Sunday, July 03, 2011


"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

I love this verse.  When I mentioned it in my last post, it was like manna from heaven, giving me a hopeful and life-giving frame of reference for the last three months of transition.  The last few days I have held this verse in my heart along with the question, "Who am I when I'm naked?"  I'm not talking about standing in front of the bathroom mirror naked.  I'm talking about the kind of naked that happens when something you used to believe was absolutely essential to your personhood is gone, those outward trappings of identity that helps the world know who you are and how you fit into it.
For a long time I associated myself with my job description.  If you asked me who I was, that identity was wrapped up in being a campus minister.  And while I absolutely loved it, it was hard to fit anything else in.  I'll never forget going on a Celebrate Jesus Mission one summer and a gentleman there saying to me about my work, "you have to be committed but not invested."  After he told me that, I began to figure out how I could be committed without losing myself.  I believe God slowly gave me the grace to find myself beyond my job description.  And in the aftermath of no longer being in a position that defined me for so long, I believe it is why I'm okay.  In fact, I am more than okay.  I can see God's hand in the mix of all the circumstances of my life, giving the absurd order and giving meaning to experiences that at first glance left me baffled.  What staggers me and fills me with hope is that I feel joy and peace, like my future is wide open rather than shutting down.  I feel like the captive parts of myself have been set free. 

So who am I when I'm naked?  Every year the trees where I live lose their leaves.  In fact the whole life cycle of a tree is filled with transitioning from one season to another.  Sometimes the outward growth is obvious.  Sometimes all the growth happens beneath the surface.  But whether it is the season for leaves or not, a tree is always a tree.

The last nine years have actually nourished me, showing me to myself.  I know I am a shepherd at heart.  I know that laughter is important to me.  I know that writing connects me to God in ways that nothing else can.  I know that teaching others helps me grow.  I know that being a wife and a mother is my most important work.  I know that my life has to be filled with creative expression.  I know that the only life I want to live is one where I live each day in the presence of God, free to follow Him wherever He leads, free enjoy the life He has given me. I also know that I absolutely hate being an administrator and the one in charge.  I'm so grateful that part of the last season is over.  These are all gifts that my sojourn in campus ministry have given. 

I'm not sure what all that this new season holds.  I am trusting God to unfold it in His time and His way.  But I believe that it hold as much blessing as the last season did.  I believe this new beginning is filled with promise and hope.

This is me trusting,

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