Nashville

My Story of Spiritual Manipulation
and Frustrations with the Church


Well, here it is: a story — a small but significant part of my journey — that I never really thought I would share so publicly, only because I didn’t think it was that significant. As it turns out, I was very wrong to think that, because what happened in ended up propelling me into the hardest season yet of my spiritual life. I have alluded to the fact that my last year in Nashville was challenging, but until the beginning of this year, I didn’t realize just how dark it really was Yes, you read that correctly: this year, or just a few weeks ago. I’ve danced around the truth in the past, mentioning here and there that it was a tough season that left me frustrated and disappointed, and that I couldn’t really let go of those feelings until I was in Ireland, all of which is true. But if I were to get a bit more granular with the details, something ugly happened in my last year of living in Nashville that ended up catapulting me into a place of questioning my faith and the Church.

Let’s rewind to the end of 2016: I was nearing the end of my debt payoff journey, which was very exciting but also meant a lot of things. It meant that I was steadily working 70+ hours a week — with one full-time job and multiple side gigs — and getting maybe 5 hours of sleep per night. I was putting more than 30% of my monthly income toward rent for a space I pretty much only ever saw when I was going to sleep. I was working at a great company with solid people but in a job that did not tap into my gifts nor satisfy my passions — meaning I was underutilized and felt purposeless — and I was losing steam quickly. I was struggling to find a church where I felt like I actually belonged (ironic, for a few reasons), and was slowly dreading the idea of attending a service solo as each Sunday rolled around. I was also finding it more and more challenging to stand by while conservative southern culture bled so deeply into Christian culture, adulterating it to the point that one could hardly tell one from another. Oh, and I was being given attention from a dude for the first time in a very long time and ended up making a poor choice or two before realizing I was wasting my time with him. Reading this list, I think we can all agree on one thing: at the end of 2016, ya girl was a mess.

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California Girl

For any of you who might follow along with me on my other social media platforms, you likely saw a barrage of posts a few weeks ago when I made my first trip back to California since moving to Nashville.  It was a 6 day whirlwind, trying to cram time to see friends, family, and mentors from the Bay Area to Sacramento and back.  I enjoyed absolutely every minute - even as someone more on the introverted side of the spectrum - and regret only that I didn't have more time with everyone.

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Home Is Here

Yes, so life has been a little crazy.  It has been full, busy, and exciting as I've adjusted to a new position at work while simultaneously - and finally - settling into my life here in Nashville.  I feel like I have had to grow up a LOT since moving... figuring out all the fun adult stuff, like health and dental insurance, doing taxes for two states, and working through many, many days of missing family and friends back home.  It's funny, actually, when I refer to or think of home, because while California will always hold a special place in my heart (west coast, best coast y'all!), I feel strongly that the Lord is challenging me to think of here as home now.  I mean, I have been living here happily for over six months, and I do not feel much of an urge to move back most days.  Not that I don't miss it, because I really do, but more due to an unshakable confidence that I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be right now, doing what He wants me to do.  Will I be here forever?  I really don't know, but I do feel like Nashville will be home for a good amount of time, which is exciting.

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Behind The Scenes

About 20 minutes after I wrote my last post, I got a call from the company that I had been interviewing with here in Tennessee letting me know that they had a job for me and wanted me to start the next day!  Picture me, sitting in the middle of one of the busiest Starbucks' in Nashville (right across from Vanderbilt University), trying not to scream with excitement or cry out of pure thankfulness while talking to my supervisor on the phone.  It was a sight to behold, let me tell you.

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