This week I was still in Texas but this time I was in Athens, TX at Disciples Crossing at Niner’s. Niner’s is exactly what it sounds like, a camp for youth who have just finished ninth grade. During this camp we spent time learning about different ways to pray such as labyrinth, journaling, and many others. We also spent time hearing the counselors’ call stories each day. As I reflected on my own call story I realized I do not know my calling. I shared that information with the Director and he asked me to share my story on Friday, which was the day that the campers become more aware of discernment and their call stories.
So on Friday night I shared my call story: I was born in September 1992 and when I was three years old my mom decided to go to seminary to become a minister, which means I grew up in the church, was consistently there and my mom was my youth minister. But my story really begins when I was in seventh grade; when a cool and very popular eighth grader at my school was sexually harassing my best friend. I waited and tried to convince her to tell someone but when I realized that she may never be ready I went ahead a told on the young man. After it came out, most people hated me or said what he was doing wasn’t a big deal and I ended up losing most of my friends because of this issue. Fast forward to the end of my eighth grade year my parents decided not to send me to the same high school as the young man which meant I needed new plans that did not include visual art or choir which is what I had been focusing on for the last three years. I decided to apply to New Century Technology High School (NCTHS) and was accepted. At NCTHS we were required to pick a strand (kind of like a major) and I chose the medical strand with the plan to become a nurse. Most of my extra curriculars were medical classes such as Medical C++, Forensics, Human BioChem, and shadowing at the local hospital. I made good grades in all my medical classes but Junior year realized I was not called to be a nurse. I started looking at Education Programs at different Disciples of Christ colleges. I ended up falling in love with Texas Christian University where I have been attending for the last four years and plan on graduating in May 2016. While at TCU I have been heavily involved in Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity and during the summers I have been working at Camp Lakey Gap, a camp for people with Austim, at Christmount in North Carolina. With all of these activities in mind I honestly have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, I feel like I am being pulled in so many different directions. I might want to teach Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade, I have thought about becoming a school or family counselor, I have also considered working specifically with individuals on the Autism spectrum, I have also thought about children, youth and young adult ministry, and then even thought maybe I will open a nonprofit. But really, I have no idea where God is calling me to go. A significant part of my story is this journey as a peace intern, which is an opportunity to discern about my calling.
After sharing my story at camp I received lots of positive feedback from counselors and campers. On Saturday I had to leave camp early, but before I left they gave me a stole and blessed me as I continued on my journey. During the blessing the director prayed “God, be with Celia as she continues on her journey of discernment that she will hear your calling.” As I leave Disciples Oaks and head out for CYF Conference in Alabama I feel blessed by the prayers of so many ninth graders lifting me up.
Till next time y’all!