My name is Meredith and…

My name is Meredith and I am not good at asking for help. Any kind of help. I don’t know why, but I have always had this mindset that if I were to ask for any kind of assistance for anything, it was a sign of weakness and being seen as weak should be avoided at all costs. If I couldn’t figure out how to achieve something on my own, then I thought I just hadn’t thought of everything yet.

Segue into how this little confession is at all relevant to my journey to Chicago as a Young Adult Volunteer. In preparation for my year in service, YAVs are expected to raise money to help cover a very small portion of the costs. It is also supposed to be a way to get my home community invested in my service year; rather than simply knowing that I’m living in Chicago with a program supported by the PC(USA) and DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection), I am living in Chicago with a program supported by the organizations AND the people who have helped raise me, loved me, and watched me grow in my faith over my 23 years on this earth. But if this is the goal, then why does it feel like I am betraying every single person I know by asking for money? Why do I get this gut feeling of dread every single time I sit with my address book to send one more letter?

Money is always a taboo subject in our culture. With the exception of the one time a year during stewardship at church, money just isn’t a thing that’s talked about. And quite frankly, if I could write a check to go to my YAV year and do it all by self, I would. But the fact of the matter is that $4,000 is a lot of money. So here I am, going against everything that feels normal and comfortable asking for money for an opportunity that I am so excited that I can’t even put it into words.

Money: life would just be so much easier if it wasn’t a thing.