Responsibility and Freedom

I’ve spent the last month living in Indiana already.  I stuck around at the end of the semester to take my science credit over Mayterm.  You could say I’ve lived in Indiana for 24 months already this, but living on campus in a dorm with a full load of class credits is a considerably different experience.  There are guidelines, restrictions, deadlines, and it all holds students back from experiencing life on our own.

For the past month, I’ve lived off campus at a friend’s apartment.  She and I come and go as we please, there is no one regulating our schedules. We have no luxury of a meal plan that hands us food whenever our stomach complains of hunger.  We have to fend for ourselves: cooking when we’re hungry, buying supplies when we run out, and doing things for ourselves. There is an incredible amount of responsibility that comes with freedom and independence, but it’s that responsibility that makes this newfound freedom feel so worth it.

The other thing Mayterm has given me, is the luxury of free time. I have class in the morning until noon, and then the rest of my day is wide open.  Our professor doesn’t assign much homework outside of class, so I don’t have to plan my life around trying to get assignments and projects done. It’s given me time to work when I want to, rest when I want to, and spend time with Jonathan as much as I want to.

That has probably been one of the most enjoyable parts of this month.  Jonathan (my boyfriend, for those who don’t know) graduated at the end of April. By God’s grace, he had a job and found an apartment within a week of graduation.  Getting the job had been a long process, which I won’t detail here, because this is my blog and not Jonathan’s. Anyway, after months of interviews and meetings Jonathan was hired as the Worship and Creative Arts Minister at Converse Church of Christ in Converse, Indiana.  One of the members of the church had a one bedroom apartment available for rent right across the street from the church, and 2 weeks after graduation, Jonathan was moved in and ready to start his career. We have spent the past month slowly accumulating the things he wants and needs in his apartment, and I think grown up life is finally starting to sink in.

I’ve enjoyed having time available to help him.  Whether it’s doing his dishes, or buying him cooking utensils, or making dinner, I love being nearby while he’s making the transition to life on his own.   We’ve grown closer together and are learning every day how to work together as a team.  We’ve had some disagreements, but the more we learn about each other, the more we learn to communicate what we are feeling and how the other person can help.

Jonathan is becoming that stable constant I can rely on.  Being far from home and from family is difficult.  That’s always been my safe haven, a place where everyone accepts and loves me no matter what.  I’ve met plenty of people during my time at Indiana Wesleyan who have been (and still are) great friends, but friends come and go. I’ve learned that throughout my life.  People come in and out of your life for a reason, and I’ve always had a hard time finding stability.  One of the blessings that has come with Jonathan’s new job, is my discovery of a home church.  Finally, after 3 years in Indiana, I’ve found a place that feels like home.  The people have been so welcoming and accepting of Jonathan and of me. I feel so cared for already, and we’ve only been there a short time.

This summer will continue to show me what life after college will be like.  Knowing I have a wonderful, supportive family back home, an incredible boyfriend nearby, and a new church family to welcome me in, makes growing up a lot less frightening. There are people around to catch me if I fall or hold me up if I’m tired. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve these blessings, but God keeps surprising me in new ways.

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