In early 2012 I wrote this in a FB message to someone. Am reading it tonight wondering where that wise person went to. How have I lost so much in so little time? Where the freak have I gone? It was all so clear back then…
Seperate out all the different functions of the job (call it a job not a calling for now!)
Admin, visiting, going to the sick, shepherding, giving sermons, bible studies, encouraging admonishing, managing and all the other bits I know nothing about.
Seperate out all the different people you are or could be – minister (80 hours approx of a job probably more), mother to the gorgeous wee one (who will get bigger and less dependent but will always want you) Wife/ life partner/ soulmate (reading between the lines on all you write, you rely on your husband a lot, to give you that boost when you need it, to bolster your ego – this is not meant to be as harsh as it is reading), child of God (evangelising, loving and going, praying, praising, worshiping, encouraging, sharing, gathering)
Of all the seperated out things – what are you confident in? What freaks you out? The one on ones, the public speaking, the everyone expecting you to know the right thing to say and do.
Do a personality test and check how introvert you are. Some websites give the healthy and unhealthy versions of types. Look at the careers.
For a while in my life I worked in a hospital and put on a uniform – people expect things from that uniform, a knowledge, ability, professionalism, that you don’t get without it. In return there is a respect, that is automatically given, assumptions are made but mostly in a good way. The collar is the same.
The collar is a point of respect, or conversation at the very least. For your flock there is an automatic assumption that you know what you are doing WHEREAS – this stint of covering – they all knew who you were, they knew you on your good days and your bad days, there are probably people in your congregation that don’t like you. (that is not your problem that is your problem) You have to work out a way to reach them without “whateva” getting in the way.
So if you were pastor of that lot (or any lot) wouldn’t you want to cry. Offense at every turn. Will it be any different at another parish – NO. Because we are all human, we are all fallen, we are sinners and we mess up.
As a pastor – you will mess up, you will get it wrong, you will cross lines, you are human.
You are eight years younger than me so you have more time to decide than I do.
… whilst Kat is still preschool, the three of you take off somewhere. Do the point of pain, down and dirty thing – see where you feel you fit then.
I got freaked out by my “call” – I haven’t told anyone here, and don’t know whether to stay in a state of disobedience or not.
Blessings to you and yours whateva you decide, prays lots and then pray some more, don’t try to do it in your own strength