For seven years I was on the same campus. Through my bachelor’s degree and then through my master’s, I walked the same grounds, sat in the same classrooms. Not only did I go to school on that campus, I worked on it, and lived on it.
For the first time, I do not know what is going to happen in the Fall. Am I scared? Oh, yes.
Do I have any clue on where I am going to be living, be working, or where I am going to be serving? No.
I am eager to see where I will be, but admittedly, I am afraid of what is going to happen.
I always like to have a plan. I like to know roughly what is going to happen when. So being on this darkened road, where I don’t know what is around the corner, there is uncertainty.
I have to do CPEs still- Clinical Pastoral Education (basically an intense internship at a hospital). I need to do a minimum of two units, but need to think more of doing four for a better chance at a job. It costs money to even put in your application without the surety of getting a spot. Then there is the tuition on top of that. I’m concerned, considering I don’t even have a job at the moment.
I have heard the internship described as a boot-camp for chaplains. It’s a place where multi-faiths and multi-cultures come together and dissect what we do, when we do it, and how we do it. So it is not just others of your own belief system debating what we should say, but from all walks of life. Also, just because you are a chaplain does not mean you have the go-ahead to talk about your faith openly.
First of all, I am excited about being in forced interaction with other faiths. I believe that there is something that can be learned from any person on this earth if you are just willing to be taught. It does not mean that I will accept their theology, but perhaps I can learn how to be more focused in my spiritual life, or more caring, by talking with those who follow other doctrines.
Secondly, I am glad to have this chance to be in a ‘safe’ zone in some ways, that I won’t just be tossed in a hospital and expected to swim. I can just imagine how much damage I would cause.
Thirdly, I am terrified. I have spent the last seven years on a campus where the professors, the staff, and the students, have poured into each other with love and encouragement. I have had struggles with difficult personalities, yes, but I knew that when I looked at someone on that campus, I was looking at a fellow sister or brother in the Christ we follow. So to be in an arena where you do not know how things are going to happen, how people will react to the way you minister, or your faith, is scary. To be at the point where this internship will either make you or break you in the career that you have worked so hard for- terrifying.
So here I am. Seven years of paper cuts, sweat, tears, smiles, and prayers, have come to a cap and gown with a weird Master’s hood and the beginning of a journey. I do not know if God is guiding me to start my CPE right now, or to work for a bit so I can have some money to live off of. I am unaware of what is around the darken corner on this road, but I do know God is in control. I am putting myself fully in his hands as I look at CPEs and jobs, because I know his plans for me are so much bigger than anything I can attempt to come up with. I have until August to know for sure, because that is when my apartment lease is up. Will I continue to live with my roomie because I found a job (or a CPE position)? Or will I move back to my parents to commute to a hospital?
This August, for sure, I will be volunteering for a week at a Joni and Friends family retreat. So maybe I will make some awesome connections there that will be sending me somewhere totally different?
In Spring, I will be back at my campus, but this time to be a co-teacher with the Dean of the Seminary, on my Biblical Perspectives of Disability class. Seven years of working on that paper is finally coming to an actual class, hopefully a lot of people will come. So maybe I’m not done with the school yet, maybe God still wants me to be involved? I do not know.
A lot of questions, a lot of prayers, a lot of uncertainty, and praying for more trust. God is in control. I trust that God has only the best plans for me, because he will not lead me somewhere to only abandon me. For the last seven years I have lived in faith, and in faith I will step out while God unfolds the journey before me. But, in that faith, I still covet your prayers, because having someone pray for me is always good.
We’ll see what happens this summer and how God works. I know it will be amazing.