Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's in it for me?

I have never known what I wanted to do with my life. I’m the sort of person who can be pretty good at most things except math. I wouldn’t say that I am particularly gifted, but that’s the problem. I have been fortunate enough to have not failed at too many things but subsequently have never found the thing that truly thrills my soul.
Growing up I was a dancer. I was passionate about dance and I loved performing. I always tell Andrew that if I could sing we probably wouldn’t have made it because I would have been off to Broadway, but alas… I can’t. I had enough logic and lack of whimsy to know I couldn’t dance myself into a real career and ever since I decided to quit, I have been searching.
I have prayed. Believe me I have prayed. I have prayed and read and tried and tried, but nothing. No love of career. No dream job. No drive. I willed myself through six years of college and two degrees. I realize how terrible selfish and privileged that sounds. I also realize how unfair it is that I feel that way about it when some people would die to trade places with me. I have unresolved guilt.
The summer between my two years of grad school I was blessed with nothing to do. I had no classes and not enough time to get a job. What I did have was a new husband and a pretty, if tiny, little white house. I filled my days with rest and cleaning and reading and moving and cooking. I cut fresh flowers and put them in vases. I found the farmers market. I returned phone calls. I fed others. I welcomed people at my door. I engaged in conversation. It was Heaven.

Within a couple weeks I remembered what it felt like to not be tired and stressed. I discovered what it was to feel healthy. I began to understand what it meant to nurture something; my home, my husband, myself. And I loved it. I began hearing that still small voice, which by the way was suddenly more audible. Lay down your burdens. Find rest for your soul. I have made you for a purpose. And I knew that I had found it.
I’m not so naïve to think God was calling me to an earthly life free of stress and strife, that’s for eternity. But I had found something so much more fulfilling than anything I had tried. I delighted in making my home a welcoming place. I loved being present enough to listen to what Andrew was saying. I felt satisfied in every seemingly menial task that led to peace within our four walls.
Being a wife had become a priority and it felt so right. In the time since that summer God has been leading me in discovering what on earth that role really means. Is it to be a doormat? A domestic genius? A perfect hostess? A child bearer? These are things the world has told me. These are not the things of God.
As we shift into our new life in New Orleans I have the opportunity to begin exploring my role as wife in ministry. I am curious and eager to figure it out. I don’t know what I will find but I know without doubt that seminary is as much for me as it is for Andrew and I can’t wait.

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