Today I have learned about the Islamic faith by my fellow students and also by a Muslim man. Today I am left with more questions than I had before. I’m more focused on their discipline then I ever have been. One of my most remembered memories from South Africa was the feeling leaving the Mosque. Their faith is so similar to ours and yet so different. The main difference I see is mostly with the treatment of Jesus. He is my savior, not just a prophet. Then there is the woman issue. I’ve always been taught about arab woman being oppressed. In reality from what I’ve been faced with today, they are honored and protected. Granted, I would never want to wear a Hijab or participate in an arranged marriage. You may know, the prayer room for women in the Mosque is behind the men, I always thought this was because woman were “lower” but in reality it is because they are to be protected in case there is an attack. The feminist in me wants to push them to be the same but there are differences in religion that needs to be considered.
We have all heard about the 5 prayers of the day and I’ve always thought this was crazy but I was also always taught this is the only time they can pray and it is required. The Muslims i met and have had conversion with love and cherish these times of the day. There was a man who used to come into Wallabies when I was working would come in and go into a party room and pray during one of the 5 daily prayers. I honestly admire this, I think this dedication is amazing. I wish i could have that sort of discipline, to be honest there are times when I can go a day without praying.
Today I am challenged by own judgements and I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had and the opportunities to be exposed to these different religions.
fun fact: there is a prayer time app for muslims.
Today God has put the past 4 years on my heart. He’s taken me down this journey of brokenness and redemption, friends won and friends loss, happiness and sadness, and a whole other slew of emotions that can’t really be put into words. I graduate in 3 months and 10 days and then 7 days after that stand in front of 100 of my closest friends and families with 5 of my favorite girls and 5 of my favorite guys and get to marry the man of my dreams. In 3 short months my whole life will change. Milligan has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I’ve met my best friends here. People I never thought I’d be friends with and people who have changed my life. Friendships at home have strengthened and become even more valuable. I just wanted to take this opportunity to go on a journey through the past four years and reflect on those who have made such an impact on my life.
Freshman year I spent 100% percent of my time with these girls. We had our ups and downs. our crazy times will forever be on repeat. One of my favorite past times we had were midnight road trips to the state line. Sometimes just escaping reality for a few hours can change our reality.
Sophomore year brought more people to my life. More roadtrips at the last moment, like this one to Oblong, The middle of no where, Illinois. One to iowa where i met my soulmate. I drove to Maryland to go on a first date with Ryan with 7 lovely girl. My reality was changed after an internship to Kenya the summer before and an internship to South Africa the summer following.
Junior year was surrounded with love and new friendships. A growing relationship. A new job where I’ve been blessed to be able to escape the Milligan bubble and build relationship. A church I fell in love with. Classes that were difficult but life changing.
The summer following was the first summer stateside since I left for school. I spent more time than I’m proud of stuck in front of a tv or in bed with pinterest and netflix. This was formative though, i learned about myself, love, about God, and the world. I got to spend a lot of time with great friends and made new ones. I spent a week at my favorite place in the world and got to be a leader to some of the most wonderful teens who taught me a lot and i pray for often. It was cool because some of the people i was a camper with are now leaders and changing the world and some of my closest friends younger sisters/brothers/nieces/cousins etc were campers so it was really cool to be a part of their experience at the place that changed my life. I also went on a roadtrip to see one of the milligan camp teams and God did a lot of work that weekend and it was really cool to see his timing pan out. His sense of humor is my favorite thing. Then I came back to beautiful Tennessee, I spent time with my loving boyfriend and his family after a summer apart and i got to reconnect with my best friend in the world. It was a great time of fellowship, memories, love and tears. I spent a week at Milligan with YIM leadership conference with a group of rising 11th grade girls who stole my heart. I experienced what was then called Big Picture exactly 4 years prior to coming as a counselor. It was a really random last minute thing, I had been asked to come 4 times and by the 4th I was coming to the conclusion God had something planned for that week and boy did he. I met my soulmates in the form of 16 year olds. I saw Ryan interact and fell even more in love with him. Relationships with my fellow students were strengthened and I spent some beautiful time with the Lord. Then one of my best friends got married and that was a beautiful thing.
And now, here we are. Second semester senior. Engaged to the man of my dreams and who without a doubt has made my life brighter. Surrounded my love and encouragement by the most wonderful roommates who put up with my craziness. Building new friendships. Involved in a new church where Ryan is on staff and finally getting to a point where I feel like I have a place. Spending time with students there and maintaining relationships with those from home. Feeling God’s love in ways I had forgotten existed as the craziness and roller-coaster of the last four years rode on. Stories and memories make up so much of this time at Milligan and I’m so thankful for all of those who contributed, good and bad. Now, lets make the most of the next 3 months, and take pictures so we can remember these times forever.
Last week was a mess. I had a huge paper due Thursday for a capstone course for my major. Hopefully it well, who knows, then i had half a final Friday consisting of essays in one of my harder classes. Thursday I went to a professors house for the last day of our night class and we were eating dinner and while he was pouring my hot cider, he missed the cup and now I have second degree burns on my hand. Saturday I agreed to work a ten hour day (not complaining) forgetting I had a paper to start on, then when i finally got half way done on Sunday i deleted all my progress. Its been one crazy week with one thing after another.
Now its finals week. Tomorrow i have plants and society, wednesday I have 19th century refo (my least favorite class) then Thursday I have Race and Ethnic Relations, Sociological Theory, and 16th century refo. Lets be honest, I just want to graduate.
But on a positive note there has been good things out of this. I got to spend time with Ryan for his birthday and do our birthday tradition of seeing santa at the speedway 🙂
Then I got to spend time with two of my closest friends for the first time in a long time. froyo and earth fare with Meg and then target with Ryan Evans. Then, despite the burn on my finger spending time with my night class was a blessing. we laughed a lot, mostly about the other refo we hate and we played bingo in the day before.
On Friday, we had a Christmas Party at work and i got to wear my pajamas to work, which is my favorite thing to do. I also got to catch up with Ashlee which was great.
and Ryan brought me food twice yesterday in my distress. Bless him for reals.
and now Happy Finals week. I’ll be home by Friday. 🙂
I am not a static person. I’m forever changing and learning new things about myself. I’m currently a senior at Milligan College. I’m graduating in May with a B.A. in Bible with a missions emphasis, and a photography and sociology minor. After that I’m getting married to Ryan Hughes. I’m currently working at Wallabies but in the future I’m going to follow God on to the mission field.
I’m learning a lot about myself this year as my life transitions. I’m growing up. I’m gaining responsibility and a new life. I’m going to use this blog to document those transitions as they occur. Now I have to get back to the paper I’m currently putting off.