I played volleyball today on a team called, so unfortunately, the crusaders. There was quiet judgment against the team who brought beer to the game and vocal judgment when I said something about evolution. Here is what I wanted to say “well I guess some of us have evolved more than others”. I didn’t say anything. Because I’m evolving. Sorry, but I’m proud of that joke. This is not a post about my theories on science, creationism and God. Sorry.

On the topic of evolving I had a thought about hugs. I think I dislike them for the same reason I dislike fake, obligatory compliments and weird small talk…I want you to be real. I want you to know me. Maybe hugs feel kind of cheesy and forced sometimes. Maybe I want you to know me well enough to know that. Maybe I’m testing you. But if we see each other and it’s been awhile, or we say goodbye and it’s hard…you can hug me. And maybe you should. You’ve earned it, and you mean it, and I trust you (if you’re reading this and I don’t know you that well, go ahead. reading this gets you some brownie points). Like I said…evolution.

I’m trying. I’m really and concretely trying. I walk to class every morning and force myself to keep my phone in my pocket, because Criner and Boggus have both told us that the great commission begins with a phrase best translated “as you go”. So I’m going slowly. I’m walking and running and walking dogs through my neighborhood. I’m being present with my neighbors and with my family. I’m playing volleyball and watching weird tv and running 5ks (partially anyway) because God has called me here. I’m meeting some neighbors, I’m starting to recognize some faces. I drove Deborah around and was surprised to feel sort of invested. This is my neighborhood. These are my people. I’m concretely trying (most days).

I’m in school. I’m cutting up bodies and memorizing muscles for what feels like the millionth time. I’m being nerdy about the rotator cuff. I’m thinking about how I could use this. I’m excited, somewhere in the place that excitement used to be. “can these dry bones live?” maybe (“Sovereign Lord, you alone know”). That passage looks different when you’re looking into the faces (and axillary regions) of eight cadavers.

I’m not looking for Jamal (yes, we named him. What?) to stand up and dance or anything. But I am seeing life in places I thought I had to kill. I’m seeing my Woodway family start to look like a family. Like people who try, and who fall back on one another. I love you guys. But I’m also seeing life in places that I haven’t before.

I found a church.It may be my church. I found a place where the people seem genuine and have beards that make me nostalgic and go camping and wear chacos. I met an old friend who found a God in this space, and somehow that makes it seem like home. I found a pastor who walks through the Bible verse by verse and people who seem to love their crooked neighbors with their crooked hearts (apologies to Auden). I don’t want to look anymore. I don’t want to cast around searching for something perfect. I want to go camping with this group of people. I want to let a family form around me. I want this to work.

I’m evolving. I’m not the hypercritical, list making, stressed out girl who tried to make Waco work four years ago. She did alright in spite of herself, but I’ve learned some stuff. Maybe I will shock the world and become a runner (probably not. I hate that part) or a volleyball star (I mean probably), or a crusader (but stop me if it gets to that point, please). Yes. Things are going objectively well at this moment.



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