the last two weeks have a been a whirlwind of detailed training, deep bonding, shared meals, beautiful stories, and -- most of all -- my wildly unstable emotions. (shocking.) transitioning back into apu's world has been such an adventure so far, and i'd be a fool to consider myself anything other than richly blessed and completely content. i spend my nights in the exact apartment i was in when i first learned the beauty of raw community, and the power of owning your story. who's life is this? so of course, the nostalgia has stirred up so many thoughts about memory this week, and how inconveniently selective mine is. i've always said i don't retain information well, but i think i do. i still hold onto some pretty potent memories that i'm not particularly fond of, memories that i wish would just go away. walking this campus again reminds me of who i was when i was 18, 19, 20, 21, 22...all the awesome experiences i had and all the great people i knew. but my memory keeps focusing in on all of the bad decisions i made, and all the hard places i was in during those years...all the opportunities i had to do good and to make a significant impact, that i just wasted. and i just keep thinking, gosh who am i to be in this position where i lead students who are in their most vulnerable state? who on earth thinks i deserve the opportunity to mentor and hold accountable these fragile humans, these people who are yearning for wisdom and good influence? and my memory keeps reminding me that i am not worthy of this opportunity. at all. and that just keeps playing over and over in my head: you aren't worthy. you aren't worthy. you aren't worthy.
and here's the thing: i'm not worthy. and i think that's the point.
i've made every mistake you can make, and i know far too well the way the mind of an apu-er works. i've done it all, seen it all, talked about it all. i've lied and hidden and been so broken i didn't know which way was up. and now i've been entrusted with hundreds of students as they traverse through arguably the most difficult time in their lives, armed only with my story and the strength to move forward. and that, to me, is the point of the gospel.
i didn't save me.
i'll never be able to save me.
and i most certainly to not deserve to be in a position of leadership, mentorship, or authority.
but do any of us deserve that, really? do you?
i am not envious of the story that is perfect from start to finish. i never wish i had done it all right. i've never regretted the fact that it takes me a little bit longer to learn things sometimes because my goodness do i learn it well. i would so much rather have a story that cannot be told without the grace of God, and not the one where i truly deserve to be in the position i'm in based on my perfection. i don't want that gospel. that gospel sucks.
i want the kind of Jesus who uses people in the midst of all the shit they've gotten themselves into. i want to drown by way of grace, and be flooded with a Jesus who doesn't let you stay where you were. he made me very good, and he hasn't given up on me yet. he is what makes me worthy of this career. and that's the kind of Jesus i want.