Too Much

It is.  It's too much.  I'm not sure where to put any of it.  It's just too much.

It started when I attended The Young Clergy Women Project Conference 2010. It wasn't what I was expecting. I'm not even sure if it's what I wanted -- but God is a freakin' riot. The conference focused on leadership -- specifically about our leadership.  And so, there were many moments for personal reflection. (That is, after I was able to adequately download the information I'd been offered into the crevices of my brain.) There were also moments for lots of conversation. I reconnected with old friends -- including a friend from seminary who has called Atlanta home since our days in New York City. I met new friends. I ate. I drank. It turns out I didn't eat as much as I drank. Oops. 

It was the small group conversations that shifted my question. I had come to understand my role as a leader and young clergy woman. I had thought that this question lingered in my eternal dance of staff dynamics with the beloved Senior Pastor. (He's so, so, so much better than he used to be, but still.) That's not what I heard myself saying. That's not what I heard in my peers. I heard an affirmation. (I firmly believe this was only in my head.) I heard the resonating truth that I am called to serve the church. I'm called to serve her until I'm old and gray -- but more than that, I'm ready for the next thing. 

My ministry in the past year has been all about trying to create a new thing. They need change. I've offered some of it, but what I've really felt is the push to do something new in my ministry. In my current context, I feel stale. I feel bored. Ew. I hate that. I really don't want to be bored, but I am. I'm really bored. I'm ready for the next thing. I'm just terrified to do it. Totally freakin' terrified. In that circle, in that small group in Atlanta, I heard the divine affirmation I needed and didn't want to hear.

And so, like any good child of discernment, I ignored it. I ignored it until the end of the week of vacation that followed when I walked on a foggy beach alone. The tears came pouring out of me. I shook my fist at the heavens. Damn it. I'm not ready. I just bought a home. I just began to feel settled. I thought I was here longer. Really, God? Really?

This is all too much. 


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Teri said...


Songbird said...

Hugs from me, too.

Anonymous said...

I remember this feeling oh so well. I still shake my fists and feel as if the soles of my feet are still in my last place and I have been ripped away.

I don't recall how I came to this conclusion (this is why I have taken up journaling again!) but it was during Lent that I felt the open space of God where I could actually say no. I knew God's way would happen in the end, but I remember the freedom and peace of just saying, out loud, no God. Not yet. I'm not ready and this is why.

It's not denial, simply sharing with our Guide that we do not feel ready to go down the path. God's response was to prod me more clearly but more gently.

I pray for peace for you. Peace and attention to God's prodding.