most of the story already, but I'll give a short run-down here as an introduction to what will undoubtedly be many more posts regarding this highly exciting development.

In March of 2008, my friend Mark was a catechumen at what has now been my church for two years, and he got a bunch of my friends and I interested in visiting it. I went to All Saints' for the first time on Sunday March 31st, which was the Elevation of the Cross, and it was overwhelming and confusing and more beautiful than anything I had seen in my life. I was profoundly excited by the whole thing, and very curious, so I just kept going...and going...and going. I kept going through periods of trial, joy, doubt, and celebration, and I can say that I am as ready as I'll ever be to join the church.

My entire time at All Saints' has been punctuated by periods of intense desire for unification with the church alternating with periods of intense doubt. In the beginning, it was little things like what Father Pat calls "the Mary question", praying in front of icons, church history inquiries, and my parents' discomfort. As time went on, I began struggling with questions of politics, of what churches other than All Saints' would be like since I'd have to leave eventually, and what if I couldn't find a nice Orthodox man to marry? Was I ready to be Orthodox? Would I ever be capable of making such a commitment?

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has ways of allaying fears at the appropriate time and in a way that only makes sense to God. From the outside looking in, one might say that I'm crazy. Only two months ago, I had decided that when I left North Park I would find another church and pretend to have moved away because I didn't think I could endure the politics and the obvious lack of intentional community (thinking specifically of Reba), but since then a word from a friend or a side comment made by a trusted advisor have served as the Spirit's instruments of reconciliation between my life and the life of the Orthodox Church.

My eyes are wet with happy, longing tears as I imagine the day in the near future in which I will participate in Holy Communion for the first time and will receive the Holy Chrism and the gifts of the Spirit and become part of the living faith of the church once and for all. I entreat you all to pray for me as I go through this process, and I will request more specific prayers as things come up and as the as-yet-unknown day approaches.

Peace in Christ

Monday, May 10, 2010

it's over!

I graduated!

Remember that last post? Yeah, it was a pain, but it all worked out. I graduated two days ago with a Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance, pink hood and all. Yay!

It hasn't really set in yet because I didn't have class on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday last semester, so it definitely won't set in until tomorrow, and probably not until Wednesday. I'm leaving for a week in Iowa on Wednesday and I'm SO EXCITED! It's not even my place (it's Luke's) but it really feels like it is. I'm learning my way around the bluffs and the creek and the banks of the Mississippi, and I know where everything is in the cabin's kitchen. It will be a week of relaxation and reading, cooking, and curling up by the fire.

I just know that there is so much to process right now and I'm not ready to really do it yet. I've been slowly noticing little things like a general detachment from the campus, a slight superiority complex when working in the dorm (haha! I graduated...), and noticing the library books on my desk and wondering whether I can still check things out. Last week it finally occurred to me that I won't be working at the Writing Center again nor brown-nosing professors, and I won't have any more lessons with Annie (at least not really).

In the more positive, forward-looking direction, the world is my oyster. I can take my degree and get a job when the economy picks up; I can now say things like, "When I was in college" and "my old college friends"; I no longer have to balance adult life with school life--life will just be life. I can be friends with my favorite professors (or those profs who were never actually mine in the first place), freely seek and pursue a mate, read whatever the hell I want, and go to alumni know, if I were interested, which I'm not. ;-)

While many of my feelings about NPU are tainted at this point with my most recent graduation fiasco and four years of perceived injustices, interpersonal conflicts, embarrassing moments, and growing pains, I know that I will eventually appreciate the good work that God has done in my life these last four years. I'm sure more musings will come, and if I'm accepted at Reba, potentially a new blog detailing my adventures there...