Vision in the valley: A life update of sorts

…for those of you who don’t know, after graduating BSSM last month, I flew back east to Ohio (WHAT, Ohio!?) to work and save money, in order to return to Redding in the fall. My parents are superheroes, and are feeding, housing, transporting, (and even clothing me actually) while I run after this crazy ministry school dream. 

In a lot of ways, my life is super exciting– traveling, meeting all kinds of people, living with little obligation, and spending a great amount of time diving deep into the heart of God (+my own as well!) I’m so thankful for all of the time that I have to heal, to have fun, to explore, to dream. Thankfulness is a WEAPON, and there are so many gifts unique to this season that I want to cherish. I have time with siblings who will never be 7 and 9 again, I am repeatedly seeing friends that I would normally have had to cram into my schedule during a weekend trip to Ohio. I get to see OHIO SUNSETS and eat Casa del Taco and soak up all of the dreaminess that’s filling our little downtown space.

But you know, there are the difficult things too…

Like sharing a room with a 9 year old – do you know how difficult it is to vacuum glitter out of the carpet? I go to bed each night surrounded by My Little Pony coloring pages, paired nicely with a pink wall backdrop (someone call Kinfolk and get them to my parents’ house ASAP). 

Like coming home to an entire group of friends who have all settled down and started building families – not a friend is unmarried (actually, not a friend is without child, come to think of it). Oh yes, I’ve had quite a few meltdowns, feeling oh so far behind, wondering what the heck I’m doing with my life —  like there was some sort of career-family-house train that took off years ago and oops, I missed it. I think we all face the feeling of being “behind”, of longing for the “not yet”, and this area is definitely that space for me. 

Like ACHING for a community in Winston that I love with all of me, missing life events and celebrations, wishing I was there for bonfires and game nights and late night warm drinks.

I wanted to spend a little bit of time in this blog getting raw about all of the dynamics of living out an adventure.. I’m doing this for two reasons — I think that often times, we can see the highlight reels of people’s lives, and we get tricked into thinking that’s all there is–

“Wow, they hiked a huge mountain, that’s incredible!”

“Oh my gosh, they adopted two children into their family of 5, how beautiful!” 

“Man, they are so successful in their field!”

Highlights reels aren’t bad, and of course, the internet is not the place for all of our lowest moments, but when we aren’t honest about the difficulty of our adventure, I think we can create a false expectation within those around us – an expectation that says “You should do it too, it’s easy breezy!” This expectation can knock the wind out of the sails of other aspiring adventurers if they’ve never heard another say “So, its harder than you thought? Same. You’re totally normal. There’s another side to this mountain, I promise. That thing you think will ruin you? Its actually going to make your story that much more thrilling in the end.” 

Honesty in our stories doesn’t make us weak, bringing forth the judgement of others. It actually releases grace for them to be empowered in their own lives. People need to hear that you were really afraid too, that you thought you ruined your whole life too, that you still cried in frustration the same day you posted that Instagram with hundreds of likes.. It doesn’t diminish the victory, it enhances it.

I think there’s another side to this coin, too.. People need to know the dynamics of your story because it’s not just about the big victory at the end – its about the hundred little victories that lead straight to the big one. If we only share our biggest victories, we can start to believe that all of the small ones don’t matter. The truth is that none of us would have the big without the small, and all of the every day gifts are entirely worthy of celebration. 

Those victories for me have looked like

Processing rejection without it defining me

Saying no to too much responsibility 

Tending to my heart not only when its burnt out and exhausted, but every day, so that it doesn’t have to be burnt out and exhausted. 
Where ever you are in your adventure, I want to say “Me too”. 

” Me too” on your mountain top, “Me too” when you think you’ve ruined everything, “Me too” on your greatest day of breakthrough, “Me too” when you’re utterly convinced you’ve lost every breakthrough you’ve ever gotten (I promise you haven’t).
I will be returning for Second Year at BSSM in the fall. For those of you wondering, “what the heck is this girl doing?” (Or got freaked out by the word ‘supernatural’ in ‘Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry’ and now think I’m in a cult), you can watch the video here 

If you want to contribute to my  Bethel adventure, this link is directly linked to my tuition (I have $350 remaining on my deposit, and am saving slash raising $4650 for tuition altogether) —

https://my.BSSM.net/donations/transactions/new?student=255963

Or PayPal is http://PayPal.me/hannahriggin 

In posting donations link, pleaseeee let me say 

1. I hate asking for money, oh my gosh 

2. It isn’t at all an expectation or something I am demanding- I know that everyone works so hard for their money and I don’t take that lightly.
Thank you guys so much for reading – please share your  adventures (and where you are on it) in the comments below! 

No longer: A tribute to worthiness

No longer
No longer will my worthiness hinge on
Whether or not I’m athletic
If I can participate in volleyball
If I go to a crossfit gym
If I can keep the pace hiking up a mountain
No longer will I decide that I deserve shame
Because I opt out of athletic activities
Because I have no work-out selfies
Because I actually can’t keep up, no matter how worn my Chacos or how much I try to fake it

No longer will my worthiness be determined by whether or not I’m photogenic
If I’m invited to participate in photo shoots
If I’m tagged in beautiful pictures
If I’m “put together” enough
Or “dressed down but still beautiful” enough
If my clothes comply with all of the unspoken “trendy” rules
No longer will I decide that I’m not worthy of love
Because the photos are embarrassing
Because my outfit is awkward
Because there will always be someone a little more “put together” than me

No longer will I be defined
By the amount of time that’s past since my last date
By whether I’m a pair or a single
By who has or hasn’t chosen to deem me worthy of pursuit
If my name has come up when men start discussing beautiful women
No longer will I decide that I’m overlooked
Because it’s been awhile
Because I’ve been single more than not
Because I’ve been chosen, but not always

No longer will my worthiness be decided
By whether or not my voice is good enough
Or my songwriting pierces your heart
By the level of talent I have
By my passions being labeled interesting or relevant or important
By the number of people believing in the person I’m becoming
No longer will I decide that I’m not valuable
Because the song wasn’t liked or the voice was criticized
Because my passions are misunderstood or not meaningful to a few
Because I’ve been deeply believed in, but not always

You see, I think we all have a list
We all have fleeting moments when we decide we’re not enough
That many others are worthy of love, valuable, beautiful, and significant
But somehow we come up short
We’re in a war – not against individuals or people groups or systems, but against every thought and voice that sneaks into the moments that leave us feeling inadequate

We will not always feel better when we are treated better, when we are seen, when we are told we are beautiful
Not if the voice remains that makes us feel invisible, awkward, or uninteresting
Let’s go to war – for ourselves and for each other
Because all of the voices, they’re just scary, barking dogs
Trying to keep us from the truth that
Worthiness is at the core of who we are
We’re already enough and already have value
We were deemed worthy before we ever earned it or decided we’d disqualified ourselves from it
It’s a “being” sort of thing, not a “doing” sort of thing

There is a Light
A Love
A Maker
Who calls the shots
Who has the final word
And the only song He’s singing is one of unshakeable, unchanging value

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This post was inspired by my choice to devour a few, incredible books about worthiness and one encounter with Perfect Love while I was huffing and puffing (aka dying) up the side of a mountain. If reading inspired you and caused you to think of a list of your own, post them below (or comment on facebook)

When we name our fears, they lose their power and give others the courage to say “me too!”.

Remaining :A west coast update and a glimpse of what lies ahead

“I’m going to blog a ton about my journey, so stay tuned!” Is much easier said than done on the front end of process, before you have any idea what that process entails.

I had every intention of keeping all of you in the monthly loop, with dreams of articulating incredible breakthroughs, beautiful insights, and of course, random, quirky embarrassing things that manage to hunt me down from time to time. What I didn’t know at the beginning of this journey is just how deep the healing would be – how far back the Lord would reach into my story and say “let’s go ahead and talk about this too, while we’re here.” You find out pretty quickly how difficult it is to explain why something is so profound when the beginning of the story started 10 years ago.

I think that BSSM is a lot like hiring movers – one set for your old house, and another for the furniture store to gather brand new items. Box after box is packed up and sent to your new house, but you already know that its going to take a significant amount of time to get everything unpacked and in its rightful place.

I’m sure that I’ll be pulling from this season for years to come – sharing in conversations, reading and rereading journals, listening again to hours of teaching… But here are some of the changes I’m experiencing, and some of the truth that’s been uncovered–

Love truly is stronger than the power of death. It consumes years of disappointment in a moment, resurrects buried dreams, breathes into embers of a hope that once was.

I had nearly forgotten that it had the power to do so. I remembered days when I felt rescued, victories that God had won, but they all seemed like stories from long ago.. He never fails, even if time and difficulty make you think that he does for a little while.

If I had to rewrite part of Romans 8 to describe this year, it would go a little something like this:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither seasons of waiting nor paralyzing disappointment, neither dreams burned by the fire of trials nor hope deferred, neither feeling invisible and overlooked nor believing your prayers are unanswered, neither agonizing heartache nor overwhelming sadness will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

He still rescues. He’s exponentially greater than the greatest roaring giant threatening to take your life. He is love, he’s on your side, and he always wins.

 

In addition to giving a bit of an update of life up to this point, I wanted to put you guys in the loop of what’s to come –

I graduate 1st year on May 9th, and will be moving to Ohio for the summer to work my little hiney off. (Can I get an amen for parents who believe in your dreams and will house you slash feed you while you pursue them?)

I love Ohio, but CAROLINA IS MY HOMEEEE, so don’t you worry, Carolinians, I miss you more than words and will be visiting you as much as I can.

I am planning on returning to Redding for 2nd year in August. To give somewhat of an idea – 1st year is primarily Identity focused, and 2nd year is Leadership focused.. It is a year more pointed toward getting practical tools for pursuing dreams and being given more responsibility (in the realm of leadership, of course!)

For me personally, in thinking about doing another year of school, I couldn’t honestly say that by the beginning of May, I would have learned everything that I needed to know from this environment/culture. It was a HARD decision, because I love grown up jobs and all of my east coast friends and family, but I believe I will be very happy that I took the time to build good foundations when I get further down the road of my life.

Hopefully this gives a bit of an overview of what had happened and what’s to come! If I don’t say it enough, THANK YOU, every person in my life, for coloring it so brightly. I am so deeply marked by each prayer, each person that gave, every friend that cares. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you.

(PS TALK TO ME if you have questions or want to know more slash want to tell me about your lives that I greatly miss being a part of)

He is always near – October Update

Hey everyone!
It’s been about a month since I’ve written any kind of real update, and I wanted to let you guys in on everything that’s been going on in my BSSM world.

Coming to ministry school is kind of like drinking from a fire hose. Someone will speak and somehow, it will bring up an issue in your heart that you didn’t even know was there. As quickly as that happens, another incredible speaker gets up and gives insight into life that changes your world. After that, it’s time for worship and holy cow, how do you even process everything? It can leave you speechless a lot of days, honestly, and it takes awhile for language to be put to all that is going on in and around you. (So for those of you who have asked “How are you doing?” and you’ve gotten three word answers, it’s because things are hard to articulate right away, not because I’m not learning anything :P)

Jason Vallotton taught a few classes on emotional prosperity this week, and I was absolutely thrilled to be attending. For those of you who don’t know, one of my greatest desires in coming to BSSM was to gain practical life tools to sustain the presence of God in my life, and to thrive in every season. He shared lots of pages worth of incredible information (that I’d be happy to share with anyone that’s interested), but one thing he mentioned is that people are rarely willing to spend money on their emotional health.
We’ll spend money on gym memberships and new cars and vacations, but if an individual is suffering greatly in their marriage or barely pressing through life under the weight of depression, it’s hard for them to justify spending money on counseling sessions to get better.He said something along the lines of “$60 a session for a few months is nothing for a brand new wiring system.”
In the midst of this, he shared this quote:

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.
I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself,
and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and
I could indeed have changed the world.

It is not selfish to spend time on you. 
It’s hard, in this success-driven, measurable goal kind of culture, sure, but I’m seeing over and over that God is just as concerned about loving you well and helping you thrive as he is about all of the more impressive, tangible testimonies that we often believe are the ultimate (or only) goal. Processing pain successfully, walking through conflict with someone and seeing a relationship reconciled, having incredible relationships with your kids, having an internal world filled with peace much more than it’s filled with anxiety – these are all testimonies of the Gospel and fall under the umbrella of what Jesus died to give us just as much as 4,000 being saved in a day.
Maybe for you, it’s not counseling sessions (which, shameless plug, counseling is good and healthy and right and for everyone – no one gave us a manual on this life thing, and we always have something to learn) – maybe it’s working less or reserving Saturdays for your family and no one else or paying for an art class you’ve wanted to take for years – YOU are worth the investment, and you were never meant to come at the bottom of your priority list, if and when everyone else’s needs are met.

Some practical updates with a couple of nuggets of awesome:

  1. As a part of the school curriculum, students attend a mission trip in the spring. The goal of these trips is practical application of everything we learn throughout the school year, seeing God touch people all over the world. I will be going to Tecate, Mexico from April 1 – 8 where we will be teaming up with Ranchos de sus Ninos.
  2. I’m spending a lot of time cooking at home (because eating out is so expensive and you realize that much more when you’re a ministry student) and absolutely adore trying new recipes. Sometimes they don’t turn out at all and I wonder what on Earth happened, and other times I feel like I was totally made for this adulting thing.
  3. Every Thursday each BSSM student is involved in some sort of City Service – a way to serve and give back to the city, depending on our passions and where there is need in Redding. Starting this upcoming week, I will be working in an after school program for middle school students, with the goal of making the students feel loved, seen, and known, serving the administration team, and stewarding the school well.
  4. We take AMTs (Advanced Ministry Trainings) for 5 weeks at a time, and I’m currently in “Developing Intimacy with God”. Y’all, it’s changing my life. The first week, the leader of the class laid foundational beliefs for our relationship with God, some of them being:
    1. GOD is the Pursuer (not me) and he’s been pursuing me all my life; she encouraged us to think back to the times that we felt the closest to God – even the things that we were drawn to as children, and gave full permission for our connection with God to be unique and OURS, not just looking the way we believe that it should.
    2. I don’t have to have a problem to connect with God. He wants relationship with me mountain high, valley low, and everything in between, and I can connect with him just because.
      • One pattern I recognized in my own life is that there are times when I believe that God is close, speaking, and involved, and many other times where I feel far away and closed off from his voice. Through this class, I’m learning that God is always near and always wanting to connect and be present – it may look different season to season, and there may be moments that he feels closer than others, but I never have to relate to him as if he is far away because the truth is, he’s living inside of me.

 

I think that’s all for now! Thanks for everyone who took time to read and journey with me – I miss ALL OF YOU so much and can’t tell you the number of times I share stories about you and long for so many of you to experience things with me.

 

BSSM + California Update # 1

Hey everyone!

As many of you know, I’m now settled in Redding California attending BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry). We just finished week two and things are going really well.
I’ve said it many times, but THANK YOU SO MUCH to every person who has prayed, checked in, texted, and donated financially to me in this season. I love all of you and I’m beyond grateful to have friendships with each of you. (P.S. IF I HAVEN’T ANSWERED, I’m so sorry and I promise I am trying my best to get those responses flowing – getting adjusted + keeping up with homework + trying to savor the new friendships of my housemates has filled my time quite a bit, but I still value every one of you so much and I’m not ignoring you spitefully)

Here’s a glimpse into what life has looked like for me over the past couple of weeks:

Housing:
Y’all – I LUCKED OUT and have the greatest housemates in the world. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to forget just how much I hate meeting new people and pretending to be awesome at the small talk game. The idea of awkward silences, being self conscious, telling jokes that no one understands, etc IN A HOME with 8 other people was not something that I was looking forward to. PRAISE THE LAMB that was not the case, and everyone felt like family almost instantly. We live in a beautiful cabin on the north side of Redding that is even more beautiful than the pictures we were shown prior to arriving. The owners of the home have adopted all of us (for the record, young adults need and love having extra sets of parents) and have enriched the experience so much with their support, conversation, and love.

School:
Bill Johnson, Kris Valloton, and several other amazing leaders share with us during school hours. I feel so lucky to be sitting under fathers and mothers who fight strongly for the truth of God to be made known and for everyone’s full potential to be realized. I take so many notes and can’t write fast enough.
This upcoming week, we go on Retreat (which, to my understanding is a time for us to connect more deeply with classmates and Revival Group Pastors). When we return from Retreat, we’ll lock into a more normal schedule with City Service (community service) hours and Advanced Ministry Trainings (more in depth teachings of certain topics).

How’s your heart?:
Honestly, this portion of the blog has been pretty challenging to write – probably because when I typically sit down to type out a blog, it’s something that I’ve worked through and believe deep in my bones.
I just stepped out of a really busy season – one that felt like Aslan had left Narnia for awhile, and I was holding down the fort until he decided to return.
When you feel like God’s been MIA and the busy-ness of a season leaves little time to process, jumping into a world full of desperately hungry people would seem like the best possible remedy, but it can leave you feeling like you’re sitting on the outskirts at times. Some AMAZING things have happened already, and the Lord has been speaking some great stuff to my heart, but in a lot of ways, I still feel pretty numb and unaffected by all of the activity going on around me.
BUT Here’s what gives me hope —
I don’t think that I’m the only one. I think there are a lot of people with more questions than answers and more disappointment from seasons past than anticipation for seasons to come. I don’t think that I’m the only one who has hoped to walk in to a church service and be forever changed, only to leave feeling even more disconnected than when you walked through the door.

This process has been so challenging, because I can’t even point to one isolated event or area of my life that makes me feel as if the trust between me and the Lord has taken a beating, but I know that it exists. I don’t want to hide it in fear of not having it all together (still). I don’t want to fake excitement and wholeness and passion – I want the reality of God to encounter my reality. I want to keep showing up honest, even if honest looks battered and beaten and pretty apprehensive of change ever coming.
Although I have no answers, I’m convinced that when you’re really honest, you get really helped – really healed – and you can keep on believing things deep down in your bones.

I want to believe in the nature of God with every fiber of who I am – there are so many people here who do. They know that He’s good and they see Him at work.. But I think those believing down deep, know it in my bones sort of faiths only come through an honest process. (and THEN you have real answers and a real testimony for other people feeling shipwrecked on the island of disappointment).

Okay, but what are you looking forward to?:
The number one thing that appealed to me about Bethel was the way that they offer incredible tools to sustain revival and cultivate a healthy life. I am so excited to learn more about family, communication, processing pain, etc – not only for my benefit, but to have a healthy family and pass those tools on to those I am connected to. I’m convinced that if you know how to have great relationships and heal from hard things, there’s not much that can stop you.

Got any embarrassing stories?:
ACTUALLY, NO.
I wholeheartedly believed that most of my blogging the first couple of months in Redding would be full of stories where I somehow managed to humiliate myself, but that hasn’t been the case up to this point (don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let you know if anything changes)

SIDE NOTE though, apparently I have a bit of a southern accent (which is HILARIOUS because I’m from Ohio and Winston-Salem is not EVEN that southern).

Now accepting snack suggestions:
School runs from 10:30 – 3:45, meaning we eat some sort of lunch during school hours (sometimes around people whom we don’t know, making biting into an apple a really awkward endeavor). If you’ve got some killer snack ideas that aren’t too smelly or loud to crunch, I would love to hear them.

 

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for reading – hooray for update #1!

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I am still raising support for this Bethel-Redding adventure for tuition costs and to help supplement with living expenses. My link is posted below!

http://paypal.me/hannahriggin

 

Capacity

Friend: “Have you celebrated getting in to Bethel yet!?”
Hannah: “Actually no celebrating – basically just worrying and then repenting for worrying *3 laugh emojis, followed by a wide eyed emoji*

in-de-pend-ent
adjective
1. free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority (that’ll preach)
2. not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence
3. Hannah Riggin

I am independent to the core; through upbringing and wiring, I am determined to be responsible and to accomplish as much as possible without letting anyone ever see me sweat. Maybe you’re like this too – always covering your bases, never wanting to inconvenience anyone.

I don’t notice the extent of my independence until incidents like the one that happened at Sam’s Club a few weeks ago:
It is my responsibility to pick up all of the food for these weekly community cookouts that our church helps to facilitate. We plan to feed about 150 people every Thursday.

Feeding 150 people for the first week of our summer cookouts at Sam’s Club looks something like this:
3 boxes of hamburgers
2 boxes of hotdogs
Pans for grilling
4 monster sized cans of baked beans
3 boxes of 42 pack chips
Oh, don’t forget the lemonade
And also the massive quantity ketchups and mustards
Oops! We need plates and cups and napkins and cutlery

…the list goes on. For anyone that’s ever been to Sam’s, you know that the size of the items in your cart are significantly greater than they would be if you made a quick run to Walmart.
My cart was spilling over, and as I made my way to the front of the store I realized I had forgotten one super significant item – the buns.
The slippery, “I’m gonna need 16 of each of you”, “Don’t you dare squish me with the other items in your cart” buns.
I made it about 3 steps and the buns would slide off of my grocery mound. That’s right — ALL the way through the parking lot, to the back of the parking lot of course (did I mention half of Winston was there?). Take three steps, drop some buns, pick them up, lose some dignity. Repeat.

I needed help, and I wasn’t willing to ask. Contrary to my belief, it is a bit difficult for 1 person to singlehandedly feed 150 other people.

grocery

It isn’t a surprise that I find myself in very similar situations planning to move across the country for ministry school.

The truth is, I want to say that I’ve got it, that I don’t need help. I want the option of spending a half hour in Sam’s Club parking lot and just not telling anyone about it. I want to hide the effort, the cost, the need, and the worry. Some call it pride, some call it consideration, and honestly, it’s probably a little of both.

I think we all reach moments in our lives when our capacity has reached its limit. In those  moments, no matter how much we’d like to step it up and carry a little more, we simply can’t.

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”
Isaiah 54:2

The Lord gave me this scripture while I was applying for Bethel, telling me that in my season, my capacity had been reached. He wanted to give me more, but there was no space for anything new in my life the way that it was – things had to change, and I didn’t know it at the time, but the curtains of my habitations were being stretched out (literally).

It’s funny because that verse seems to contradict everything that I mentioned above. I’m realizing something, though: There is a huge difference between our own, independent, “I will do this” capacity and the one we obtain in surrender.
When I refuse to ask for help – whether it be because of pride or out of fear that God coming through is only a story people tell themselves to get through hard times, and not a stark reality, I greatly limit how much I can receive.

It would be like if a family member offered to clean your messy kitchen for you. You listened, said thank you, and then proceeded to clean the entire thing yourself before they got around to doing it.
It’s fine – the kitchen is still clean, but stepping in to handle it kept the family member from getting to contribute.

I am not in ANY way saying that our ability to get in the way is greater than God’s ability to help us – his arm is never too short. But for me, in this season, I do feel him inviting me to let him in. I hear him saying “I really want to bless you – will you let go of your fear of not being taken care of and let me outdo anything you could have accomplished in your own effort?” And in “funny later, but not at the time” moments I hear him saying “Han, you literally can’t do this one on your own – even if you wanted to.”

May each of us be granted the bravery we need to believe that we are loved and cared for. May each of us be granted the courage to know that the provision of tomorrow isn’t dependent on our performance or our own capacity, but in perfect Love that never waivers or changes its mind.

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I am sharing this journey via blog on the world wide web for a few reasons:
1. I have every intention of blogging more regularly throughout this journey, because I’m coming to find that story is powerful and one of the tools God uses most to encounter other people. Let’s call this the prelude to all of the blogging entries to come.

2. PRAYER. Y’all, this ISFJ, green-blue on the DISC test girl HATES CHANGE and LOVES SECURITY. I hate change even when it’s awesome, just because it’s different than what I’m used to. There is nothing familiar in this guaranteed to be spectacular season change. (There are many other areas to be covered in prayer, I am sure, it’s just the quirkiest, yet also realest thing I’m facing right now).

3. SUPPORT. This is the hardest for me for a million reasons – my “no that’s okay I’ve got it” independence, and the fact that as humans, we love to point to something and say “this measurable proof shows that this is worth investing in” .. but those voices fade in the face of last-minute transitions and no-other-choice.
Tuition for the school year is $4,550. In addition to this cost, I have to cover living expenses and continue to cover all of my adult bills. I will be working part-time throughout the school year to supplement, of course, but it is very scary going from full-time job money to part-time, the cost of living staying the same but the income being cut in half. Because the school is not accredited, student loans are not an option.
Talk about a faith walk — one of those moments where the rubber hits the road, and the theology that is much easier to quote is actually put to the test.
If you would like to give toward this adventure, donations can be made via Paypal
1. http://www.paypal.me/hannahriggin

THANK YOU so much for reading, praying, and supporting!

Han goes to Bethel

Han copy
(thank you, Shainey Coleman, for this dreamy Boone mountain pic)

 

Unexpected, unanticipated, not even on the radar.

Living in Redding (California) and attending BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) was one of those “wouldn’t that be awesome” kind of dreams. You know, just like the “wouldn’t it be great to live on this remote beach instead of just vacation here” kind of dreams.. not the ones you take seriously, but the ones you pull off the shelf, admire for awhile, and then forget about in the day-in, day-out.

I’ve heard about life in Redding for years now – best friends have been to school there, transformed by the culture forever.
I was able to visit in January of this year in the middle of #rigginandtaycrosstheusa (the cross country trip that I took with Kelly Taylor and also Instagrammed like a champ). A friend showed Kelly and I around Redding and we ended up at a worship night facilitated by his community.

There are moments in our lives when we encounter people who are walking in a freedom that we haven’t yet known.
It happened that night. There was a breathing room, a living hope, a deep rooted joy in every face that I saw – a freedom that I, at the very least, had lost sight of or forgotten about altogether..

You know how one white shirt, when by itself, looks as white as white can be? It’s only when the shirt is compared to another brand new linen that its dinginess is revealed.
It happened that night. Comparison in a healthy, “remember what is possible!” kind of way.

Long story short, through little heart tugs and conversation with a friend, I decided to apply — SUPER last minute, assuming that if I was accepted, it would have to be God (because who in their right mind applies to school for the Fall at the end of June?) Honestly, more of me believed that I would not be accepted, but that I could finally put the “What would happen if I tried?” question to rest in my mind.

Well guys, I got in.

I’m learning in this season that the heart tugs – the purest, deepest, fingers-crossed hopes of our hearts should often be listened to, instead of buried in fear of them never coming to pass.

I have so many of those dreams – dreams of running after-school programs for inner-city kids and watching those children beat the odds, break the curse, and pursue their dreams – of having a freaking incredible marriage and raising a family full of compassionate hearts – of giving people TOOLS to navigate this life and to listen to their hearts; not getting swallowed by life, but overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and maybe a little Talenti gelato – of knowing the heart and the intentions of God deep and wide, and proclaiming those truths to a world full of weary hearts that are only hoping He’s good.

…but I know that it starts with me. It starts with me getting the tools and the healing – it starts with me encountering before becoming the encounter. It starts with me deeply knowing the heart and intentions of God so that in every season, I can stand with others and say “No matter how it looks, He is still faithful.”

I’m not discounting my seasons or my story leading up this point. I’m not saying that I don’t already know some of what I’ve mentioned, or that I’m not already pursuing some of those heart dreams – but there are times when we are called deeper, when we are called to more, and I believe that for me, this is one of those times.

I thought that I would live and die in Winston-Salem.
I love this city – the way that it’s not too big, and not too small. The way that it carries inspiration in the air and breathes wind into the sails of creatives. I have unspeakable gratitude for every gift of friendship that I have with SO many people. I don’t feel worthy of 1/10th of the love that has been poured into me through the friends that I have. I belong to the best church in the world full of beautiful, loving, gifted people. I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart when I look at all that has been built and all that was in store for me when I moved here 3 1/2 years ago. I will forever call this home and plan on returning during the school breaks and beyond — but for a season, I am laying down and giving all that I’ve got to this invitation of BSSM.

 

I am sharing this via blog on the world wide web for a few reasons:
1. I have every intention of blogging more regularly throughout this journey, because I’m coming to find that story is powerful and one of the tools God uses most to encounter other people. Let’s call this the prelude to all of the blogging entries to come.

2. PRAYER. Y’all, this ISFJ, green-blue on the DISC test girl HATES CHANGE and LOVES SECURITY. I hate change even when it’s awesome, just because it’s different than what I’m used to. There is nothing familiar in this guaranteed to be spectacular season change. (There are many other areas to be covered in prayer, I am sure, it’s just the quirkiest, yet also realest thing I’m facing right now).

3. SUPPORT. This is the hardest for me for a million reasons – my “no that’s okay I’ve got it” independence, and the fact that as humans, we love to point to something and say “this measurable proof shows that this is worth investing in” .. but those voices fade in the face of last-minute transitions and no-other-choice.
Tuition for the school year is $4,550. In addition to this cost, I have to cover living expenses and continue to cover all of my adult bills. I will be working part-time throughout the school year to supplement, of course, but it is very scary going from full-time job money to part-time, the cost of living staying the same but the income being cut in half. Because the school is not accredited, student loans are not an option.
Talk about a faith walk — one of those moments where the rubber hits the road, and the theology that is much easier to quote is actually put to the test.
If you would like to give toward this adventure, donations can be made via Paypal
1. http://www.paypal.me/hannahriggin

THANK YOU so much for reading, praying, and supporting! I look forward to sharing tons of moments with all of you: whether they be the life-changing jaw dropping ones, or the “this-is-funny-now-but-it-sure-wasn’t-when-it-happened” ones, and all the others in between.