Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Metaphysical Quail

I need to get my house on the market.  But before I do that I need to get all of the landscaping taken care of.  And new doors bought.  And touch up painting.  And staging.  And packing.  I've known all of this for months but I'm getting down to the wire and I just need to do it.

But I haven't.  

It probably has something to do with the fact that I'm not moving where I expected to.  Late in February I got a call from a congregation in Southern Texas and since then I'd been in the interview process with them.  It felt right.  I felt called to be their minister and the search committee was on the same page.  In early May I went down and preached for them, talked with them and shared my own conflicted stories with them.  It felt right.  I felt called to be their minister.  But they wanted a week to think and pray before they voted and as I drove away from that church I felt a realization growing in the dark parts of my mind: "This week wait is a bad thing.  It will only give them the opportunity to be swallowed by fear.  I need to prepare for a No."  

And I was right.  On Mother's Day, the Search Chair called me and told me that I'd only garnered 50% of the vote and so it was a "No."  He was brokenhearted and shocked at the outcome.  I wasn't shocked but I was still brokenhearted.  And just like that, the moment of resurrection and joy and goodness that I so desperately needed was stripped from me.  I thought I was going to finally be able to leave Holy Saturday behind and walk on into Easter morning, but instead I'm still leaning my back against a firmly closed tomb and praying that dawn will come soon.

Instead of moving down south I'll be moving up north; north as in my parent's house.  My job as an associate ends on June 2nd and I have no prospects anywhere else despite the fact that I've been searching and praying and waiting for a new call for 15 months.

I suddenly understand the grumbling of the tribes of Israel as they wandered in the desert looking for the promised land.  God has been caring for me in the wilderness and I believe will continue to care for me for as long as this search takes but I AM SO TIRED OF METAPHYSICAL QUAIL AND MANNA.  I just want to GET THERE.   I understand the horror of Joshua and Caleb as they walked into the promised land and then had to walk away from it.  Not because THEY were afraid! Not because THEY were disobedient!  Not because THEY distrusted God and God's plans! Because OTHERS were afraid and disobedient and distrustful.  They suffered the consequences of other people's fears.  I get that now.  I'm living that.  

I'm thankful that I've never struggled with my faith during these terrible years of loss.   I feel good about who God is and how God loves me.  I trust in God's game.  I told a clergy group yesterday that the real difficulty has been finding the strength to have faith in PEOPLE, as all of my difficulties and pain have come at the hands of those who should have known better and acted accordingly.  Now I fear that the feelings I have when I think about my husband (I want to trust you but how do I trust you?) will be applied to any future congregation I interview with (I want to trust y'all, but how do I trust y'all?).  

::Deep Breath::

So here I am, wandering in the desert again.  God is leading me, clouds by day and fire by night.  I like to imagine that God is just as upset with the turn of events as I am, that the clouds by day are thunderous and heaving and the fire a crackling, whip of light.  That God is striding ahead of me with power and anger and purpose and peering into the unseeable places to find a place for me and my future.  And I will wait because how could I do anything else?  I will be a pastor again and not because I have some kind of stubborn chip on my shoulder.  Because its the song of my soul, the story that tells itself in all of my dreams, because its the weight of my bones and shape of my very breath.  I will do this because it is what God intends for me to do, because it is the shape of me.

I will wait.  

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