Monday, August 15, 2005

This lonesome valley . . .

Honestly, I don't know that I'm spiritually strong enough to endure the Presbyterian call process right now. It brings all the demons out to dance . . .

First there are the voices that explain that you will never recieve another call because you are a total wash-out as a pastor--too lazy, too people-pleasing, too introverted, too bookish, too plagued by doubts. Who'd want that for a pastor anyway??

And then, from the opposite direction come the voices that explain that you are brilliant and well-connected and are destined for greatness. Don't waste your time with small churches in small places. Go for the gusto. Call your friends in high places and tell them to hook you up. If that loser from your old seminary class can get the call to _________ then ANYONE can get a big church call. You're ten times smarter than he his. Ask anyone.

And while all this is going on, other voices remind you that you are a terrible mother for even thinking about returning to full time work--any full time work, that your children will be scarred for life if you move them away from their friends, that if your husband were to leave his current job to follow you somewhere, he will resent it forever and run off with some model named Raven.

And don't get me started on the housekeeping demons who kindly point out, "You've got mold growing in your silverware drawer and ants eating the cheeto crumbs in the TV room and you think you can run a friggin' church? Get out of town!!"

save us in the time of trial . . . .

10 comments:

Songbird said...

All I can say is, I hear you, sister! I am especially plagued by the demon of the classmate who did so well. Please know that I am thinking of you and praying for you.

cheesehead said...

I graduated at the top of my seminary class. Don't ask me how, except I say that I did it with God's help. I was the last, the. LAST. person to get a call, and it came 22 months after graduation.

The 'loser' who had to take the Theo Ord three times got the first call he went after. He also had to re-take a few courses, too.

I was the only woman on ordination track in my class who was concurrently raising children. (Kind of like Ginger Rogers, who did everything Fred Astaire did , but backwards and in high heels!)

I write this to tell you I have been there, and I hear you. I have not sympathy, but empathy. You are in my prayers. And I honestly, truly believe that God is in charge of all of this.

Apostle John said...

Revmom -- I was also top of my seminary class. Perfect GPR. First one to get a call in my class was the laziest of bums in the school. I was also the LAST.

The dean of the seminary told me, "Churches often go for mediocrity -- they know what they are getting and the preachers they get never disappoint."

When I finally got that first call, I realized upon looking back it really hadn't been that bad -- it's just that I didn't have the roadmap to look at along the way. I didn't know when things would happen and that bothered me.

Once you get that first call, it does get easier. While looking for the second call, at least you have something to do on Sundays and no one at the church knows you are looking to move.

Hang in there.

You are in my prayers!

Purechristianithink said...

Well--I wasn't anywhere near the top of my seminary class, so I should be all set. :)

Jane Ellen+ said...

*sigh* Not that it's any consolation, but I can assure you that the same demons dance over in the Episcopal Church as well. I recognize them only too well.

Prayers for you as you seek, sister.

St. Casserole said...

Praying for you to hear Another voice and not the stinky voices you speak of here.

Kathryn said...

Oh...HUGS...that's all, just HUGS.
(Oh...and deep gratitude that we were never given any sort of ranking against our class mates at vicar school!...)
It will be OK. There is somewhere sorted for YOU...with grubby silverware, ant trails in the living room, and even the velvet thick layers of dust that seem to cover most things in this house. Prayers as you wait to hear where it might be...

PPB said...

Not to get all career counsely on you, but doing well and doing good are two different things. Very rarely you get to do both. Most times you choose.

LutheranChik said...

Every week our church has been praying specifically for persons who are un- under- and misemployed, that they may be guided into the right calling for them. You are definitely one of the specific people I think of as I pray this prayer! (As is my pastor's spouse, a PhD scientist who can't find a job appropriate to her expertise, and other friends of mine in similar situations.)

Stacey said...

Candidating just plain bites the big one. I was blessed to receive a position right out of seminary, but it was a one-year gig. I started sending out profiles and resumes five months before that position ended, and I was still without call for nine months between that position and my current church. Wonderful people kept telling me how smart and gifted I was and that any church that didn't call me was just stupid, but that only goes so far when you keep getting jerked around and led on and keep wondering what in the world these churches are seeing that sends them running the other way....

The call process gives me heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. Wow, I'm so encouraging! Anyway, may God give you the strength to persevere. Go for the gusto!