I was sitting on my deck, enjoying the early summer warmth and sunshine with my phone in hand and my laptop open. I wasn’t really relaxing…I was waiting for news. News that would determine the direction I would take for the next two years. Texts and messages were going back and forth with my senior pastor who was attending General Assembly in Winnipeg, and he was keeping me updated with the conversations and the vote taking place in regards to the ordination of women within our denomination. As I waited for an answer, I couldn’t help but reflect on all that had taken place to bring me to this point and to see how God’s hand had guided me over the years and had been preparing me in bringing me to this place.
Some days it still seems surreal that I am in full time ministry…20 years ago I would have laughed at the idea, and yet here I was…already a pastor for 7 years and waiting to find out if I would have an opportunity to add” Reverend” to my name. The text I had been waiting for came in and with a mix of excitement and trepidation (how was I going to juggle all the work with my already full plate and still have time and energy for my family) I said, “Ok boss…sign me up!!”
And so the next phase of my journey began. I entered the ordination process with our district and began reading, writing, studying, and learning from those who had gone before me…who shared their knowledge and experiences with our group of ordinands and who encouraged us and cheered us on along the way. There were many struggles, and frustrations with trying to “do it all” and trying to reengage a then 46 year old brain with studying and memorizing and paper writing. I remember telling people that I had to erase many childhood memories to make more room in my brain!
And then part way through the process at one of our cohort retreats, we were encouraged/reminded to not lose sight of what this was all about. This process, was more then a process. This was more then learning and checking items off a task list. This was a journey within our journey of growing in faith…growing in our knowledge and understanding of God…who He is…what He has done and all that He promises to do. I realized that I had become guilty of viewing it as a process…a task to be completed and at that point asked God to open my heart, my mind and my ears, to speak to me and to teach me whatever He had for me. It was then that the journey began to change…it wasn’t just memorizing and studying theology, it became about personalizing it…what did these theological truths mean for me personally and for how I would move forward in the way I lived and moved and breathed in every area of my life. God took what started out as a task and an obligation and renewed in me a passion to learn, to grow and to lead!
I remember reading somewhere that we need to recognize that the journey is not always a straight line from point A to point B, and that you never get there without hearing from God! How true! I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to be part of the ordination journey and for all that God taught me along the way. Father, wherever we are on this journey, continue to bring us to those moments of quiet and open our hearts and prepare us to hear and receive your voice! Amen