Finding my Job

By Sammie in Asheville

I don’t think anyone would argue about the beauty of the mountains. They have been especially stunning this fall. A few weeks ago, we went to Max Patch to see what all the hype was about. The hike was short but steep, but we huffed and puffed our way up. The views were more magnificent than I could describe. One of my housemates told me that you could see four other states from the top. It was so amazing.












Starting from the right: Log Hollow Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, view from Max patch, Lake Susan at Montreat.

I’ve also settled on a church that I will be a part of during this year, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. I like the fact that the worship is ran by women and that they endorse the use of all pronouns when referring to God. On the Sunday after the election, the head pastor gave a kickass sermon on how the church cannot be complacent or silent right now. We need to stand up and be active in social change.

I’ve been struggling to write this post because, in all honestly, I’ve just been struggling in general. I feel like a giant weight was placed upon my chest since November 8th, and I can’t seem to lift it. I’m most worried because I don’t know how to navigate relationships that were once so easy. Relationships with members of my family, of my home church, and with my friends are now in a place that I don’t know how to move from. How can I maintain relationships with people who voted for a candidate that ran a campaign of hate and violence? How can I justify loving those whose actions have promoted an obscene number of hate crimes and harassment? I was talking this weekend about whether or not it was my job to educate these people, who I love, about how deeply they have hurt me. Is it my job to teach them about it? I don’t think I could muster up the energy to do so. I have come to realize that it is my job to maintain my connections with people and to form new ones. I just have no idea how to do that sometimes.

This weekend we went on our fall retreat to the PC(USA) mecca of Montreat. As a lifelong Presbyterian, I have no idea how I have never been to that part of the country. We began our retreat like any trip should, with pizza (yizza.) Going out to eat is a luxury that we don’t access much in our house, so it was a great treat. We also went to a fish fry for dinner, and all I could think about was how much I miss the Lion’s Club fish frys in Franklin. We spent Saturday with a facilitator, Stan, who worked with us about many things. We learned about resiliency after trauma and how we can use movement as a spiritual practice, which was a really cool experience. In the afternoon, we discussed pilgrimage and how to use our resources in order to thrive as pilgrims. It was a great retreat, but there was an ever-present longing for our missing roommate, Rachel. We talked at length about how we missed her and how our dynamic was different without her. My favorite thing that Stan said during our time with him was talking about how the church is in the ditch and is beaten down and how we need a Good Samaritan to come help us. He was specifically talking about addressing the queer community to help the church out of our current state.