Sunday, March 18, 2012

It Has Been 4 Years....

Since I've graduated from Vanguard. A lot has happened since then: I have lived in Portland & Missouri, I got married and I even received my Masters last year. I've experienced the pain of losing someone close to me & the joy of a renewed relationship. I have watched my husband as he has gone through major health & job issues. I have changed a lot. I'm not the only one that has had a great deal of change happen in my life since then.

Looking at some of the students I went to Vanguard with, I see a great change too. Everyone I knew was secretly gay has come out. Everyone who drank, did drugs or was sexually active secretly does so in full force now. Everyone I knew who was secretly doubting their faith has primarily abandoned it now.

A Christian school should not have so many of these cases- right? Here is the reason Vanguard did- secrecy.

Vanguard had a Student Conduct Committee that drew very similar parallels to that if the Salem Witch Trials. If you were breaking contract & decided to come clean, you were forced into a "care" program, forced to resign & forced to name your accomplices so you wouldn't get into further trouble. You would have to sign a contract stating you would not do it again & would be legally bound by this.

What this process taught students was to keep it a secret if they struggled with anything opposed to the VU contract. I was outspoken about my problems with this process as a student & four years later I am even more outspoken about it now.

What would it have looked like if there was no punishment, contract etc if you were gay, questioned your faith or were partying while at Vanguard? What if these issues weren't secretly sought after, but instead addressed in truth & love (vs a stigma)? What if students were not punished, but were able to openly be themselves while mentors brought & encouraged them with the truth if the Bible.

We don't force legalistic rules on people outside of our communities, so why inside? Why not say " you struggle with this- I'm not going to treat you any differently, but I am going to tell you about the truth in love. I am going to pray for you. I am going to let you be yourself & I'm going to let you make your own choice."

One of the most beautiful things about God is He doesn't force us to follow His rules- it's a choice. If these students were given a choice instead of legalism jeopardizing their stay at VU, I bet they all wouldn't be so turned off by Christianity.

God- speak to the hearts of these people. Let them know You are not legalistic. Let them know You love them as they are. Let them know You want them to be Your children- to come to you first & You will be the one who makes them clean, who will help them their struggles. Amen.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Daily Bread

I am so thankful to not be falling behind anymore now that Jer is working part time. We are making enough to make ends meet and I am so thankful & so much less stressed. However, it's just enough to make ends meet- we don't have enough to save for the future.

It's sometimes a little discouraging to be a young person in this economy. Our parents were able to take this time before having kids to save for another car, a house... The future in general.

But our trust needs to be in God alone. He is taking care of our needs today. In His time, He will provide Jer a full time career job. If it's His will, he will help us get another car & a house in the future. And that is very comforting.

Thank you for our life right now God & how you are taking care of us :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Ol Prospector

Jer and I are working on a claymation short called "The Ol Prospector." Words can't express how excited I am.

Things have slowed down a bit & I have been able to do more of the things I love (like work out, art and working on Spanish). I'm very thankful for this.... had a relaxing evening last night & I've been getting tons of sleep. I feel more like myself.

I started Big Brothers Big Sisters. It has been a wonderful experience so far. If you have ever thought of doing it, I would highly recommend it.