Typically, when I get tired, I get super appreciative of everyone and everything in my life.  I always struggle with holding this in, but it makes people uncomfortable, so I try/apologize when I don’t try to keep it to myself.

Tonight, as I’m half-drugged on cold medicine combing through book after book about Social Trinitarianism, I am struck with how much I am a grateful for spending this year in Texas.

I’m so grateful that I’ve gotten to meet people who will be a driving force for change in the denomination that made up so much of my religious life, and more grateful that they aren’t doing it out of obligation or a sense of familial love for that tradition; I’m also grateful that I’ve realized I’m not one of those people, in some ways it took meeting those who sincerely desire to change that sect to know that it’s not where my heart lies.  

I’m thankful that I’ve met people who pegged me, people with whom I almost immediately ponied up to my awkwardness, and for people that seem to love me even after only a few months of friendship.  I’m not used to the honesty and openness that requires establishing a relationship that quickly, and I’ve learned much simply from the deep need for community when you have none.  

I’m grateful for having found a deeper understanding of both myself and the world around me through theology, both through theology that fits and theology that doesn’t. I’m grateful for all the good books that I’ve read, and for the awful ones that I’ve struggled through too. There’s something to be said for reading someone who disagrees with you solely because it’s a one-sided conversation, quite humbling.

I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve already learned here and excited to see the many that are left to learn from these beautiful people and this crazy state.

Mostly, I’m grateful to learn that I will excel wherever I go. One of my friends reminded me before I left Nashville to “Just remember you’re a badass.” Vulgarity aside, he has a point…and after almost four months here, I’ve realized it. I have skills and a personality that lend themselves to what I want to pursue with my life. This might be an obvious to most (people usually have skills sets that compliment their passions), but for someone who has trouble internalizing her accomplishments, this was a revelation. In a short time, in a new city, I’ve gotten plugged in ways and already begun to be a catalyst toward progress. Whether it’s that people gravitate towards me or that I’m drawn to situations that need me, I will get to spend my life making change towards a better, more whole community. For that, I am so entirely thankful. 

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