Wednesday, August 13, 2014

At a crossroads

I've been quiet on the blog for a couple of years, and don't have so many followers that I think anybody has really noticed, but it was a busy couple of years.  I was working as a manager for a Habitat ReStore and that job, while rewarding, exhausted me physically and mentally. I just didn't have the energy or mental capacity to think about things and process questions the way I did when I was in seminary. And I really missed it.

I left that position in June. Due to a variety of changing life circumstances, I'm taking an amazing opportunity to go off on a new adventure. I took a part time job working as Program Manager for Lazarus Ministries at Grand Avenue Temple UMC - an organization that works with the Sojourner community (aka the homeless community) of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. This gives me (1) a chance to learn about a new kind of ministry and work with a respected group of people doing what they do, (2) income, even if it is significantly less, and (3) a way to structure my time. The role of a Deaconess is "full time ministry of love, justice and service" so the remainder of my time is not being spent watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. I am working to start a new chapter of Project Transformation in the Missouri conference. I have a team working with me to help bring this amazing program first to Kansas City, and then, once it's stable and successful we can hopefully spread it to St Louis, Springfield, Columbia and maybe rural areas. Other conferences are doing amazing things with this program and ever since I interviewed for an executive director position with one of them, I've felt this a program where God was nudging me to go.  The last couple of months have involved many conversations with many people and it never ceases to amaze me the way that things just work out and come together. I know it's more than coincidence, although I hesitate to put God in the "micro-manager" role.

In the bigger decisions of my life - choosing a college, changing my major, marrying my partner, going to seminary - I have felt like there were lots of questions that weren't answered but those were clearly the "right" decisions. I may not have known how I was going to pay for it, or what would come next, but they felt like the places I needed to be or things I needed to do, and it always worked out. Not just worked out, but made me happy and worked out well, even if it was a lot of work and struggle in the process. Seminary wasn't a breeze and I had no clue what would come afterwards; marrying my partner meant a lot of struggle with my biological family. Leaving my full time job with an organization I of which I was proud to be a part was the same - I didn't really know if I could pull it off or what would happen when things like health insurance went away, but so far it's all working out beautifully. I have to put my desire to plan to the side and trust in God that things will continue to work out. And I thank God for a partner who encourages me to do these things and walks by my side through it all.

Have you felt like you were on God's path? How did you determine it was God's will for you rather than your desire for yourself?

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