so i think i'm a little bit terrified

i did something i don't normally do this weekend. i went to a women's breakfast. two friends of mine were speaking about life lessons of the creative life - they run a theatre company and generally find themselves living on the fringes of uncertainty most of the time. the promise of their presence drew me out of my bed for 8.45 on a saturday morning, when normally saturday mornings are preciously guarded for laying in bed, staying in pyjamas for at least an hour longer than normal, that kind of thing

anyway, they were a blessing, as i knew they would be - authentic disciples of jesus, no plastic smiles or ironed hair - and something really struck me, an old word of wisdom, i'd forgotten it, but it resonated, and it was this: i haven't done life before, i'm just making this up.

you know, i have no clue what life will bring as we move on to cambridge and where once i felt that i knew what i might want to gain from being at full-time college, i have to say that i'm not as sure as i once was. i used to think that i wanted the full-time thing because i want a springboard into ministry, a place where there will be like-minded people, people who will allow me to be me, who i can talk with and know that i'm not rocking their world too much because they want to be there too, talking about this stuff. to gather those around me who will do this journey with me.

all that's good, of course, and i suspect i will meet and make some really good friends. but the reality is that i've done that before. this morning i travelled in to spurgeon's to hand in my dissertation and coursework, have a nice chat with a couple of tutors and attend chapel, where, for the last time - for a season anyway - i got to hear nigel wright, our principal, say his traditional words after monday morning worship - 'chapel is ended, go in peace' - those words that belong to nigel, and which i heard him say at every chapel i attended, for the last nine years. spurgeon's has been my home, where i belonged for a long time, i owe the person i am to that time really, it kept me together when i thought i was losing it, and held me when i did lose it.

anyway, at spurgeon's i had a group of people around me, we laughed, cried and walked together through our journey there. but it was for that season. our lives were diverse, we were at different points of the journey to leadership - it was great to walk with each other, but we all moved on, as it should be. i had at one point hoped to find people in the local church who can do this walk with me, and i have some really good friends here, people who love me. but again, the local church is a fickle animal sometimes - it can be hard to know who it is safe for you to 'download' some of this stuff to and sometimes i've been surprised, i've made mistakes in who i've opened up to, and i've probably made mistakes in keeping my mouth shut sometimes. but the point is that those who you can really walk with are probably few and far between. when you find them, you need to hold on.

so as i think about moving on, think about what ridley, cambridge, and beyond that, will bring for me and my family, i can honestly say, i really don't have a clue. i haven't done life before and i'm making it up as i go along.


Rachel said...

Thank you Jody. I feel these things too at the moment. My emotions seem almost a little flat because it's as if the anxiety is canceling out the joy and the joy is canceling out the anxiety and so I'm just calm. I have 104 days to go until BAP, which would mean I would start training in September, like you but I am definitely taking life, not even a day at a time but an hour at a time and just enjoying everything that God is giving, hoping desperately that what I hope for accords with his will and even what he wills accords with my hopes.

love Rach

jody said...

104 days huh - not that you're counting :-)

will pray for you. my friend has just got through hers - 8 months pregnant! - it is such a blessing, even in the anxiety and stress, well i found it was anyway.

as for me at the moment, i guess i have all that going on - i trust this process that i've been on, walking with God, being obedient to his call as best i am able and to enjoy the present moments as they come. but at the same time there's an individual nature to it that leaves me feeling a little 'alone' at the moment. i've been out of the college environment for a while, so there's no-one around me who is basically in the same boat. and like i say, local church is a fickle thing, not sure how much is right/wise/safe to share. so i hope that i will find some companionship soon, but i'm not necessarily holding my breath - and in the end, i think all these seasons and times make us walk more closely with the lord and learn about being his disciples and being content in every circumstance.

i'm so lucky to have a husband who is willing to up sticks and follow me across the country, because i think i'm following the lord, we're still in the place where people think that's unusual. and i find myself saying to the kids, 'it's an adventure' and that we're doing this as an adventure together. although i feel a bit like an intrepid explorer who's pretending to read the map, but is leading her fellow explorers off the edge of known territory!

to boldly go.........