Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What I've Noticed

It is always such a blessing to return to my own walls, my own bed, my own coffee-maker... I never appreciate them until deprived of them for a time. While I was away my lilacs bloomed and faded. And I have been struck with a terrible thought: what if they actually bloomed before I left, but I didn't notice?

What if I didn't notice?

Now I return to many projects, including that peculiar one we refer to as "seeking a call." In my church's tradition, it is so often a heady project... there are dossiers and essays to write, strategies to create and implement. We pay lip service to "discernment" and the leading of the Holy Spirit, but in truth, it feels like striving and working and stressing more than receiving inspiration.

But here's a strange thing. Since my ordination I have not received a call to the church I *thought* was a "good match" for me. Instead, I have backed into my calls-- in a couple of instances going, eventually, to situations I initially refused to consider. And in every instance, after arriving, I have recognized that God was in the process that took me there. In every instance I have landed in the "right" place (never perhaps as dramatically as my most recent position).

There is a church of my denomination-- I have mentioned it before-- on which I have been focused, for months and months. Lately I am feeling a little ill-used by them and by the process (they came to hear me preach before interviewing me, they checked all my references before telling me they were interested in me), and yesterday I realized abruptly that I was planning what to say to them when they rejected me. When. And I realized that, if I stay true to the patterns of my life, it is highly likely that this will not be the church that calls me. And since my denomination does not typically accept lgbt pastors... maybe that is of God.

Then there is the other church, of the open and affirming denomination. They still seem interested, though they are caught up in their own process, which will probably take a while.

Am I ready not to strive but to receive? Am I ready to back into another call? What if the Holy Spirit is working like hell all the time but I don't notice?

What if I didn't notice?

6 comments:

Share Cropper said...

You're pretty observant, kiddo! I think you've already noticed the Holy Spirit working on your behalf. Think of all the blessings already given - Beloved, blogging, eye contact without being out of the closet! You'll get the message loud and clear when it comes. You're more aware now than before. And, you can't watch everything at once. Remember that when we turn things over to God, we usually offer them with palms up, holding onto them. Turn those palms over and let the worries drop into God's hands instead of continuing to hold them up. Sorry you missed the lilacs.

Bill said...

With the Holy Spirit at work I don't think you're going to have to notice. You're just going to wake up one day and say, "I wonder how and when I got here". When I was going through all my problems there where a number of scenarios I thought about to get out of my current situation. None of them came to fruition. What happened to me was hard, it was devastating, but I survived. When I look back at what I came through, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But here’s the thing. Where I am now is healthy and fulfilling. I’m enjoying my new life. I’m enjoying my church and newly found spirituality. So thinking back to our discussion of the Holy Spirit, there are days I wake up and say "I wonder how and when I got here" and oh Yeah, thank you God.

seeking chivalry said...

My current discernment process started out (from my perspective, anyway) with a great big 'how did I get here? (thanks for the thought, Bill). And since my one boyfriend, when I told him, replied with 'I've been wondering when you'd figure that out', I'm wondering how long it took until I noticed...

Mother Laura said...

Sounds like you noticed now, Cecilia! Oh how I hope you find somewhere that deserves you because they honor all of you...

Prayers and blessings as you wait and watch for the next Holy Spirit backup scheme!

We Do It Too said...

um, yeah. it is the lack of noticing part that scares the shit out of me too. patience my dear...that is my theme today. it gonna work itself out. crap, i hate that.

Cynthia said...

I can't tell you how much this spoke to me. I remember very clearly going to a Bible Study group when I was a teenager. We were asked what we wanted to learn. I said in all earnest, "how to find the Lord's will for my life." This ver cnoservative southern Baptist group unanimously but for me cracked up in hooting laughter. I'm still asking that question. I've noticed before how it was only God who delivered me to some of the places I've been, and part of me feels always on the lookout for this guidance in action. Yet, I fear I won't be able to notice.