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! 

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