News – A New Blog

Hello friends! My life is headed in a new direction, and with that comes a new blog. I’ll be discussing everything from life, Christianity, and religion to media and communication

Please check out my new blog at: http://alyhathcock.wordpress.com/blog/ 

Thanks!

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Hugs and Heart-to-Hearts

Last week was spring break, and while in the mountains with some friends, I sat down and wrote out some new blog posts… but let’s be honest, I want to tell you what’s on my mind now, not what was on my mind a week ago.

There are two things that I need a lot of and don’t admit to needing – the first is hugs. I love hugs from friends. Seriously, they’re the best. They give me security and remind me that I am loved (and Lord knows I need to be told that often).

I also love heart-to-hearts with my JFC friends. They’re the best. H2Hs force me to look at truths in this world and in my life that I would rather just shove under the carpet. Sometimes, they’re really hard conversations to have, but no matter what, they’re great to have.

Hugs and heart-to-hearts are God’s ways of saying that even in this dark world we live in, there are still people who care about me…

Learning to Make Lemonade

There’s a famous quote that says, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

But there’s a big problem with this. What if you don’t know how to make lemonade? What if life hands you lemons and you don’t have any idea what to do with the lemons?

I think, in a way, this may just be the story of my life. For a long time, no one ever told me how to make lemonade. Life handed me lemon after lemon until I could hold no more.

By the time I entered college, I had more lemons than I knew what to do with. Some of them were fresh. Some of them were moldy.

Then I found community. And there, RR, one of my close friends, taught me how to either trash the lemons or make lemonade.

We can’t make lemonade on our own. Someone has to teach us, and it is for this reason that we need community.

I’m a Burned Cookie

I am a burned cookie. It sounds like a joke, but I’m really quite serious.

A burnt cookie is technically a cookie, but one that was baked for too long. No one would give a burnt up cookie as a Christmas present. You don’t give burned cookie to a child now, do you? On the outside, a burnt cookie looks like a cookie, but when you really get inside of it, you realize just how hard and screwed up it is.  The funny thing about a burnt cookie is that no mattered how burned it is, you don’t want to admit that it is actually burned.

burned cookie

I’ve stayed in the oven of a Christian university. I was exposed to more Jesus-y culture than I ever thought possible. I wanted to be a perfect Christian, but I tried to hard and fell to fast. And now I’m all hard on the inside and hidden beneath me is

a bunch char and cynicism and doubt and unbelief. I know that I’m technically a Christian, but I certainly don’t feel like one. I have absolutely no heart for any of the “faith stuff” that I used to love so much. And to make it even more fun, I can’t admit to other “cookies” that I’m burned. Somebody else, whether another person or God or Jesus or priest, is going to have to eventually force me to admit that I’m pretty screwed up right now. Maybe then we can figure out h

ow to un-burn me…

 

 

When Everything Changes

Two years ago, I was determined to major in Religion. Two months ago, I was a Mass Communications major with a minor in religion. As of a day or two ago, I’m a Mass Comm. major with a minor in psychology, not religion.

Two months ago, I was going to finish taking my 2 courses of Greek and then switch to Hebrew. Now, I’m taking Greek 201 next semester with my favorite professor and my best friend. No more Hebrew for me.

It’s strange how things change.

It’s funny though – because my decision to ditch Hebrew literally centers around people, not concepts or ideas or knowledge – which is why I’m supposed to be at college in the first place.

And now, as I think back, this single instance of change reflects my entire life over the past year. Concepts and ideas and knowledge are wonderful things. But after years of searching, I’ve finally found something better. People, people who matter. And with the knowledge that people, not concepts and ideas, are what matter, everything changes.

 

 

 

 

Community: Beloved

For eighteen years, I was in and out of Christian community. Any consistency of such was due to my role in some sort of leadership position. The feeling of being loved and cared for by any sort of community was often lost, and I had to learn to survive by leaning on my own strength.

Then I came JFC and discovered Christian community – authentic, real, true, pure Christian community. Despite this, in the past few weeks, I’ve really been struggling when it comes to faith. Did I tell anyone? Not really. My old feelings of dealing with emotions and circumstances on my own kicked in, and as a result, I held in a lot of confusion and frustration.

In the past few days, however, that feeling of doubt and confusion over faith has gradually lessened. As I look back, I see that a lot of my roller-coaster stemmed from being thrust into a completely Jesus-y community. All of the sudden, people cared and Scripture mattered. All of that at once threw me into some sort of roller-coaster of faith. Only in the last few days have I been able to figure all of it out and appreciate what has been Christian community at its finest.

My small group leader, JK, and I talk on at least a bi-weekly basis. That’s something completely foreign to me. I’m used to not having contact with small group leaders except on Sundays. On top of that, JK came to one of my Step Sing performances. That never happened where I came from.

Before and after performances, dozens of my friends shower me with hugs. That never happened where I come from.

At lunch, I always have a group of friends to eat with. That never happened where I come from.

The other day, one of our campus ministers contacted me about us having coffee together. That never happened where I came from.

In the past three days, I’ve had two of my close friends remind me that here, there is Christian community, even if that’s something I never had before. Here, people care.

Here, people call me beloved, just as the Father calls me beloved.

And “beloved,” being loved and loving others, is what Christian community is all about.

If Knowledge Was Enough

If knowledge was enough, I’d be first in line to claim my spot in Heaven. I’ve studied the Bible enough to make my ears bleed. I can answer all your questions on faith, on God, on Scripture. Yet somehow, that’s not enough.

If church attendance was enough, I’d be first in line. For years, I’ve gone through the motions. I’ve gone to Church, Sunday school, youth ministry, been on Youth Leadership Council. I’ve attended enough spaghetti dinners to last a lifetime. I’ve sat on the back pew alone for over a year, because I’m the only one in my family “good enough” to go to church. Yet somehow, that’s not enough.

If works was enough, I’d be first in line. In the summers, I serve as full-time staff at a missions organization. Starting this year, I also spend at least 8% of my time in Nicaragua as a missionary. I’ve already dug more trenches and laid more pipe for water than most Americans ever will. Yet somehow, that’s not enough.

Life takes faith. We can follow the Law, but if we don’t have faith, we have nothing.

Faith is enough. Even the rollercoaster, I’m-not-sure-if-I-really-believe, is-this-real, up-and-down, bipolar type of faith is still faith. I’ll be towards the back of the line, but I’ll be in the line.

And for today, I have no choice but to say, “That has to be enough.”