I stated early this week that my goal this Lent was to live the questions. So I should probably share some of that here. Mostly because writing is therapeutic for me but also because I invited you along on this journey and you can't take it with me if I don't let you in. In making it a point to spend more quiet moments with God, brief as they may be, it seems that certain parts of my call to serve are coming into clearer focus.
It seems that no matter how much I try to avoid it, no matter how many alternate routes I take, God has other plans, the plans I already knew and tried and left. I am called to serve God. Five years ago I would have told you exactly how I would have served God. I was going to Princeton Seminary, while seeking ordination and seeking a double degree, a M. Div and a MA in Youth Ministry. Aside from the prestige that comes with the school's name the MA was probably the biggest draw for me. While I needed the M.Div for ordination, I lived and breathed Youth Ministry. A series of events happened and I left the ordination process out of sheer frustration. Then I left seminary. I spent the past four years or so searching for what was next. All along though the answer was already there. I would dust myself off and start school again at a different school. I would be careful to ask better questions this time around. I would make sure a school was the right fit for me. This fall I did just that. I found the school that was the right fit for me. Since gaining admission in December our lives have pretty much focused on moving half way across the country in late summer. Things are slowly falling into place.
While I know that I am called to serve, I have no cut and dry plan as to where. I think this is a better posture for me, certainly a more difficult one. If I were to cling to one plan, I might see other opportunities. I might also self destruct if that plan didn't work out. See my past for reference. I have learned from those moments and days for which I am grateful. Even if at times I wish I saw it sooner. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I am mighty nervous about starting school again. I am out of practice. I have been on hiatus for 4 years which I might add is the longest break in my education, even with all the school hopping and plans changing. I also know that the moment I get frustrated I will be tempted to quit and say I got it wrong again. Although I can't do that this time around.
As you can see this whole process brings a lot up for me. That's ok I have to deal with things as they come up and as I am ready. You might understand why I have been avoiding the last question that needs an answer, should I seek ordination? Again. This question is unnerving. As frustrating and disappointing as my Princeton experience was, my ordination process was worse. Here's the thing though, I think I need to seek ordination again. It just seems that it is a nagging part of my call. Even though I don't believe I need to be ordained to serve God. It also seems to be the more practical decision. It's more work, yes. It also in the end will open many doors. So it seems that I already know the answer right? Seek ordination. Deal with the grilling of why you left in the first place in a gracious way be sure not to use word combinations, like traditionalist ass, bitter soul etc etc etc. I could do that. I could start the process right now. I don't think I am ready. I am more ready than I was even a month ago. The thing is I want to do this on my terms. There is a part of me that wants to wait until after the first year of school. I want to be able to focus on my school work and not worry about exams and all that.
The flip side is if I start now, I get a church and a liaison that I have a strong relationship with. I know what to expect good and bad. I could start the process at another church when I move but that doesn't feel right. This church raised me. They should get the bragging rights to my call to ministry, because lets be honest when a church has a seminarian seeking ordination, it's a big deal. It is like a tangible way of showing that they have done their job. I don't know that I agree with that but I feel pretty confident in saying that's how it is. Of course until you screw up and leave school and stop seeking ordination. Then you are kind of like last years dress for awhile thrown to the side and forgotten about. I am happy to have been last years dress because it taught me a lot about life, relationships and even church politics. There is a small part of me that fears I will now be like the boy who cried wolf, yeah Becca we have heard this before. Yep mmmhmmm carry on. Dare I say that maybe all the pomp and circumstance I received as a send off the first time might have added pressure that I didn't see at the time. This time around I am keeping it quiet. People know I am leaving but I am not allowing it to be made into a big deal. Last time I did and my intentions were wrong in that. I liked the attention. This time though it's not going to happen. I want to leave quietly almost unnoticed.
I am not sure if any of this makes sense to you. I have this morning been able to say for the first time I know I should seek ordination. We are only a few days into Lent so maybe this is going to a very fruitful journey.
May you be Blessed today with a relaxing Saturday!