As much as I am made for Heaven, I know I am also made for something here. I'm just trying to figure out what that could be. I feel like I am in a way station of sorts in my life. I know I'm not at the place I was made for, but the faith part of me says that this place I am at was made for me, that there is reason and purpose for this season. What could it be?
Still working on that one.
But I did get a glimmer of hope. In the craziest of places too. I just spent two days at a conference for preschool teachers. Now I have been to all kinds of conferences in my professional experience. Let's face it: Methodist clergy persons like to confer. We even have a "special" name for it--holy conferencing. We even call our big yearly meeting (where every Methodist church in the state sends pastors and laity to vote on stuff) Annual Conference. I've been going to those things for a long, long, long time. And sitting through it feels like a long, long, long time. I must say, clergy meetings and preschool teacher meetings look nothing alike.
When my journey as campus minister ended last year, God opened a door for me to teach in our church's preschool. I knew it was a God thing because I was assigned to the 4 year old classroom, and my sweet son Isaiah was right across the hall with the other 4's. In a time when my heart was so tender, God gave me a tender place to be present with Isaiah, for his very last year of preschool. Isn't that so like the Lord? We walked through the year together, going to the playground at the same time, sitting in chapel at the same time, wiggling during music at the same time. I got to see up close and personal my precious son, learning and growing, leaping and laughing, becoming wonderful in all kinds of wonder full ways. He is my sweet boy. I love him so.
The thought passes through my heart and mind, "Does God feel that way about me?" Does He want to be present with me in that way? Is this our special time? He gave me the gift of a year with Isaiah. Could He also give me a year with just Him? Still learning and growing, leaping and laughing, in a place that is not THE place, but an important place all the same?
Oh God! Isk! I cry out to You! Is this it? Is this what You want for me? Is this crazy season I am in to be more than what I thought it was? I just don't think I'm any good at it!!!!!!
Do you think the Lord hears my aingst?
I muddled through my preschool teachers conference. I loved the women I was with. I loved the food. Oh Lord did I love the food! But for alot of it I felt lost. Until the last day when the key-note speaker got up. The conference program says:
The noteworthy educational career of Dr. Jean Feldman has spanned more than 40 years. . . . Dr. Feldman's list of degrees include a B.A. from the University of Georgia, a D.A.S.T. from Emory University, and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia State University.It's hard to imagine given a pedigree like that, what came next. That girl got up and sang! I swear she sang just about the whole time. And had us moving and dancing and laughing and clapping and doing things that we had not ever done. The room abounded with all kinds of silliness that is hard to even put into words. I was totally inspired! In fact, her teaching style looked an awful lot like the one I used with college students. But even more amazing to me is that it looked even more like the one I use with preschoolers.
All this time I have inwardly hung my head, sitting at the planning table with my co-workers. I'm a smart, educated woman. But my education does not speak to pre-school pedigogy. I am a pastor of hearts, with a love, warm and broad that embraces whoever is in front of me. I am a lover of life who eeks out of every moment the joy of being alive. Apparently, according to Dr. Feldman, that qualifies me to be a good preschool teacher.
Before the session was over, Dr. Feldman asked us to hold up our thumb if we learned anything. Then she asked us to hold up a finger for every new thing we learned. I sat there with tears leaking from my eyes. I learned that I was intuitively doing the right things all along. From the inside out I learned there are powerful reasons at play for me being where I am. Who knew?
But apparently Someone did.