Five free things about me, Jessica:

1. Among the things that I value most is my relationship with someone whose sandals I am unfit to untie, to quote John the Baptist. Him. I AM. YAHWEH. God. Jesus. I’ll explain it to you the way I explained it to my atheist friend who recently attended what she called a “religious” conference. She was apparently the only atheist there and when they posed the question to her about what she wanted to do in life, she replied that she wanted to be a doctor. They asked her what would come after that to which she replied that she would go to work every day. In return they asked her a plethora of questions about the point of it all. What would she win? What would she gain in the end? They didn’t wait for her to answer but instead told her that there was no point. A life without the living God has no end goal but death and despair. It makes me think of one of the questions in the Westminster Catechism. “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him for eternity. When my friend told me that story of her experience at the conference I shared my own experience of being lost without God. No, I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I know with my future in His hands I am secure. Do I have my doubts about it all? Of course! Who doesn’t? As humans, our minds cannot even comprehend it all. To this very day, when I am reading the Bible, I’m full of questions, questions that I try not to leave unanswered in order to satisfy the logical part of my brain, but every question won’t be answered perfectly by man on this side of heaven. Despite that, I still believe. I still have faith and it is something I can’t shake. I recently spent a year of my life moving away from God with the attitude of “God if you want me, you’ll come get me. You’ll rescue me” and here I am proclaiming today His name to you. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I’m in love and if I hide that portion of myself from you I am a fraud.

2. I am an introverted “people-person”. I LOVE people. I’m not always the best at loving them, but when given the chance to put myself out there and love another person the way that I am loved by God, I go for it. I have everything to lose by doing so but I never do. Now for the downside of that: I am an introvert. That means that I gain enegry by spending time alone for longer periods of time rather than being surrounded by a huge group of people at all times. I sometimes can be found living inside of my own head, talking to myself, analyzing every relationship, embarrassment, and fault of mine. Don’t get me wrong though. I have learned to completely embrace who I am. That doesn’t make it any easier on those days when I am utterly worn out, with just one more task to complete, not having had my time alone to reflect and recharge. But I really wouldn’t change this part of me for anything in the world.

3. My two dream jobs are chef and writer. I have always loved to cook. It started off as experimenting with EVERYTHING in the kitchen when I was around  10 and grew into a lovely escape and a wonderful way to serve people. In fact, I get the most out of it when I am cooking for  others, especially bigger groups. I really cannot say why I’m not doing it as a profession but it’ll always be a part of me because a girl has got to eat and it’ll always be a great hobby of mine (plus you can probably look forward to some recipes here on Five Things Free. As far as writing, it is something that I’ve always done as a release and it has grown into a passion, hence this blog. I find that it has become routine for me to wake up and start my day with a journal in hand. I really just want to inspire others and since I’m not the best public speaker, writing is the best way I can do so and reach a larger audience. I cannot place writing in the hobby box as easily as cooking.

4. As of now I am an aspiring social worker. I say aspiring because I am not currently employed as a social worker. I am taking the steps towards entering the field and though I said being a chef or a writer were my dreams jobs, social worker can just as easily fit in that category. When I was in high school I realized that I wanted to be a counselor early on. After that my goals never changed. Upon graduating college and joining the Peace Corps I was looking into graduate school programs for after my service with Peace Corps and stumbled upon social work. Of course I had heard of the profession before but never knew exactly what it consisted of but once I got a better idea it was as if the profession was made for me. This ties into my second point of loving people. For me that includes helping those that cannot, will not, or just don’t have the strength to help themselves. Social work is a career focused around people and how they interact with their surrounding environments. That interaction is not always an easy one and social workers are the humanitarians that levitate those people by being an advocate from them without discrimination of their color, age, income, or social status. It is so much more than counseling, but it’s a role that empathizes with people at a level that might hurt. Sharing that pain with a fellow human is a task I’m always up for.

5. I believe that life is an adventure and traveling is a way I can discover every  beauty that has been bestowed upon us. I believe I caught the travel bug at an early age but just didn’t realize it until I was in college. You see I grew up in a military family. My mom was in the navy and boy did it take us places . Here’s the story I used to loathe telling to new acquaintances when that dreaded question “Where are you from?” came up in conversation: I was born in South Carolina; I grew up in Georgia but moved to Guam (Island considered US territory located in the Pacific Ocean) when I was around 6; At age 10 I started fifth grade on a naval base in California; At age 13 my mom got deployed and I moved to Georgia with my dad (back to my southern roots); I started high school in Georgia but then my dad was deployed and at age 16 I was back in Cali; Finally, I graduated high school in California and ended up at college in Mississippi where my mom was at the time of my starting. My time at college consisted of many road trips around the South. Then during my sophomore year, I took a study abroad class that had me all the way across the  pond in England for spring break (my first time in Europe). After that experience I was hooked. I did not care where my next trip took me, I just wanted to see something new, learn something new, and meet new people. In turn, I ended up joining the Peace Corps (a humanitarian organization of the United States where Americans serve abroad through different sectors including health, education, community development, and agriculture). It landed me in Albania of all places, a Balkan country in Eastern Europe. I do not take these experiences for granted for one second. To say that I have been blessed feels like the understatement of a century. I am beyond thankful and I only hope that my life be filled with more adventure, more diversity, more humility, and more giving back.