Thoughts Before Departing


Thin Places, Closeness To God In Nature, Nervousness About The Big City

This week I helped to lead daily worships for youth week at Ghost Ranch. In preparing the plan for the week, I proposed that we do a deep dive into the parable of the sheep and goats, Mathew 25 31-46. I proposed this because it is the one of the only passages I felt I knew well enough to lead worship for.

This passage began to bring up some nervousness about the upcoming year of service. One of the main questions we posed from this passage was “When/where do you see God? How do you serve God?” I couldn’t help but think that I feel close to God in nature and with people I am close to. I keep questioning if I am ready to be thrown into a year living in a massive city full of strangers. I’ve lived my whole life in a smaller city where it is almost impossible to leave the house without seeing someone you know or much of the time known your whole life. Yes it can be somewhat unnerving at times to feel like I am living the same small city life as so many of the other teenagers in Santa Fe. Yet it also gives this deep sense of solidarity and community. Can I sustainably serve and live without that sense of closeness to others or to god? I know that God will come to me in ways I cannot even comprehend, but I still have this weird feeling that this upcoming year will feel so lonely and so separate. Yet I am excited to be challenged and learn from whatever God has planned for me.

Dear Heavenly father,

We gather here today with gratitude for bringing us to this sacred space to live, learn and worship together. We pray for you to bless us so that we may be a blessing to others. Help us open our hearts and minds to seeing and being present with you. May we sing joyfully, listen for you carefully, and live peacefully. In Your Name we pray,




How do I build a home? What do I need to feel at home in D.C.? These questions have been bouncing around my head as I get closer to leaving for my YAV year. I feel as if I have no clue how to answer them. Do I know what it means to be home? I know I need some consistency and routine but I know I need to feel safe and comfortable enough to be spontaneous. I’ve never lived somewhere close to the size and business of D.C. How do you form a routine in a place that is always shifting and bustling around you? How do you meet people who you can bear your heart to? This past summer while living at Ghost Ranch, I’ve found it so incredibly easy to just sit down and talk to someone about anything. Conversational discomfort doesn’t really exist in a space like Ghost Ranch. It is so easy to slip into the best authentic conversation of my life with someone I’ve known for a short amount of time. I’m worried I will be uncomfortable with people in the big city. I know I don’t really know what people will be like and how I will be like in this place. It scares me. I think it stems from a sense of confusion on who I am. Am I a person that can go about my own life with such confidence in myself that I don’t crave to learn from others? I don’t think so but at the same time I don’t think I am a person that can be so open that I lose myself in others. I am looking forward to learning more about myself and the city as I get ready to leave.


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