The threat of this post surviving death by cliche or predictability is not good. Don't you love it when people begin a thought with the "I don't know who I am" or "I am trying to find myself" phrases. Sorry, but this may well be the first of several posts like this. Don't say I didn't warn you....
I am not sure if my current self reflection posture is due to the following things or just a phase.
1. I came through a really hard set of surgeries earlier this year that have taken a toll on my emotional state.
2. I see my 40th birthday looming early next year and I can not fathom that I am going to be 40. I know that is not old, but it seems like I would feel like an adult by now.
3. My baby goes to Kindergarten in the Fall.
4. My firstborn has a body that is developing and looking way more like a 14 year old than a 10 year old.
5. I am in a place where I am not comfortable with my shell - I am heavier and just frumpier than ever. That is in the process of changing because I have begun to take charge of that department!
6. I have come through some Spiritual growth and change this last few months.
Well there - I feel better already :-)!
Because Spencer will begin Kindergarten in the Fall I am having to decide what the next phase of my life will look like. I need to find a part time job to begin stashing away more college $ for these "chickens" and for us to save to go home every couple of years. That would be the responsible thing to do, hey. Well, not what I've chosen. I am going back to school. I am going to pursue my MA in Ministry from ACU as an off campus student. I came to this after almost 18 months of toying with the idea. If I am entering the phase of life when I am realistically going to rejoin the work force till College bills are paid I need to be doing what I am passionate about. I am passionate about Ministry. My Undergraduate degree in Bible was fabulous but I just doubt it is going to get me the kind of ministry job I am gifted for. So, I will hit the books again and probably be 100 by the time I finally graduate.
This decision has led me down the road of asking a set of questions about myself. What am I good at? Where do my gifts lie? What inspires me? What drains me? All of these answers intending to lead me to make a good choice in the next chapter of life. The jury is still out on some of the stuff. But here is what I think today. I think my gifts lie in the area of "shepherding." I love people and have a heart that is inspired by people, their story and their struggle. I am energized by deep and intimate times with people. When I look at my history and how I am currently functioning I think the evidence supports this claim. I have some other marketable skills but when I look at how I hope to function in full time ministry one day, I think I have found my sweet spot. Eldering or Shepherding may not be the role, but I can see myself as a "Minister of Congregational Care" or "Body life Minister."
Who knows what the future will bring. If I have learned anything I know that we don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. Who knows how much of this degree I will actually get done or if it will lead to full time ministry. All I know is that I am being thrust into a new phase of life that is requiring me to look at some things and make some choices.
Some of the ways I have previously defined myself:
1. Stay at home Mom of preschooler aswell as elementary school child
2. Thinking of myself as a peer to young adults who actually see me as their parents friend :-)
3. Non student
4. & more...
These definitions are changing..... All of which seem wrapped up in the question, "Who Am I."