August 13, 2014

Welcoming transition with open hands

On Friday, I am moving to Indiana to start seminary. My little white car is already packed with the remnants of my BVS time--way too many Brethren t-shirts, mugs I made in pottery class, used & loved books from mentors I've met here, my BVS frisbee, a pair of pink overalls, and an NYC conference booklet (or two!). I'm taking easy bread recipes, a deeper understanding of my personality and myself, the knowledge of what grace can do, the love found within the people of this suburb town, and an energetic spirit about what is yet to come. I'm kissing BVS a sweet, sincere, heartfelt goodbye (or maybe a "see you later!) and saying an excited, full of potential hello to Bethany Theological Seminary.

I blame the labyrinth for this next adventure in my life. Well, I thank the labyrinth. It was into the labyrinth that I wandered--barefoot, terrified, and uncertain. I walked with my hands open--ready to receive some glimpse of infinite wisdom, some affirmation of my next step. I walked in fearful. I was holding onto fear that would protect me from entering the uncertain waters of ministry. My financial stability would be uncertain, the future of pastoral ministry in the church is uncertain, and my own success at seminary or ministry is uncertain. I was afraid. As I took step after step on the cool grass in the labyrinth, I heard a voice asking me to let go of my fear and to trust as I had been taught. I just wept in the labyrinth--slowly understanding what God was asking me to do. It was out of the labyrinth that I walked--barefoot, hands open, terrified, but more certain. Not cocksure, but finally fully open to the nudges and the voices that had been speaking to me for years and years.

Backyard Labyrinth 
I have an apartment (and amazing housemates!), a work study job or two, first semester's tuition paid, and a calm certainty that this next step is right. I'm not fearful anymore. I am anxious to see the ways that Bethany will stretch me and hold me in times of growth. I approach Bethany with open hands ready to give and to receive.

The best way to honor the past and welcome the future is an NYC Coordinator selfie with the Most Reverend Doctor President Jeffrey W. Carter, right? 


  1. "You shall go out with joy and be lead forth with peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth before you. There will be shouts of joy and all the trees of the fields will clap, will clap their hands!"

  2. May you have a transforming experience at Bethany. It is a good place to be. Wish I was still in Richmond to see you!