goodbye. finally. (cont)

the year of training school
it’s an understatement to say that the season of training school rocked my world.  God really used it to heal forgotten wounds, stir up and expose old patterns, teach me about love and community.  but most importantly, i got to know God on a much deeper level and know myself.

in that process, i discovered a way that i am wired/something i am called to do with my life: pastor.  we were in Tijuana almost this time last year.  at the time i was intent of doing “free writes” in the morning, which essentially means writing first thing in the morning, without thought of editing or content, for 3 full pages.  just writing stream-of-consciousness, whatever comes out.  as i did this, i wrote, “maybe i’m called to pastor.”

i freaked out initially, but kept writing.  we prayed that morning as a group, preparing to visit the city built on an old dump.  i hesitantly approached Larry afterwards, and told him of my revelation.

“we will continue to push into this over time,” he said slowly.  “but my initial response is ‘absolutely.'”  his response came as a deeper shock, and i spent my time walking through the dump, deep in thought and reflection as God brought scene after scene to mind, gently prodding, “that was pastoring….and that, that was also pastoring.”  all these giftings i thought i had–wise counsel, writing, teaching–they culminated in the concept of pastoring.

i wasn’t immediately ready to accept it, tho.  i didn’t want to be put into a box, to be immediately dismissed as a children’s or women’s pastor (not that there is anything wrong with either of those callings, it just wasn’t fully me).  through the rest of our journey together, Larry prodded and pushed.  at the slightest provocation, he would whisper, “that’s how a pastor would respond” or “that’s what a pastor would say.”  he annoyed the crap out of me, truth be told, but eventually i came to treasure how he pushed me to accept this gift.

we spent the late winter and spring together, pushing into the hurt of broken relationships, travelling to Toronto, learning to put fear and anger aside for the sake of loving someone well.  it was a fruitful and beautiful time for us a group and as individuals.

Taco night in Tijuana

BJ, me, Ashley after ladies retreat in Brown County

Wintry 24-hour excursion to Toronto

Last trip to Toronto, by way of upstate New York and a team-building ropes course.

in the next post, i will talk about life post-training school…whew.  i’m beginning to realize just how full and impactful this last year was for me.  thanks for hanging on for the ride!

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