The View from Here

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. All week I've been sharing in emails, posts, and conversations about how much I am enjoying the new job. I've used words like: positive, encouraging, learning, fun, adventure, exploration. All true. Very true. 

And yet, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention those words don't depict the full picture. I am a Pollyanna at times. But I'm realistic, too. There are other words that equally describe my current state of life: scared, unfamiliar, identity, grief, uncertainty.

I worshiped in a Rochester congregation last night. It was a meaningful experience. Beautiful, actually. I had some major moments of realization. It was also extremely challenging. So much so that when I got home, I cried on my beige couch. God, who am I? And who are you forming me to be? My personal Lenten quest. 

As excited as I genuinely am about the present and the future, on Wednesday night, I really, really missed my old life. My parish pastor life. A life that also had its own complex challenges. I really miss the feeling of knowing what I was doing. And seeing familiar faces. Preaching. Worship leading. Confirmation. I know I'll eventually feel like I know what I'm doing in my new role...but it isn't just the daily job part that has changed. It's also the identity part. Shifts are happening. I feel like I'm settling into new skin. It will all fall into place. I believe that and trust that. Comfort and peace will come. There's just this terrifying inbetween that comes first. 

I'm in that space now. I've taken a really big leap, but I'm not so sure I know how to fly.

There's a verse that seems to reoccur in my life. I found it on a Bible cover in the bookstore right before I graduated from seminary. That was a time when I was equally uncertain and fearful. I bought that Bible on the spot because the verse was such a comfort to me. And it still sits on my desk each day. 

The verse is Isaiah 40:31 -

But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
   they shall walk and not faint.

The waiting zone. Winter 2014.

So in this sacred place where nearly everything feels unfamiliar, I am comforted knowing that God promises to renew the strength of those who wait. Yes, I did make a big leap. But I didn't make it alone. I made a leap with the love and support of friends, family and a beautiful congregation - and I leaped into a new place of love and support...an encouraging team, sincere co-workers, a terrific synod, and an amazingly peaceful work setting.

God says, "they shall mount up with wings like eagles."

I don't know how to fly, but I worship a God who promises to give me wings.

It's going to get easier. This new vocational chapter will soon feel like home. In the meantime, perhaps God is calling me to take a little time to soak in the view from here. 


  1. As I read your post I thought of newborn birds so tiny being nourished daily and developing slowly. A day at a time these little fellows open their eyes to their new world and within a very short time they take flight into a new world of wonder and beauty.

    1. :) Lovely thoughts, Sharon. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. :)

  2. I'm a little lost. What is the new job?