Friday, August 3, 2012

A Church of Her Own*

I’m a planner. I like having a plan. I like knowing where I’m going and what the next step is going to be and what it is going to look like. Unfortunately, life doesn’t really look like that. It’s how I ended up at Vanderbilt instead of an Episcopal seminary. It’s a big part of the reason why I’m doing this CPE residency year. I make plans; God laughs. Wash, rinse, repeat.

photo (19)

So as my year as a chaplain at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital was coming to a close, I began to panic. Different positions would become available, and then they would be filled. I even interviewed for a position in Memphis, knowing that I would be living three hours away from my husband if I were to take it. I cried, certain that God had called me to the ordained ministry only to torture me. I lived in the margins – neither parish priest nor chaplain, at home in neither Tennessee nor Texas. I prayed furiously for guidance. And then, the call came.

Following a whirlwind few weeks of meetings and prayers and conversations, the decision was made that the Bishop of Tennessee would appoint me as priest-in-charge of Church of the Epiphany, Lebanon, TN. I’m excited and scared and nervous and happy, which is one of my main ways of figuring out if I’m going where I’m supposed to because God knows how to keep me on my toes.

Otherwise, I’m still running every freaking day (68 days and counting). I’m CPE project-presenting, worship-planning, Bible-reading, sermon-writing, and Olympics-watching. I’m trying to say good-bye to people I love at a place where I have done ministry. I’m trying to imagine not coming to work each morning and walking past a statue of a frog playing the fiddle with a light-up belly. I haven’t bought a single vegetable from a Farmers Market all summer. I haven’t cooked anything that wasn’t semi-homemade in weeks. I was asked if I was a nun while drinking wine at a bar with my friend. Basically, I love my crazy, mixed-up, holy, wonderful life.

*Title from this book