My Time in Jacksonville As Seen Through My T-Shirts

Yesterday I began to pack up my things for my impending move at the end of this month. As I went about gathering up all of my clothes and piling some of them into boxes, I realized that I’m not just packing up my possessions, I’m packing up memories. The things that reminded me most of my time here have been all of the T-shirts I have collected  over the years. I also came to the realization today that the six years I have spent here is equal to about a quarter of my life. The past six years have been the most formative of my life and, while I complain about living here so far away from my family at times, I don’t think I could’ve chosen a better place to go from the wide-eyed brave teenager that I was into the full-grown confident woman that I am today. Good and bad, this city has seen me through it all.

While I could get a little emotional saying goodbye to the city and everyone I know here, I have decided that I’m going to end things on a happy note. And, as a way to remember and close this chapter of my life out with a smile, I’m going to be wearing a different T-shirt from my past every night until I leave. I came up with this idea as I was taking out some of my T-shirts from my dresser drawer and stacking them in a pile on my bed. I thought, “I bet I have enough T-shirts to wear a different one everyday!” And you know what? I was right! It was a good thing I saved and took good care of them after all. 馃檪
No one will see me wearing these out in the real world because I decided that it would be better to wear them at night (since I sleep in a T-shirt and shorts anyway). I would wear them out during the day but I have to leave here in style, you know? 馃槢 And I do realize that this will add to the amount of laundry I’ll have to do before I leave but….hey, I think it’s worth it!
I will be coming back and updating this post every night until March 29th. I hope you will join me on my mini-journey through the past and as I countdown my final days in Jacksonville.

March 16, 2014
My 007 themed senior year (of HS) class T-shirt. Hard to believe that this shirt is about 8 years old now!
March 17, 2014

We were given this shirt at my freshman orientation (or during one of the WOW events) way back in August 2007. I realized today that just about 7 years ago this month I received a letter stating that I had been accepted into JU! I had no clue the amazing opportunities, experiences and people that were in store for me when I said, “Yes,” to Jacksonville University. 馃檪

March 18th, 2014

This is the shirt of the first club I joined at JU: Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). I bought this particular shirt my senior year of college but the way I’m dressed and how my hair is styled, I might as well be a freshman again. I often sported the T-shirt, jeans and ponytail look during most of my freshman and sophomore years. These two years were also two of my most formative years in college and the friends and leaders who encouraged and mentored me through many Bible studies, small groups, BCM lunches, gatherings mean so much to me – even after all these years. It only took the simple invitation of one person to get me to check BCM out. You never know who you will meet or what you will learn if you ever ask! So, I want to give David a shout out for inviting me to that first BCM Lunch way back in 2007. The students I met in BCM through the years were some of the most incredible and compassionate people I have ever met. BCM rocks! (The shameless plug is now over. :P)

March 19th, 2014

Going to Miami! Er, well I did go to Miami for a spring break mission trip with JU and UNF BCM students my freshman year (March 2008). I picked up this shirt and a few other souvenirs to remember my time there. About 12-15 students and leaders (including our new BCM director Lance Beauchamp and his wife Tiffany-who later become one of my good friends) traveled down in vans to Miami and stayed at the University of Miami BCM. We ministered and evangelized to students at UM, worked on a project with the Florida Baptist Children’s Home as well as built relationships with the members of the UM BCM. For fun we went and walked around parts of downtown Miami, saw the beach at night and rode the metro. I broke out of my shell and got to know several people from my own school and from UNF. I also got the courage to share my testimony one night at one of the BCM gatherings. Minus the heat rash I got (from too much sun exposure) and the hot humid weather, it was a fantastic trip and one I think about every know and then! If you’re contemplating going on a spring break or short-term mission trip, I would highly recommend you do it. You will not only get to know yourself and others better but you will also be planting (or harvesting) the seeds of the Gospel wherever you go.

Check back here on 3-21 to see which shirt I wore tonight!

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