Stories Of A Student

Stories of A Student

Beautiful, Messy and Full of Belonging

I stole this title from a true friend of mine, Anna Hull, who was able to sum up my life here in San Diego better than I could have hoped to.
Doing life with others…the painful parts, the funny parts, the parts that make you laugh so hard you look like a dork, the parts that make you wish you could just walk away, the parts that make it hurt to think of walking away, the parts that make you wonder why you ever did life any different than this—were ever scared of a life like this…All of that is beautiful. That broken people would find other broken people. That all our brokenness is in the process of being redeemed. And we get to share in each other’s redemption. Beauty.
Something so beautiful cannot escape being messy. That kind of beauty results in tear-filled eyes and snot-covered faces. That kind of beauty leaves me with a newly-developed and sporadic stutter as I fight to find the words to do it justice. That beauty makes me ache all the way to my soul. That beauty makes so many things not worth fighting for…and makes other things worth fighting harder for.
All of that beauty…and all of that messy…is something I get to be a little part of. We all have our niches in life…the spaces we find and do our best to fill. That is true of all relationships…and that is true of community. I don’t doubt that I, like everyone else here, has a role to play. We each have our own words to tell our own stories. We each have our own pain to share with others. We each have hearts that love in special ways. And we are each touched by things that don’t seem to touch others as much…and all of that makes us who we are.
One of the greatest gifts is to be given the chance to be a part of someone else’s life. Someone giving you space to be in their life, and you giving them space to be in yours. That space doesn’t dictate who they can and cannot be. It is space that says, “You’re more than welcome. You’re more than loved. You belong here. You as you and not as what I want you to be.”
If I have learned nothing in my time here but how to share life with others, I will consider this year beyond worth it. Because when I share life and love others, I’m playing a part in building community. And where community is built, healing comes. And where healing comes, redemption takes over.
-Hannah (W.W.A.M Student)