My husband is amazing and discovered iTunes Match this week which lets me stream my entire collection of music anywhere I go. I’m not entirely certain how it works but it does and I love it. I’ve discovered music from my past and I think he may be regretting that as the music of my youth is making an appearance once more. He finds Will Smith, Maroon 5 and Sugar Ray to be completely ridiculous. The truth is I do too but that’s what’s so awesome about it. I’m 19 again. It’s amazing.
There’s something to be said for looking to the past. To discover where you’ve been, who you were and contrasting that with what you are now. I look back at 19 and see a girl who was young, scared and unsure. This was the age in which I had a dramatic experience in my call journey. The memories of that, the sequence of dreams and conversations is a distinct, vivid memory that I am unlikely to forget. It was an experience to say the least and I am surprised at how everything has turned out. It’s been a crazy-wonderful journey with ups and downs that has helped to define me. I have changed so much and been changed by the people I have met, the work I do and those I love. Life is good.
Life is good and the journey is never ending. I am having those God-moments again at 33. A little older, hopefully wiser and not as scared when they arrived. Uncertain and slightly anxious maybe but not surprised. A dream the other night woke me from a deep sleep leaving me strangely comforted and challenged. When I told my friend Rachel about the dream she challenged me with questions that I had immediate answers to. I hadn’t realized how much I’d been thinking about what comes next and preparing myself to continue living in this time of uncertainty until our conversation. And really, when you think about it isn’t that the life that Jesus calls us into, a life of uncertainty? He sent his disciples out into the world with nothing but faith and willingness to serve. He didn’t promise success or certainty, he just said go out and do the work I have sent you to do.
I have been called into a different type of ministry, a ministry without permanent roots but one in which I’ve discovered freedom and flexibility. Without budgets and overhead to worry about I’ve been able to focus on the thing I love, Jesus. I’m able to really work things out, challenge myself and say some things I would never have said if I was employed permanently. I’ve been honest and forthcoming and I have loved the people I’ve worked with no matter how short the time has been. For a girl who used to demand answers and timelines I’ve found a way to relax and change in my work. I’ve grown more comfortable in who I am as a minister. This is huge for me. I have never really been comfortable in this before. It’s a nice feeling.
Things will change once more in the not too distant future. The congregation I’ve been worshipping with will find a new minister and I will rejoice with them when that happens. I want them to move forward, to discover their path and run down it. After this I’m not sure what will happen but I know that opportunities will present themselves and I’ve got a feeling I won’t be bored. I am comfortable in the not knowing as sometimes that’s when the greatest things happen.
It’s funny, the re-discovery of the music of my youth and thoughts of the past have reminded me of who I was and shown me who I am. I’m so glad I’m not judged on the past but it’s nice to be able to look at it and see how much change has occurred. While I may not know where I am going I suspect others are in the same boat. Ministry seems to be shifting towards the realm of uncertainty. No longer can we assume that buildings will be there and people will come. Change is coming faster than we anticipated and I am glad I’m living this season now. God has given me the gift of living through this now, of seeing how different things can be than we expect and I am grateful for this. I am reminded of how the disciples went out uncertain of their acceptance and returned triumphant. “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” (Luke 10:17 NIV) So long as we in the Church carry God with us as we journey we will be ok even if we have no idea where we’re going or how we’re going to get there. We don’t need to know the hows or the whys, we just need to know who to travel with.