Posts Tagged ‘College Graduation’

Dear Warrensburg,

Words cannot express the times I have had abiding here. I came to you a naive, confused, self-conscious 18-year-old kid who thought he had his adult life planned out perfectly. I came to you in chains- dragging along my religious, personal, and emotional baggage. It was here, that I gained the closest friends I’ve ever made. It was here that I learned to accept who I am, and be at peace with that.  It was here that the moral-system I upheld so zealously (and blindly) was continually challenged and transformed. It was here that I experienced some of my lowest points. It was here that I realized how utterly broken I was, so that I could accept the grace-rooted life of Jesus Christ. It was here that I laughed, cried, hugged people, ate, played music, sported like 8 different hair cuts, helped people, dated, started protest rallies, drank lots of coffee, philosophized, socialized, made a bazillion Taco Bell runs, and learned how to truly share life with people.

In the last four years there have been a number of people who’ve invested in me and spoke wisdom into my life. These people have had made a difference in my life by how they live and how they interact with others. (Disclaimer: none of these people are perfect, nor would they prefer to be put on any kind of pedestal).  Most notably Roger Brant, Sara Johnson, Mark Bliss, and Carson Conover.

Carson and Roger were one of the first few people I met here at UCM. Carson was a senior and a student leader at the BSU. Roger was the new campus minister at the BSU. (They knew each other before-hand). I always kinda looked up to Carson because he was a few years older than me. It was one of the first times I had met a young Christian who lived the Christian life with a non-judgemental, loving attitude everywhere he went. Not to mention he’s a pretty intelligent dude (though he tries to hide it with quirky humor). Carson, obviously didn’t stick around long because he graduated in 2008. I did however get the chance to hang out with him and chat a handful of times later down the line. Every one-on-one conversation we had was profoundly meaningful and surprisingly casual. This helped set a foundation for many other things to come.

Onto Roger…Roger is a very peculiar man, but one I’ve grown to love and respect. He’s got a lot of deep layers to him, that I’m not even going to begin to tackle. Roger is someone who has seen me from the day I was a freshman to the day I graduated. He saw how I changed, struggled, and grew. He was never someone who tried to spoon feed me all the right answers, but instead tried to ask the right questions. Roger helped me look at my faith seriously and honestly. He is no longer at the BSU, but instead the “leader dude” at Wayfare Church in the Warrensburg. This is another community I’ve gotten the joy of being a part of since Sophomore year (2009). I will dearly miss Roger, and his wisdom, quirky/sarcastic humor, and mandolin skills.

Sara Johnson was my Residence Hall Director/Boss in Fitzgerald Hall and Nickerson Hall, while I was a CA in those buildings. I can’t honestly say that I was always completely open with Sara (til the last month lol). But her humble, hard-working, optimistic characteristics were an inspiration for me. I admire her persevering faith. She taught me to “Choose my ‘tude” daily. She taught me to not overload myself, but to roll with my creative inspirations. She was always a great listener and always someone I viewed as a friend just as much as a boss.

And Mark Bliss…Oh Mark. Dude, I’m gonna miss you. Jam sessions. Waiting on you to show up somewhere. Sociology classes. Solving the universe’s problems inside Java Junction. Though you may not be the most organized person, you are definitely a friend I can count on to lend a helping hand (as long as I call you spontaneously and not ahead of time lol). I admire your heart and respect you like crazy man. Best of luck to you on whatever you end up doing in life.

…like I said there are a TON of other people who’ve invested in me, loved on me, and been a huge part of my life. Every year here (and almost every semester) has been different. It’s been a blast. So thank you to everyone else. It was the people at UCM that made my college experience special and memorable.

So long UCM! So long Warrensburg! I’m gonna miss you like crazy. Seriously.

Next time I return I’ll be Alum… Weird.

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Here’s a few updates in my life right now. (for the 2 or 3 of you who actually read this lol)

  • I graduate from college in a few weeks. In case I haven’t previously mentioned it I’ll be getting a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. I also minored in Graphics. It feels good to be nearing this milestone.
  • I also just celebrated being with my girlfriend, Melissa, for 6 months. Which surprisingly marks the longest I’ve ever been with someone. She graduates next May (2012). She’s a pretty cool gal, and if I haven’t introduced you to her I’d be glad to do so. **Shameless plug she JUST started a new blog–> http://ananeo.wordpress.com (ananeo is the koine greek transliteration which roughly translates to, “to renew in the mind”).
  • Which brings on the most common question I get these days…What am I doing post-graduation career-wise? Well I’m not entirely sure. I’ve kinda realized that the things that make my heart pound are not necessarily things that will get the bills paid. For instance, I’ve developed a passion for helping people realize the truth about who God really is, exterior of the lies they’ve been told. And I’m not exactly feeling a sense that this is supposed to be through a paid-pastoral role. My experience shows that “I don’t need a three-piece suit to argue the truth” (Bret Dennen). I also don’t want to just start spitting out answers, as if to say I have it all figured out. I just need to follow Christ in my every day life and point to his big picture for wisdom.
  • I have a rough draft plan for the next year, based on the previous bullet point. I’d like to explain in the next couple paragraphs (bear with me).

Since coming back from El Salvador, and announcing to my friends and coworkers (in University Housing) that I would not be going into the Student Affairs profession or going to grad school in the fall;   I’ve been in a perpetual state of waiting for God to reveal the next step for me. Some days were harder than others, but in waiting I learned a number of lessons about who God is and how He is working on me.  I learned the true meaning of allowing God to unveil things to me in His perfect timing, and trusting that His timing is a lot better than mine. Specifically I realized that some things God has for me to accomplish for His Kingdom are better introduced when my heart is mature enough to receive them with courage and zeal, rather than fear and apathy. God knows that if anything is revealed to me too early I either tend to forget about it or tend to get too worked up about it. Along that same line of thinking, I also learned that God won’t reveal it all to me at once. It looks more like minute to minute, conversation to conversation. The more I think about God and the life He is teaching me to live, the more I am put in situations were I’m given the opportunity to live it. I could go on and on and on about many more things I have learned in the last semester about the nature of God.

So here’s my tentative plan for the next year. (I am careful to not set anything in stone, because I can hardly predict the next steps God has for me. I am also satisfied in knowing that He has the end in sight, and that if I follow Him I will finish the race.) The glorious plan is to move in with my parents in Lawrenceburg, TN for the summer. I’m working on getting a part-time summer job, so I can make a little money and save up for the fall. Sounds like a genius plan eh…

The next step is Nashville in August. I am currently job searching for 9-5ish jobs in the Nashville area, specifically in (but not limited to) graphic design. The goal is to start a job by August and save up enough money to eventually get my own little place. At night in Nashville (from 5pm-12am) I will try to network and play music anywhere I can. And that’s it. Get a job, and play music at night. Sounds so ingenious and original doesn’t it? Someone of you may be thinking, “Jordan, your just going to become another starving Nashville-bound musician. This doesn’t sound all that great.”

Well remember when I said that my motives for the next step were not entirely based on my career choice. Here’s how. God has been writing things on my heart rigorously for the past few months. In doing so, He’s placed people in my life to express these amazing epiphanies to (mainly to Melissa, I must admit). The rhythms of learning who God is and what He is about has made me more compassionate to the people I come in contact with and eager to share pieces of God’s love story with them. I’ve realized that I have a passion for the streets. For proclaiming truth in the way I live my life, in my words, and in the lyrics of my songs. I believe God is leading me to a city (possibly Nashville?) to help people see who God is and what He is doing. I’m not going there to become a famous musician. I’m not necessarily going there to start this big social movement that will mark me as a hero and a saint. I’m going there to love. I’m going there to be a friend. I’m going there to grow and to help others grow and/or join the journey of Christ; so that they too can experience the grace I have experienced which has changed my life and so many others.

To backtrack, there are also a few opportunities brewing for this summer, which explains why I’m gonna be in Lawrenceburg. I am planning on taking a second trip to El Salvador from June 18-24th. This time Melissa gets to come with me!! 😀 Also I might be helping out with a few events with my dad’s church family, New Prospect Baptist, like Youth Camp and Music Camp.

There a number of reasons behind this decision to which I’m not at total liberty revealing online (although I totally would in person). So for all you planners out there, this decision was not random or spontaneous. For once, I put a lot of patient thought behind my decisions. (Just ask Melissa…for real)

Anywho, that’s my post-graduate tentative plan. Nothing seemingly life-altering. Just the next step…and a step I can get excited about!