Monthly Archives: January 2013

So I’m Engaged…

That’s a pretty cool thing to say.

I really don’t have any major insights.

I’m just really excited I’m going to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.

I’m pretty excited about the planning, parties, and time spent with friends and family over the next 4 months or so.

This is a lazy blog post, but…hey, I just got engaged.  So…there.

Orphan Girl

Lately, I have been listening to the song “Orphan Girl” by Gillian Welch a lot.  Here are the lyrics:

I am an orphan on God’s highway
But I’ll share my travels if you go my way
I have no mother, no father
No sister, no brother
I am an orphan girl

I have had friendships pure and golden
But the ties of kinship I have not known them
I know no mother, no father
No sister, no brother
I am an orphan girl

But when He calls me I will be able
To meet my family at God’s table
I’ll meet my mother, my father
My sister, my brother
No more an orphan girl

Blessed Savior make me willing
And walk beside me until I’m with them
Be my mother, my father
My sister, my brother
I am an orphan girl

This is one of my favorite songs for several reasons, and in this particular post I’ll tell you why.

It’s from her album “Revival” which came out in 1996, so it’s not exactly a new song, but one of the things I love about her music is that it almost all sounds like it’s 50 years old.  So that’s a plus right there.  The harmonies she and Dave Rawlings create on the song are also very nice sounding, yet haunting at the same time.

It’s also her life story.  She was born an orphan and adopted, so it’s got this really personal and intimate feeling to it.

Those are a couple of reasons.  But thematically, this song is brilliant.  I don’t know if Gillian Welch is a Christian or not, but she has a few songs where she just nails many of the truths of the Gospel (“By the Mark” is another favorite of mine).  It’s the doctrine of adoption, and the desire for that doctrine to be true is ingrained in all of us.  We long for one to be our family when family fails.  We long for one to be more than enough when often times inadequate is the best we get.

It’s one of those songs that I feel stupid even trying to write about, because I feel like it’s self explanatory.  But you should listen to this song.  And you should listen to Gillian Welch, because she’s really good.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

The other night, one of my friends asked me what it was like to be on the verge.

It was a great question for a few reasons, but partially because it was one of those questions I really had to think about.  My initial response was “it sucks,” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn’t a simple answer.  Yes, some parts about it sucks.  But there are other parts that are awesome.

Later that night, I drove back to my parents house.  I chose to take a slightly longer route, pretty much for nostalgic reasons.  I took Lakeland Drive, which pretty much serves as memory lane for me.  I passed by my high school, the road I turned on to get to my friends houses in high school, and the Wendy’s I used to stop at every time I drove home from said friends’ houses.  I passed by the movie theater we went to after high school football games, and I drove through that stupid roundabout by the airport that turned out to be such a bad idea they went in and built a whole new overpass so people wouldn’t have to drive through the roundabout anymore.  In a weird way, it felt like the end of an era.

Jackson is my home.  I mean, technically I grew up in Brandon.  My parents live in Brandon.  But since 7th grade, my social life has centered around Jackson.  It’s where I went to school, it’s where my friends lived, it’s where pretty much every important thing that happened to me since I was 11 or 12 happened.  And even though I spent seven wonderful years in Oxford, Jackson truly felt like home.  Maybe because college was one of those experiences I have been able to take with me, but high school and growing up was one I left there.  Driving back through that part of town always felt like I was reliving it.  Not in a “I’m almost 30 and still can’t let go of the glory days” kind of way, but in a “man, those were good days” kind of way.

But now…it’s not.  It will always be where I’m from, and at present it’s only an hour away.  But I don’t live there anymore.  My life has taken an interesting turn, and now I live somewhere else.  At any point in my life, if you would have told me that I’d wind up in Brookhaven, Mississippi, I would have told you that you were crazy.  But that’s exactly where I am.

And that’s why being on the verge sucks.  Because I know that as my life begins to focus more on Brookhaven, it will focus less on Jackson.  Yes, memories will always be around.  Yes, family and friends will always be there.  And yes, there will always be a sense in which it is “home,” and for that I am thankful.  But still…leaving all of that behind is not easy.  It is, in fact, quite hard.

But like I said, the more I thought about the question, the more I realized there wasn’t a simple answer.  Because while everything I just wrote was true, and being on the verge sucks, it’s also awesome.  When I stop and consider the fact that I have a job, a healthy church, and a new adventure in front of me, my mind gets pretty blown.  I mean I can’t believe it!  When I think about the changes that are coming in the year ahead, it’s like it’s not even real.  But it is.

It’s always funny to me how God shapes our paths.  It wasn’t that long ago that I was nervously thinking ahead to 2013, trying to figure out how to pay some bills and finish seminary.  Brookhaven was as far away from my mind as…well…something far away from my mind.  But now that’s where I am, and that’s where I’ll be for a while.  And I am thankful for a God that not only sees the big picture, but a God who is willing to lead a stubborn, short sighted wretch like me to new, beautiful places.

So as I leave behind one home and prepare for another, I think about what it means to be on the verge.  And I hope there’s a sense in which I’ll always be on it.  I hope there’s a sense in which I’ll always be ready for the next step, eager and yearning for whatever God has in store for me next (because that is, after all, the Christian’s great hope…the ultimate end that God has in store for those in Christ).  But I also hope I’m not always there.  I hope that, until that time comes for the next new beginning, I’ll make some new memories.  I’ll fall in love with some new places, and I’ll have some new friends I’m sad to leave behind.

As far as I can tell, being sad to leave somewhere behind means it was a pretty good place to be.

Jackson was a pretty good place to be.

52 Weeks, 52 Posts

Every year, I say I want to write more.  I’ve made it a resolution time and again, but I’ve never put a specific goal to it.  I don’t even know how many times I posted on this blog in 2012, but it wasn’t enough.  So my commitment this year is to post at least 52 times, or once a week.  Hopefully every Friday…that at least seems to fit with my schedule for the next few months.

I don’t know what I’ll write about…just kinda depends hat comes to mind.  Maybe sports, maybe theology, maybe what I’m learning in school, or maybe trying my hand at songwriting or poetry.  Who knows?  All I know is I want to write, and I want to try to do it consistently.  I’m expecting some big things in 2013 – a new town, a new job, possibly becoming a homeowner…many more things.  So hopefully there will be some good material.

So there it is.  52 weeks, 52 posts.

Let’s see how it goes.