This has been the oddest couple of weeks! I was blessed to spend time with Doug Pagitt, many Memphis area Outlaw Preachers, Kimberly Knight, Sam and Phyllis Tickle, the lovely folks at St. Luke’s UMC, and many new friends. I have also spent several days in Corinth, MS with a VERY sick father (who is now on the mend) I also spent a couple days recovering from that experience and trying to accomplish the everyday tasks of life while all these events unfolded.
In the midst of all these wonderful, terrible, nurishing, draining events a letter came that almost went unnoticed. It was a letter from the District Committee on Ministry for the Memphis Annual Conference. In the first sentence nine years of stuggle came to an unceremoniously end. It is fitting that this has happened in the month of March because it all began in the month of March 10 years ago when I began “exploring candidacy” and I was a lion, roaring with “Holy Ergency” ready to take on the world for Christ and now, with the gentleness of a lamb, this part of my service to God ends with a three paragraph letter with lots of words about the “Discipline” but containing no sorries or blessings or “thank you’s” for the years between the Marches.
It is time to move on, time to untie the united and move on to where God is go gently and faithfully leading. When my son was little he was scared of new experiences, and when we went to a new playground with a new, big, enclosed slide he was scared, but I knew once he tried it he would love it. So, as a loving mom, I dragged this screaming kicking 3 year old to the top of the slide, pryed his fingers from the edge of the slide, and pushed him down it. “OH NO” was the last thing I heard as he slid out of sight and “I wanna do THAT again” were the first words I heard as he emerged from the bottom of that slide he had feared 10 seconds earlier. So, what happened in that tube? His perspective changed from experience, his fear melted into joy, and he took one step into a life of trying new things and experiencing the fullness of the world around him. This is what has happened to me over the past couple of weeks, God finally pryed my last finger off the edge I had held onto so long and I slid into the joy of relationship, connectedness and community that I had been looking for all along and now I am willing to say “I wanna do THAT again”. Now that I am completely untied, I am ready to fully connect with new things and new experiences and maybe I have taken MY first steps towards experiencing the fullness of the world around me.
Blessings to those whom I have left, love to those whom I will never leave and greetings to all of those whom I am yet to join. God is faithful and kind, God with never leave us alone, and if we just let go and let God we will slide into the life that God knew was just right for us all along.