I feel like Alice or Dorothy; I have traveled far away from the comforts of home and have entered a new realm of living. Though I didn’t fall down a rabbit hole and end up in Wonderland or get swept away by a Kansas twister, I am in a strange place and facing the prospect of new and majestic adventures.
August 4th 2014 marked the start of my Bayou City Service Corp (BCSC) service year. Unlike Alice or Dorothy, I made the deliberate decision to leave my family and affluent lifestyle (1500 miles northeast of the 5th ward of Houston) in Easton, Pennsylvania to embark on this journey. This was a choice many do not understand or simply cannot relate too. Sometimes, I too question what lead me to sitting down writing this journal entry on the front porch of my new home located in a rugged lower-income neighborhood. I try to remember where the inspiration or desire to serve came about but I cannot. This notion is disheartening to me but I can tell you that this is where I need to be. This service year is undoubtedly the path I was meant to follow.
During this year I wholeheartedly want to help those in need and work to rectify grave social injustices, but I must confess, my main motives are not as selfless as onlookers might perceive them to be. A slight guilt overwhelms me when I realize that I chose to do this service year, not for the people of Houston, but for me. Allow me to explain…
I have had my fair share of struggles and daunting experiences in my short 20-year lifetime, just as many young adults have. I went through stretches of pure darkness, where I thought I would never see the light again. I was self-destructive and my own worse enemy. As I sit on the porch looking out towards the street watching the rainfall I can’t help but think about that past. I can feel my chest clamming up and tears welling in my eyes, a feeling I once knew all too often. I used to be disconnected from the world around me, thinking that if I couldn’t save myself that nothing could save me. I believed in my own willpower over the power of the Lord. I was disconnected from the one thing that could save me, my faith. So you see, I have selfishly donated a year of my life to serve because of my own personal desire to grow with the Lord, or more so, my need to grow with the Lord.
First and foremost, from this year I hope to gain a happy heart because as Proverbs 17:22 reads… A happy heart is the best medicine.
Christiana, Avenue CDC.