Thursday, December 04, 2008

Getting Back on the Horse

I was so tired of every single day being so damn hard, and the first day back at seminary was another in that long line of days. There were wonderful hugs from people who literally held my hand and put their arms around me when I needed those things ~ when, for instance, a classroom lecture veered into the appallingly insensitive. But there was also that carelessness on the part of a few individuals, there were some of those astounding remarks people make about God's will that tell you that they would be better employed elsewhere, there was my own effort not to suck up all the air in the room in the two small discussion classes in which we introduced ourselves to one another. There was the reality that again and again and again the burden was on me to take the initiative, to be straightforward and open so that others would know that they can be, too.

And then the second day was ~ finally, amazingly, after three months ~a day that might be called a good day. Administrators and faculty put their heads together and put a lot of time into coming up with a creative and generous resolution to some of the scheduling problems created by my having missed a quarter. A faculty member sat down and listened for half an hour, and another walked out of his classroom to give me a hug. A stack of poems arrived by email from Georgetown: Maybe these will help you. And that was all before lunch.

I made it. I made it through all my classes and two lunches and a dinner and some well-meaning but poorly conceived conversations and some wonderful but exhausting conversations. And I sat down afterward and thought: I had no idea whether I should try to go back, no idea whether there was any future for me in ministry or anywhere at all. And now, thanks to countless people who in one form or another said, "We're so glad you're back ~ let's see what we can do to help" ~ now I think that possibly the answer to those questions is something like yes.

So. I'm going back for another try, maybe one that will be a little less tentative, next week.

14 comments:

RevDrKate said...

It is good news to hear that the answer is something like yes, despite, because of, and including how it was to be back. Prayers continue that this ride gets easier.

Teri said...

Glad for you to have found some safe space. Prayers that the ups and downs continue to lean more toward "yes".

Presbyterian Gal said...

God bless those folks who are extending "armpit" support for you! I'd consider that a "second" on God's call to you to this path in the first place.

And if their arms get tired, we'll pitch in here and give you props.

Carol said...

Hooray! That's all...just hooray!

Kathryn J said...

I'm glad that the week improved from that awful first day and that you found support to help you get through it. In all organizations that involve people, you have to take the bad with the good - even when it seems impossible.

I hope that the weekend is kind to you and that returning for another week still looks like a good idea on Sunday.

Thoughts and prayers.

Quotidian Grace said...

Praying that each day gets easier as you keep riding the horse.

Blessings on those who were helpful.

Magdalene6127 said...

I'm glad there was some grace mixed in with the appalling.

I'm glad there were yes answers for you.

Blessings/

Shalom said...

Gannet Girl,

As is obvious, I don't know you, except for this tenuous connection via blog. So if my suggestion here is unhelpful (or redundant), please ignore it and I certainly won't suggest it again. I am someone who takes comfort in reading, and I thought perhaps you might be similar.

Years ago William Sloane Coffin wrote a eulogy for his son, Alex. It's at http://www.pbs.org/now/society/eulogy.html. I read it in seminary and much of its language has never left me. I'll offer it with prayer that it might be a good word for you. If it isn't the right fit, again, my apologies.

Such strange vehicles, these blogs, that bring still-strangers together in some way. Hope I don't overstep my bounds. Peace.

Gannet Girl said...

Shalom, thank you.

I know that eulogy well, but it had not come to mind in the past three months. It was a great gift to me tonight. Some of it is likely to appear in my Advent blog soon.

I was particularly struck tonight by his imagery of light. What I wrote to be read at our son's funeral was also about light.

mompriest said...

well, this is something...one day at a time...

Lisa :-] said...

...yay...! :-]

Rev SS said...

Glad to read this ... and continue to pray.

Kathryn said...

((GG))

Catherine + said...

GG, so glad that God did not let you go wandering off course with your calling with your loss and enormous grief. We need ministers like you in our lives for the very reason that you have gone through, and continue to journey through, this devastating "fire".

Working through others, He said "Don't go. I am here, even though it may not appear so."

Thank you for sharing your journey and this part of wondering how or even if you should continue this course. This sea may be rough and unpredictable, but Someone does have a hand on the rudder of your life.