“Welp, here we are halfway through my year of service! I find myself asking the question, “are we there yet” in the sense of is the next chapter of my life starting? Although I know when my year of service will end I sit anticipating August. I know that next in my life I will be going to Seminary, finishing Seminary, getting a job in the pastoral field, with some other things sprinkled in between. And as I wonder when the next part of my journey in life begins or my next calling is I find that I can miss the chapter that I’m reading and just get caught up in the excitement to figure out what’s next; whether that be the next job or starting Seminary next year. It’s a delicate balance of are we there yet and looking around to see where you are right now. It is like looking ahead but at the same time being present in moment. You don’t want to look too far ahead that you’re not living for the right now, but you also don’t want to be in the moment so much that you’re not seeing what’s next…so it is difficult to say the least.”
I have the first part in quotes because my journey feels like it has come to a stop or at least a slowing down of sorts. It came on Sunday March 19, 2017 I received a call that Barb Mather had passed away. Who is Barb Mather? She was an integral part of my life for as long as I could remember. She gave me advise when I needed/wanted it. She could give you a hug that rivaled even your grandmother. She cared for me and treated me as if I were here own son. I frequently referred to her as my second mom, and would on a occasion call her “mom” because she took on that role at many times in my life, particularly after my dad got custody of my brother and I. Barb was there when my parents got a divorce and was my grounding place.When I received news of her passing it was as if someone had told me that my mother had passed. The only thing that gets me out of bed currently is coffee, a fake smile, and the strength I find in knowing and loving God. “Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” Psalm 119:27-28
When I think about the journey of life I remember last summer when I helped with vacation bible school (VBS) at my church back home. I was the imagination station leader, and one of the activities we did was drawing out the journey of life. We started with what we wanted to be when we grew up, and drew a straight line there because that is how the journey is imagined or at least hoped for. Even though we have this idea of the journey ideally be straight there we know that there will be twists, turns, loops, and dips in the journey. Although, I have experienced some major twists, turns, loops, and dips in my journey death is different it can be a break in the paper; the pen lifted or just stopped there for a bit. It is different then the car overheating, flat tires, spills in the car, running out of fuel, etc. it is like the engine just fell out at whatever speed your going if you were on a road trip. Although I can look ahead and see the next part of my journey still, a passenger in my car is gone. I know that I will heal from the pain I currently feel as I have before, and so have others, that is not to say that there will not always be a slight sting where she was. As the healing continues I will seek my strength and hope in God and His living word.
Don’t forget to stop and look around, and ask “Where am I now?”
Peace and Love,