Alumni Feature: Aizess Jones (MCA ’19)

"It is very tempting to focus only on myself,” says Aizess Jones (MCA ’19). “But as a Christian, I am called to love my neighbor as I love myself and to put them first.”

Aizess Jones
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If you want to talk with Aizess Jones (MCA ’19), you can probably find her in a bubble tea parlor with a classmate, deep in conversation about historical fiction, Bible passages, and walking with God. Aizess, the former spiritual life associate for the House of Clara Barton (2017-2018), has prioritized cultivating meaningful relationships with her peers despite the demands of senior year.

A Brooklyn native, Aizess admits that it can be tempting to become self-centered while juggling an internship, social commitments, and family life on top of the stress of upcoming commencement, but the past four years at King’s have helped her recognize the importance of keeping God at the center of her everyday life.

At the end of her freshman year, she realized that “I was not in the place I wanted to be in my spiritual life.” When you get busy, she continues, “The first thing on the chopping block is your spiritual life.” Entering sophomore year, Aizess decided that skipping church was not even a thought she would entertain. “I have a divine appointment with God, and that’s not changing,” she says.

Keeping the Sabbath—a theme emphasized at King’s but difficult to practice—reminds us that prioritizing service to God enables us to serve and love others, even when we feel pressed for time. “If you don’t love God, you can’t love your neighbors well,” she says. “King’s shows you the limits to which you can push yourself and forces you to learn how to balance all the different areas of your life.”

“If I filled up my plate with so many responsibilities, including social responsibilities like the pressure to attend every House event, I wouldn’t have as much freedom to say yes to those moments that have become some of my best memories and most life-changing conversations.” And without the reminder of Matthew 6:33, Aizess says, “My whole college experience would be very different, very selfish, and I would have missed out on so many opportunities and meeting so many amazing people.”

“Christianity challenges you to put yourself to the side in order to put others first. As a senior, it is very tempting to focus only on myself, but as a Christian, I am called to love my neighbor as I love myself and to put them first.” What this looks like for Aizess is “setting aside an hour or two to have coffee or bubble tea with someone, or seeing a girl who’s crying in class and taking the time to ask her, ‘Are you okay? You don’t know me, but if you need to talk, let’s talk.’”

“Having the ability to say no to certain things gives you the room to say yes to great things,” Aizess says. She experienced the reality of that adage last summer as a development intern for Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption agency. When she was tasked with promoting adoption among LGBTQ couples, she had not expected to face such a difficult moral quandary as an intern. But her time at King’s prepared her to boldly make moral choices informed by critical thinking, so she asked her supervisor, also a Christian and a King’s alumnus, to be taken off the project until she could reconcile her compassion, conscience, and duty. Now she is loving her current internship with Bring Me Hope, a Christian nonprofit that advocates adoption, defends parentless children, and provides summer camps for orphans in China. While she is still wrestling with her role in the promotion of adoption, she is grateful for the lessons that she has learned from the past four years at King’s.

Aizess concludes that she’s had to keep her focus on God to deal with the difficulties in her everyday life and her interactions with others. “It’s hard when God’s answer is not the desire of your heart, but I have not suffered at all from putting God first. I have benefited. The difficult life is everyday life. But no matter what, my purpose is to glorify Him and make Him known.”

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