As I Walk On My Journey...

By Sarah Lanzi

The last couple weeks have been quite a whirlwind to say the least. I left my job, moved out of my apartment, said goodbye to my friends, family, and the place I’ve called home, and moved roughly thirteen hours away to a city I had never even been to. What in the world would make someone do this? This last week that question has been asked a multitude of times, so one would think after a couple weeks of practice I would have mastered the answer and mastered talking about myself. Unfortunately not so much.Talking about myself is still something I am hoping to grow in, but first things first, who am I?

I am first and foremost a person seeking to grow closer to God and strengthen my faith. I am looking to discern where God is leading me, calling me. I hope to expand my knowledge of faith and what it takes to do ministry full time.

I was born in a suburb outside of Philadelphia called Bucks County, and lived there until the fourth grade. In fourth grade my family moved to a county that most people don’t really know about or at least don't know where it is. Even people in our own state look at me puzzled sometimes when I mention it.

Anyway, fourth grade I moved to St.Mary’s County, Maryland, and other than two brief years spent in Greensboro, NC, for college, I’ve lived there until now. I grew up in the church, ever since I can remember it was what we did every Sunday morning, and we attended every possible church event we could. I was confirmed in the sixth grade at St. Paul’s United Methodist, now First Saints Community Church, and that is the church I grew up in, and then served in.

Although I grew up in the church there were definitely some rough spots along the way. I decided in about 7th and 8th grade that I was too cool for school and a lot tougher than I really was. Therefore it was decided that I was going to private school. Catholic school here I come.

All through school I was involved in my youth group doing small groups, mission trips, retreats; you name it I was there. After graduating high school I left the county and went to school in North Carolina. While there God and the whole church thing kind of took a back seat to what I felt was important, and to me my social life was more important than my spiritual life.

Needless to say I didn’t last too long there, I returned home after two years, and that’s when things changed. I returned home in two ways, one physically back home with my parents, and back home to my church, to my God. I started attending regularly again, and helping with the youth group. While “helping” lead a small group of 8th grade girls, I had a moment of “uh oh”.

They weren’t letting me off the hook with Sunday School answers, and I really had to start thinking about my faith. It was then that for the first time my faith became mine, not my parents, not my leaders. It was then that it became about my relationship with Christ. It took on a whole new meaning and importance for me. I continued to work with the youth group throughout the remainder of college, and became really involved in many aspects of the church.

I eventually graduated college in 2010 from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a degree in psychology and a minor in educational studies. Since then I have worked two different jobs, one monitoring a crisis house for a non-profit mental health organization, and most recently I was a Child Protective Services Investigator for my local Department of Social Services. The whole time working and going to school, I always wanted to do more, to be more involved in the church but time was limited. I would often say “I just want time away to be able to focus on where God is leading me, to be able to do ministry full time and see what it is all about”. That has led me to now.

I am currently living in a community through an organization called DOOR;  living with three other young adults in East Garfield Park. I will be working as an intern here at Grace Commons for the next year, and I am excited for that opportunity. I'm looking forward to the experience, the opportunity to grow in faith, to serve along side you, and to figure out my next steps.