So, it’s fair to say the last few weeks have been a total emotional roller coaster. I wrote a few weeks ago about being in limbo and how I was not facing up to how I was feeling. Then God had other ideas and took away all my self enforced deadlines and it all came crashing down. I just had to start to process it all, and that was where the spoken word piece came from. I love writing and I often find it is a way for me to sort out my own thoughts and feelings, it’s cathartic. And this was possibly the most cathartic thing I ever wrote. Because I just couldn’t work out why I was feeling so emotional, I mean I had known I was leaving for ages, I was prepared, or so I thought and writing that just helped me to take the next step…
I finished that piece with the image of me standing in my armour and ready to face whatever I needed to. That actually meant facing some stuff from the past and some stuff I had believed about myself. I’m not sure I am ready to write about all of that but the bottom line is that for the first time in my life I realised I am in a place where I am truly encouraged, affirmed and loved. It’s been quite a revelation for me.
That has partly been about being in an amazing church that has nurtured us, helped us to grow in our faith and embraced us into the family. But more than that, for me, being part of the staff team there has been like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It is a team that has great bonds, that looks out for each other, that supports each other, that cares for each other and that encourages each other.
I’ve also had a great boss, my Vicar, who has allowed me to be me, and helped me develop into more of the me God made me to be. He has always listened to me, even when he didn’t agree, given me freedom to try new things, take risks and get well and truly out of my depth, all the while gently nudging me forward and giving me encouragement.
I’d never been part of a team like this. I half wondered if all church teams were like it, but I mentioned that to a friend who put me straight on that! So perhaps this one is just special. That isn’t to say it’s all been wonderful, of course there have been ups and downs but even in that we have found mutual support, help and encouragement.
And it’s because of that, that I now find myself feeling good about myself, recognising that I am capable of doing some stuff and that I am both loved and lovable.
That might sound a bit lame, but it’s actually taken me 42 years to really recognise that.
So, why am I sharing all this? because I think it shows how being planted in the right and nurturing environment, can change a person. Totally. I actually don’t recognise who I am half the time!
And of course none of this takes away from the fact that I couldn’t of course do anything without God anyway, but that is the thing, I finally see me as God has made me to be. I can see the gifts he has given me and recognise them as God given. I can understand why he has put me into ministry, when I’ve not really been a Christian that long. I am able to walk in the path he has put me on with confidence, but confidence really, in him.
Pam SmithMay 11, 2016 at 8:40 am
Such a weird time, the months leading up to ordination … all I can remember clearly is a massive essay crisis, shared by everyone at college, and going to Milton Keynes for a day to look at their ecumenical church set up, which was very interesting. And one conversation with another student about how he felt being ordained was challenging him (as a very experienced lay minister) to give up the gifts he was sure about in order to receive new, unspecified ones – which struck a chord with me as well. It took me years to get back my confidence as a preacher, having always found this came very naturally to me.
JulesMay 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm
glad it’s not just me then! x