Today begins my final internship visit and evaluation, one of the last big moments before walking across the stage in May. It may not be graduation yet, but I can’t help but think back on the last five years and my journey to this tiny apartment in Honolulu County.
A couple weeks ago, I travelled to Phoenix alongside 1,800 other church workers for a conference. In one of the seminars I attended, the following quote by Richard Goodrich was shared:
“The spiritual journey is not supposed to be a solitary walk but a community pilgrimage.”
In high school, community supported and helped me to recognize my calling and place in Chicago. A community journeyed with me these last five years filling me with a sense of purpose driven adventure.
When I stepped onto CUC’s campus in 2011, I could not of begun to comprehend the collective journey I was embarking on, the places I would go, and the people who’s paths would intersect my own for us to walk in concord for a time.
Then, I was more of a solitary walker with a plan for how I wanted these 5 years to turn out. Sophomore year those plans crumbled, and I found myself in Thailand with a new perspective on the world throwing the story I’d written for myself in the ocean.
Family listened. Friends rallied around me. Professors prayed with me. A congregation welcomed me as one of their own. A group of fellow young adult volunteers in San Antonio got me to laugh and laugh some more.
Junior year, my fellow “teacher candidates” and I conquered methods and discovered the joys of learning with a room full of children.
Senior year, 30 hours of travel brought me to a beautiful four months of learning and adventure in Vietnam. 14 forth graders (now almost 6th graders) captured my heart. Visionary leaders and educators inspired me. Whether sitting around a table or going on a crazy adventure through the bustling streets of Hanoi, new faces quickly became family.
A year ago, I had no inkling of where I’d be in this moment, but somehow I’ve been in Hawaii almost 9 months continuing on this collective journey with new people to join alongside.
I attended Hillsong United’s concert with some of them here in Honolulu last Saturday. With thousands of fellow pilgrims, we sang the words of one of my favorite songs:
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me.”
His lead is the best. Every step, He is walking beside. In the moments when the journey feels more like a solitary walk, He is there. When two or more are gathered, His power is at work.