Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Growing pains

A friend has posted about the in between time of now and change. Here is his post.

I linked to this post because last night I began to feel that sort of shift and it left me wanting to cry.

I serve in a place where things could end at any time. Or at least by the end of the year. I have been reticent to really make a full court press on looking for the next call, the next place to do ministry. I've updated my file on the church's national website, and I've talked vaguely with my bishop about whether it is time to move on or not, and I've even been searched by one church. (I made the first interview cut but not the second. And that's okay.)

But I've been holding back for the sake of the congregation I serve. Yesterday I realized, once again, that I'm not in control of the universe. Neither is God, so far as I can tell, but at the same time I realized that I've held back from trusting God in the process of calling - that is, in the process of being open to a new position. I've been saying to myself that I must hang in with this congregation, and I have forgotten that this congregation is dependent on God, not me, for their survival. And that if God is depending on me for the sake of this congregation, so be it, and if not, so be it.

I had not yet acted on this realization, that it is time to really begin the work of searching and being open for the next call. Last night I did my weekly hour and a half at the New Day Center for Day Laborers, facilitation English conversation with Spanish speaking immigrant people. When I left, as I was driving through the Spanish speaking part of town, and looked at the houses and the stores and the little, dilapidated storefront Iglesia de Dios, I felt great sadness well up in me.

I had felt, as I got into the car, inadequate to the task of teaching English, and in that, I felt humbled, and it felt right to be humble in this way. I am not the ultimate teacher. I am a teacher doing her best. That's all, and that's enough. But now, as I'm waiting at the intersection in front of Iglesia de Dios, I'm crying because my next call may not be in a place where I can do what has become so integral to ministry as I have been called to do here in this place. And, I am afraid, at the same time, that as congregations read my profile and interview me, they will not like that I am currently deeply involved with Spanish speaking immigrants and decide I'm not a good fit.

But all that aside, leaving here will be leaving a place where I have found myself, and a passion that matches with my innate rebelliousness - working with and serving with and being changed by people many in my country would rather be invisible or gone.

I'm not expressing myself very well, I know. It's hard to put this feeling of loss in words, I guess because all is not yet lost. It is merely the fear of loss. But there it is, living in me, and I have to know it is there while at the same time I have to begin to be serious about entering discernment to see if I must move on.


Barbara said...

I will support you in any next venture with a fierce love and fervor and I will have the same torn feelings if you leave us as I have with Jeff leaving. We must be where our gifts and talents are best utilized. Maybe that is still here with us, maybe in some other place. We will pray for the best possible just as we have with Jeff.

Lois Keen said...

Thanks, Barbarita.