Thursday, December 22, 2011

For Such A Time As This

I got a phone call on Monday that has changed my life in a pretty profound way. I can't yet say whether or not it was for the best, but my hunch is that it is indeed for the best. I was told that I will not be interviewed by the board of ordained ministry this year. The pre-screening committee did not feel that my work was adequate. So I have been turned down. Again. I was encouraged to re-apply next year. But before you start preparing your "I'm so sorry!" comment, just take a step back with me for a moment.

You know the saying "When you make plans, God laughs"? Well, I know that over the course of my life I have given God quite a few giggles. And the truth of the matter is that my life has rarely gone the way I expected it to go or even planned for it to go. I honestly believe the only thing I have ever completely set my mind to doing and then done it is completing my B.A. in three years, but I also recognize that it wasn't simply my stubborn will that made that happen. Deep in my heart, I had a lot of plans for how I expected my life to go after school. Short of being married to Jeff, it hasn't even remotely resembled what I planned or expected.

I expected to be commissioned as a provisional elder in the North Alabama Conference by this point (or to be very close to it.) I expected to have a child by now. I expected to be in full-time ministry either as a pastor or a chaplain. I expected these three things to basically be frame around which the rest of my life was planned and built. I planned and prepared and did everything I could to make these things happen, but none of it has. And now I can't help but understand and accept that there's a reason for it.

There is not a doubt in my mind that I have been called by God to be a minister. However, I am questioning whether that calling can best be lived out in some way other than as an ordained elder in the North Alabama Conference. I know that everything I have done in my life up to this point I have done so that I could end up exactly where I am. And everything I have been unable to do has been for the same reason. Now, where am I going from here? I have no idea. But for once I really and truly am okay with not having that answer and not trying to figure it out. I have considered my options and I will be talking them over with some important people. But I am not trying to figure it all out right this second. That includes whether or not I will reapply next year because I honestly don't have a clue.

I watched Julie and Julia tonight. I downloaded it on my iTunes before we went on our cruise back in April but never did watch it. I'm really quite glad because it was exactly what I needed to hear and see right now. I was paying close attention and it was lovely. I have absolutely zero desire to do something like that, but there were some good, deep reflections about passion and motivation and relationship and all of those lessons were important ones!

For right now, I'm going to sleep. I'll worry about tomorrow when it actually arrives. I appreciate all the concern that has been shared over the years as I have traveled this journey. I know there are some of you who have hurt right along with me as I have stumbled along this path. But please keep your sympathy. I don't want to wallow or feel sorry for myself any longer than I already have. And I really don't want anyone else feeling sorry for me either. Feel free to send words or thoughts of support and encouragement, because that is the fuel that keeps me going.


  1. I really admire your attitude and perspective. I'm not so sure my inclination would be to step back and go, "OK, God, what are you trying to tell me?" before the train of self criticism came barreling down the tracks.

  2. Thanks, but you've got to also recognize that there was a good 65 hours between when the phone call came and when I was able to write this. The blame train made several rounds before I was finally able to get off!