I was asked to share my story and that starts with the fact that I grew up in a military family.
We moved every one to two years until I was 14 so by the time I came to Seattle for college, it was the 10th place I would live. While moving so often presented its own set of challenges, I was always amazed and comforted by the military community I found. Everywhere we went, people inherently understood our story and our struggles because they had experienced similar things. Everyone was starting over and trying to meet people and become comfortable in a new place. There was a built-in support system even if you didn't know each other for very long and to this day I can reach out to anyone I've met along the way and be met with support and kindness.
Coming to Seattle I had expectations of finding similar community at SPU, but being one of a few military kids at SPU presented it's own challenges as very few people were able to understand where I was coming from. While I did find people who have since become my community, it was much more difficult than the comfort of the military community I had become used to. About a year and a half ago at the beginning of my sophomore year at SPU, I met Tyler at Storyville by chance and started coming to ASC. I was instantly amazed by the way people reacted and knew that I was a newcomer and the way that the leadership of our church wanted to be intentional and reach out to know me and my story more.
Last summer, was my first summer away from my family as I was doing an internship at a nonprofit here in Seattle and in that summer the people at ASC truly became my community. As all my friends from school left for the summer and I was alone in Seattle, coming to church gave me comfort. I met more and more people and families and was comforted so much by the community I was finding on Sunday mornings. Last summer was very difficult, but without the church, it probably would have been one of the loneliest times I'd ever faced.
Throughout last summer, I was repeatedly asked if I would be interested in interning at church and I repeatedly turned it down, saying I was too busy and not interested. Eventually, Tyler stopped asking me. So then if you fast forward a few months to this spring, I suddenly had a gut feeling and knew that as we entered into the summer, it would be time for me to give back to this community that had been my key support last summer. So here I am now, to work with communications and connections and hopefully to help people to feel as welcomed as I did when I first came to this place. I am confident that this is where I am meant to be at this time in my life and I am excited to continue to understand why.