I’m feeling really kind of strange of late. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I just feel unsettled, or have an ongoing low-level of anxiety, or maybe I just need more sleep, who knows. It’s just that it’s a funny time approaching curacy. It’s normal to have been assigned your curacy well in advance, in my case almost a year ahead, so I’ve known where I’ll be going for a long time. Which is great in one sense as the stress of not knowing and all the paperwork and complicated stuff is done so that you can concentrate on finishing training. But in another way it’s frustrating because you know where you are going but can’t really do anything about it!
So for a long time my husband and I agreed that we would not even think about the new place until after Christmas (I start in July), which was fine until January when it was ‘after Christmas’ and we really did need to start thinking and planning ahead. So to be honest we’ve been busy and I have probably stuck my head in the sand too, and it’s now March and I find myself feeling ‘kind of strange’.
In modern churches we refer to the bit between the ‘worship block’ and the preach as a ‘transition’, and I guess that’s where I am, in transition. When you lead a service like this, it’s quite an important time as you are going from one key element to another. I find it really tough because you can’t plan exactly what to say or do (and I am a Monica-style-planner), but on the other hand it’s so great because you just have to be led by the Holy Spirit.
So here am I, going from one thing to another and trying to hear God and be led by him. And to some extent I am, I mean I feel so close to God right now, and in my own spiritual walk I feel like I’m growing in some areas, so that’s fab, but I still feel odd.
So here’s the thing, I finish my current job in 2 months time (EEKKKK!!) so I am winding down there and handing stuff over, which means for the first time ever my ‘to-do list’ is actually shrinking rather than having things added on the end. In College terms I have three essays left, one study weekend and a week away, I can actually count them in one sentence now! There’s nothing new to plan, no new schemes to be putting into practice (and as a pioneering type I love new stuff!), no big projects on the horizon. It just feels strange and not all that comfortable really.
So I’ve been trying to think about how I handle transition at church in a service, and the truth is I just stop, do nothing, and listen to God. And perhaps that is the best preparation for the new season anyway? I don’t want to go into it rushed off my feet and with a head full of stuff, I want, need in fact, to go into it refreshed and revived and knowing God by my side. And the one thing that won’t change in all of this: Jesus. Yep, the answer’s always Jesus, right? We all know that. And I know it’s kind of obvious but right now I think that’s what I just need to keep reminding myself of, that no matter what I’m going through, he is a constant. Unchanging and unfailing.
SuzanneMarch 3, 2016 at 7:48 am
Hello I really like your blog, it’s very clear and helpful. I am about to go to a BAP in May. Your recent post makes it sound like you are in labour! There is a stage in labour called transition as the body gets ready for birth, maybe this is what is happening with you spiritually? It can often be a difficult time. I try to focus on Psalm 46 and verse 10 “Be still and know that I am God” when life feels a bit turbulent and off centre. Thank you for your helpful blog and I will hold you in my prayers x
JulesMarch 3, 2016 at 1:46 pm
Thanks so much for the encouragement, I’m glad you enjoy reading it. Praying your BAP goes well, where are you going to for it?
Yes, having had 3 kids I remember the transitioning stage – where you ‘moo’ right?! though I only did that with one of mine I seem to remember! Anyway TMI…
I love that verse too, and God has spoken to me a lot through it in recent years, thanks for the reminder 🙂
SuzanneMarch 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm
Thank you for your interest. My BAP is on the 3rd to the 5th of May and is at St.columba retreat house in Woking. I am blessed in that my diocese in Chelmsford prepare you very well for this process so although I am nervous and excited I do feel as prepared as I can be, most of it will be about how you react on the day. I appreciate your prayers and I will be praying for you too.