Another session of the Academy for Spiritual Formation has come and gone. This time I had a new experience of arriving very late on the first day because of our GPS class. I don't like being late. Ever. For anything. I didn't like missing out on the excitement of arrival time. I really didn't like missing our first worship service and my covenant group's first meeting. I got there Monday night around 10:15pm and went straight to bed, but it definitely took me a little while to get my bearings the next day.
As always, the week was wonderful. It was full of lots of laughter and tears. Our lecturers were great and I learned a lot and thought about a lot of things I might not have otherwise. I even wrote a psalm! I may get brave and share it here at some point. Although the week was filled with lots of intense emotions, thankfully my nudgings from the Holy Spirit (and there were plenty of them) were quite gentle. I don't know if it's because God knew that I could only absorb so much or that I'm simply paying closer attention so I don't need to be beaten over the head quite as much.
I did have the chance to share with my entire Academy community about our adoption stuff and I was just absolutely overwhelmed with all the love and support I got from everyone. I truly cannot put into words how much it has meant and continues to mean to have this community in my life, especially right now. I keep trying to express how much it meant to me to have so many people share their own experiences and to get so excited with and for me and to know that Jeff, I, and our future child (or children) are all being wrapped and held in prayer by so many people!
I've also been doing a lot of reflecting on where I stand professionally. Being with this community and in an environment where I get to learn again reminds me of how much I really did love school. I didn't love all the stress and the tests and the classes I had to take because they were required, but I did love the learning and growing. I still love learning and growing. I will probably always love it. I really and truly would be a career student if I thought I could get away with it. At the same time, I've been really hesitant to pursue more education because I'm not sure how it would benefit me in terms of getting a job. It's not necessarily something I "need." Still, the more I think about it the more benefit I think it would be to me to go back to school and perhaps pursue a doctor of ministry. It may or may not directly benefit me in terms of getting me a job, but I feel as though I would be a better person because of it, and that is my goal. I'm not going to do anything immediately, but it's kind of liberating to think about the possibilities. It also helps having support in that vein.
There are lots of changes happening in lots of different areas of my life and I'm so blessed to have this community as a support system. Knowing that this is a time-limited experience and that we're now almost to the halfway point, I'm already starting to grieve for the loss of this community. Maybe it's just grieving the end of this last session, but I also can't help but do a little bit of anticipatory grieving for the time that I know we will be leaving and not all coming back together in another 3 months. But for now, I will choose instead to celebrate this amazing blessing in my life!