Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Does posting stressful life events relieve? (& Not Going To SEMP) (Personal Entry)

FOREWORD ADDED 2-19-2009: Jody, you know about this rather well. Growing up, you’ve heard stories of spirits lingering until unfinished business got finished? Similarly, I'm still ghosting around about our teen years. My "exorcism" from my "unfinished teen business" consists of going to SEMP. There is other unfinished teen business to complete, but I'll likely manage them on my own.

Shawn may know something about it too, as he was the head minister before moving in '01 and letting Jody take the wheel.

The note titles' character allotments can feel too constricting at times.

Whether posting such notes will relieve stress

I wonder whether publishing notes about stressful situations in life will relieve me of stress. (For now, I assume it will.) If you're going to think, "Don't; I don't want to read notes like that," you don't have to; it'll be for anyone who cares. Somebody will care. (In fact, I have it so everybody on Facebook can see and respond to this, because out of that crowd, someone may offer me a hand.)

Not going to SEMP, and the lingering desire to.

Now what I have a lingering bitterness over is not going to "SEMP." The full name is "Students Equipped to Minister to Peers." Many churches send their youth groups to SEMP, held in different major cities several times each summer, and spread the Gospel to anyone out in the street. They stay in decent hotels, do fun things the city offers, and pass out gospel tracts and church invitations around town.

The cost when I first heard of it was around $375. I didn't have my own car yet, lived in a small town where the nearest available job for teens was at least 10 miles away, and my infuriatingly stingy parents would never give me allowance money for good grades on my assignments (so that's also why I stopped trying my hardest years ago.)

They could pay for a lot of fuel on the 16-MPG van, but not pay me for doing a good job in school? No wonder my growing-up was so deprived. (And that makes me hold onto my inner child harder than other people do. Others will let them go earlier on, but thanks to this, I don't think I can.

They would not pay for my trip to SEMP because it cost too much. I had two more years of high school. I decided to let that kinda slide, then hope they had more money next year.

They didn't, and SEMP jacked up to ~$425 the next summer. I asked the youth minister leader why, and he said, "Oh, the cost of living?" I still didn't get to go, and never went.

When I was already in college, my sister Natasha got to go, and our parents paid for HER. Way the He11 too unfair, don't you think??? And now that I'm in college, NOW I have the money to pay for SEMP. Sometimes the timing of things can frustrate the living (insert interjection) out of you!

SEMP is for high schoolers, but now my resolve to attend SEMP has only galvanized. I now want to stop at nothing to go to SEMP.

I don't care that I'm out of my teens already; I can give a reason for college students to go with them, and that's "to chaperone." However, I'll bet that'll only be valid if I go with either of my sisters. I doubt there's chaperoning non-family members here.

Natasha graduates in 2009 (only next year; time has flown quite fast!) and Mimi in 2013. It looks like I have 'til then to be able to go to SEMP, so I hope I do. (If not to chaperone, I'd have to become a youth minister, and that would put me through bible colleges, other training, and probably some sort of certification. Also, that requires quite a commitment, and a level of leadership I'm nowhere near comfortable with. I don't plan on becoming a youth minister anyway.)

Who knows if chaperones get to do the same things the high schoolers themselves do? I doubt it right now, so I get the feeling it won't be the same if I got to go next summer. But one could always hope.

Now that I've posted this note, this should provide enough relief to keep this off my mind for a while.

External Links

(After looking it up, it turns out SEMP has been reformed as "Merge." I had no idea about the change! A lot about the program remains similar as before. Similar enough to recognize what it once was, anyway.)

"Merge" homepage
Letter explaining the reorganizing of SEMP to Merge

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