We are almost halfway through this program. My roommate and I both decided to skip church today to have some “me time.” Just a year ago I would have felt guilt, but right now I’m enjoying the french toast I made with the challah bread that Emerson baked last night. I am sitting at the table with people that I have grown to love deeply and it is a beautiful spiritual moment. God is here.
I found JSC in July, about a month before the program began. It was everything I was looking for and I was quite a few months too late to apply. Aleta graciously made it happen in that magical way that she does. A month later I was living in a house in Durham with four beautiful strangers. My time in this program has been such a blessing. It has also been a struggle. I find that one rarely comes without the other. Living in intentional community is hard, it is beautiful and it is worth the work. I’m immensely grateful for the trainings that JSC has provided us. I love knowing everyone’s enneagram number. We reference it daily in our house. It probably gets annoying.
On a more practical level, my work at Partners for Youth Opportunity has been informed by my experiences in intentional community and the resources provided to me. I’ve been able to sit down with youth and their supervisors to discuss conflict resolution. I’ve discussed ACES with my coworkers to have a better informed understanding of some of the youth in my program. The most rewarding moments come when I am able to make a connection between the lessons I’ve learned in Servant Leadership to my life and work.
I remember sitting in my first meeting at PYO. I was overwhelmed by the community and leadership that I was seeing, that I was being a part of. Everyone in this organization is expected to be a leader, to lift each other up. My supervisors challenge me and push me, they step back and let me grow. They give me grace when I am less than perfect and time to grow and learn.
The next step for me is discerning what’s next. I will likely be enrolling in Duke Divinity School in the fall. I can’t think of a better way or place to figure out my future than here, with my JSC cohort and my coworkers at PYO. Being constantly surrounded by activists and service-minded individuals has confirmed that this is the track I want to continue pursuing.