Monday, December 28, 2015

2015: A Year in Review

My cousin Barbie wrote a beautiful, meaningful Christmas letter with all her exciting news of the year, and dare I say it's inspired me to do the same.


Last Dec 31, I slept over at my mom's room in hospice. As a New Year dawned, my mom began what most be the most peaceful and thrilling journey of all: departing her earthly body and entering God's eternal heavenly kingdom. I spoke at her funeral days later. The first few months of the year, I focused on my health and grieved deeply.

In February, with the help of many friends and family members, I moved into my own place for the first time ever! I love my apartment. It's in Vernon Hills, about 10 minutes away from my dad's house. It is all the things. Homey and lovely, and my cat Sasha is a great roommate. Several aunts and uncles have been able to visit this year!

In April I started going to Urban Village Church in Chicago. I love it! It is a young and vibrant congregation, and we meet in a theatre that is ever-changing. In June I marched with UVC in the Pride Parade, in solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters, as a part of the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. I have to admit, being in a parade was loads of fun. And being a part of this church is just an amazing blessing and challenge to my faith life.

In the spring and summer I mastered several courses at the College of Lake County including Environmental Biology, Intro to Humanities, World Religions, and Intro to Ethics. Humanities was the hardest, but also my favorite! In July I visited my mom's Howey cousins in North Carolina at Camp Meeting. I also got a chance to visit family in NYC and NJ in August-- my first trip by myself ever!-- and it was great. Saw a couple Broadway shows and visited a couple seminaries!

In the fall I decided to be a part-time student as I was offered an excellent part-time opportunity at a church. I served for four months as the Ministry Intern at Kingswood United Methodist Church, where I participated in worship, ran a one-day Vacation Bible School, worked to build a young adult ministry, and orchestrated a Blue Christmas service, during which I made my preaching debut. Kingswood has been a wonderful learning experience, and I'm blessed to have them as part of my journey.

Meanwhile I tackled choir, English 122- Gender and Sexuality, and my last math class of all time! Thanksgiving was spent with many Trevors in Rockville, Maryland, where all the fun was planned and the food allergies were respected by the one and only Barbie Trevor! We got to see Barbie again when she visited us in Chicago after Christmas.

In other news, I went on several first dates. Shrug.

I'd like to dedicate this post to the memory of Per K. Hanson, my mom's former law partner, who was always like an uncle to me. He read every single one of my blog posts, while I was sick and afterwards too. A great man who passed away suddenly a week or so ago. May you and my mom reunite on the other side of the sky.

So very thankful for my friends, family, and mentors for their love and guidance this year, which was a difficult year indeed. Bring on 2016!


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