Surrounded completely & surviving anyway

I am surrounded by counseling majors. Surrounded. Shouldn’t surprise me. I mean, if you don’t want to be a “Man of the Cloth” but love people and like psychology almost as much as you love the Bible… Your major shall be Counseling. Guaranteed. As a matter of fact, I think that Law may be found in 2nd Hesitations 19:2. Regardless of whether this is a Truth I’m willing to die for, I’m at a Bible College. Counseling majors will happen **Cue the theme to Jaws**

What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of 19 year old men convinced they were called into counseling. All of them have found me. Actually, only two have, but still. (Granted, one of them is a Junior, so he may actually be 21. No idea. Okay, so maybe this will just be a post packed full with the, God, this ain’t funny!” exaggerated, half-humorous anecdotes that are native to my brain. ) There are days where a woman just wants to be left alone to her own devices, da… Darn it.

Where was I? Ah, right. The most used number these past two weeks has been “19.” Every once in a while, I’ve run into a student that doesn’t wear their age like a bullet proof vest, nor as a badge of honor. Most of them think my only hang up is spiritual culture shock. They find this fascinating while I find it intensely unnerving. (Dear friend that I’m referring to, if you’re reading this.. Read it to the end and just learn to laugh, it helps.)

My only hang up is spiritual culture shock…. Oh, okay. None of these people know me as, well, um, either the-
1. Miracle Child
2. Missionary kid
3. Apprehensive Missionary
4. The rebel gone wild, or
5. The Girl that gets caught in the middle of righteousness and bondage every three seconds.

My identity is actually just, Cassie “The Alaskan story teller.”
I’ve gotten more chances to casually pour into people here because of my, “One time, at band camp” Alaska style stories. I haven’t been led to tell my story of being the girl-child prodigal that ran hard, and ran fast. Nor have many found out that most days, my body feels like a physical ticking bomb, so therefore I have many that think I’m here on blind faith because it’s not smart to be here. (To which my cynical, sarcastic response to that is, “Okay, so the possibility of dying goes down 75% if in Alaska? Weird, never heard that from the PhD’s.” ) Y’all should be proud if how hard and often I bite my tongue.

Anyway… I was caught talking to one of these precious men of God yesterday, and he happened to be a counseling major. I just happened to let myself.. be myself. It hurt, a lot.. but it was good. Age didn’t matter; shared joy, wisdom and insight did. He slapped me around when and where I needed it… And I was intensely humbled by the fact that God had placed me in a position where I could just benefit from his friendship & not feel as if I had to have or be the answer to his questions.

So, this is what fellowship on an hourly basis looks like. I try to hide, and they don’t let me. I try to stay in the comfort of my past, and they have no idea what I’m talking about, so they can’t help put on the shackles. I’m surrounded by people that want to pursue God, freedom and the joy of Christ’s sufferings, and they have no reason to believe that I shouldn’t (or can’t?) come with them. And so, I do.

It’s not that I didn’t have that back home. I had an over abundance of it. However, I hate new crowds. In this crowd, I didn’t come with a pre-programmed identity, though. I’m just here to love people, and they’re crazy enough to think they can return the favor. Counseling majors and all.

Now, if only I can stop smiling like a crazy woman every time I hear one of these precious people use the term, “and a half”, I think I’ll be just fine. “I’m 20-and-a-half.” Yep… Age doesn’t matter, love does. Age doesn’t matter.. Love does. (Although the flesh side of me would love to have an increase to my age be something I look forward to.

When God reminds you that He knows your heart and needs better than you do, learn to take it with a Child-like grin and laugh anyway.

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