I'm Baaaaack!

1:04 PM

Dear friends,

I've missed this -- my corner of the internet to spill out my thoughts and hear your responses to them. Just wanted to give you a quick update on what's happened since we parted last August.

  • I got engaged and started planning a wedding! Definitely the highlight of this semester. Running around telling your friends that you got engaged and seeing their smiles and hearing their screams of joy -- it was the best feeling. The worst feeling is crying over trying to find an affordable, available, appropriate wedding venue. Oh, fun fact -- two days after Erich and I got engaged, our groomsman and bridesmaid got engaged too! We now hold Fiancée Fridays to discuss all things wedding planning. 
  • I didn't finish my thesis. I need to wrap up researching and writing over this break. I narrowed the topic down to how the early church viewed women's spirituality -- did a woman's sanctification need to take a different form than a man's? Was her spirituality seen as inferior? Did female spirituality automatically preclude meaningful spiritual contributions and leadership? These questions are situated against a larger backdrop of today's Protestant tiff on whether the church is too feminine. Stay tuned for excerpts!
  • This was the hardest semester so far. Senioritis kicked in early and sapped all motivation to do school. My leadership roles, musical involvement, and jobs sapped all time away from doing school. Honestly, I'm dreading going back to school next semester. I am the definition of burnt out right now -- I and every other Hillsdale College senior.
  • My spiritual life took a severe turn for the worse this semester. As part of the ongoing frustration of trying to find a church tradition (including seriously considering Catholicism), I came up with few answers and hardened my heart against God both morally and spiritually. I'm also burnt out spiritually, a problem for someone like me who has chronically struggled with faith. Fortunately, I'm blessed with several mentors, two of whom gave me the answers and encouragement I needed to press on in this faith journey. I reached a softening point a couple weeks before the semester ended. If you're inclined, I'd love prayers for a strengthening of my faith.
  • Erich left the Catholic Church, and we experienced some pushback on that front. We're still looking for a church tradition in which we can both grow. Right now, we're hopeful that Eastern Orthodoxy will be our home base from which we can pursue God together. 
  • I'm a soprano! After three years of hard work, I'm able to hit three Ds above middle C. Perfect timing, because I'm prepping for my senior vocal recital next semester. 
  • I got hooked on Married at First Sight, a TV series in which experts pair couples who don't meet each other until the altar. I'm hoping to write a post about it soon. It's great for couples prepping for marriage -- it's sparked many conversations between Erich and me!
Right now, I'm going to look for jobs -- or maybe I should get dressed? (My prescription for burnout recovery includes lounging in sweatpants all morning.) What have you been up to during my blog hiatus?

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6 impressions

  1. I will keep you in my prayers, Bailey!! College's emphasis on empiricism, skepticism, and logic can make it an inhospitable place for the more enduring qualities of faith, hopefulness, and optimism ... I will pray that the Holy Spirit will preserve your softness, reintroduce a little Anne Shirley into your heart, and give you the courage to have illogical, inexplicable, counter-intuitive faith! <3

    (And I know I congratulated you already, but a thousand showers of congratulations to you and Erich and to your friends!! May you tell us when the wedding is? The way you described it in your wedding-planning post makes it sound very soon!!)

    Hugs to you!!
    Vicki

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    1. Actually and wonderfully, I go to a wonderful college that emphasizes truth and beauty over skepticism, and all my professors are wonderful people of faith. But you're right -- even at an amazing school like this, my already too-skeptical, too-faithless thought process is kind of having a heyday among academia.

      We're getting married May 15, 2016! Only *five* months away. It feels like forever. :D

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  2. I feel ya on struggling in your relationship with the Lord. I'll be praying for you. I've gone through the hardest trial of my life this fall- physically, emotionally, spiritually, all rolled into one nice, neat heartbreak, and learning to trust God 'even still' is tough. I want to hold on to what I want, not accepting and submitting to His will for my life. Keep striving, and ask Him to keep your eyes fixed on Christ, even when it feels humanly impossible. He gives us so much grace.

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    1. Thank you so much, Savannah -- and my sympathies for such a hard fall!! :/

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  3. So you were seriously considering Catholicism as Erich was walking away from it? Would love to hear more about how that all happened (especially as I come from a family of ex-Catholics!)

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    1. Definitely! I'll be writing a post about it soon. We both considered it and walked away from it at the same time, though it was, ironically, his example and influence that ultimately made it easy for me to walk away from it as a viable option for myself and my family.

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Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)