Monday, July 23, 2007

Friday 5- looking back, looking forward

The Friday 5 questions- looking back, looking forward from the RevGalBlogPals website were developed by Sally from I usually don't engage in the Friday five questions, at least publicly, on line, but this time the questions begged a formal written answer. I hope I do them justice.

"When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new.

And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward." (Sally's introduction)

1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith:
I was at this years Annual Conference as a lay delegate and was feeling pretty depressed about some things that came up suddenly, external events, concerning my family, that had caused me to put the process of moving forward from candidacy into ministry on indefinite hold. While I was sitting in the conference hall listening to the message for the afternoon about Peter casting his net into the water and being a fisher of men, the small quiet voice whispered into my ear and said, " Get back in the boat."

2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry? I thought I was heading down the path of becoming a liscensed local pastor. I completed liscensing school and then family issues arose. Putting the Local Pastor role aside for now, I am in a period of uncertainty. I know God will make a way, that He has called me into ministry, and in that sense I am to "get back into the boat" and start fishing. How God will make that way is not yet apparant. The passion I have in my heart concerns mental health ministries and outreach as well as working with campus ministry, older youth and adults. For now I will continue to teach public school this fall and do some post graduate studies on community counseling. By that time the family situation should be more clear and focused as to how to best meet the need while fulfilling my call.

3.Money is no object and so you will.....Retire from my day job (teaching school) and work full time setting up a community outreach for mental health in our area with other community and church members with the same passion.

4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going? I feel the truth sets me free in more ways than one. I cling to the truth of the gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, that all is not vain, my life is not pointless, it matters to God and has a purpose. I have cultivated a few select quality friends who are in covenant with me to pray for each other and be a sounding board and a place to confess what needs to be confessed. Maintaining spiritual disciplines of personal daily prayer, bible study, fasting as God leads, corporate and private worship, service and tithing are important to me. Lately, as this current situation is a difficult one, I have enlisted the support of a professional therapist as well as a pastor to help navigate the murky water of decison making and help me keep my head clear and emotions in check dealing with the current family situation.

5. How important are your roots? My spiritual roots are very important. I have made several covenants in my life that I take very seriously. First I made a covenant with God that He would be my Lord and Savior on May 11, 1971. Prior to that my life was run by horoscopes, tarot cards, whims, fancies, fads, whatever was popular at the moment. All these years since, in spite of all the things that have occured, I have known the peace that comes from having a relationship with God and growing in His wisdom. My life before was aimless and without direction. I became rooted that day in May into the family of God. I made a covenant of marriage with my husband almost twenty five years ago that I would love and honor him in sickness and in health until death parted us. He is my best friend, he was then and still is. I could say I am rooted here in my town, but that is for the present. Who knows what the furture will bring? Relationships matter, they root my heart in faith and love.

6. Bonus= what would you like to add ? These are good questions to ask oneself and reflect on from time to time. When I start to assume things is when I am no longer walking by faith.