Field Notes: Off the Field

There's an ache that slowly eats away at your heart and stomach when you're not going the right away - and you know it.  It eats and eats and hurts and festers.  The only balm is prayer, talking to God, asking for help.  God! Please help me, I don't know what to do! For me, tears are almost always involved.  Especially lately. I know I've written about this before, but its pressing on my heart so badly, I must write about it again.

I loved school, I really loved it.  Learning, chatting, discovering, lots of variety.  And all this is gone now.  Not permanently, but its not like it used to be - its quite awful, to be frank. With my degree, they prepare you to be in the field, to handle crises and extreme variety, to be biblically sound, to minister to people, to be on track, to persevere, to love, to be exuberant about your faith, to challenge.  But what happens when you don't have a track.  What happens when there is no one to minister to? At least it seems that way.  How do you handle the mundane? How do you persevere on a track so different from where your heart has been for the past 4 years, sitting at a desk 8 hours a day and no change on the horizon? How do you handle NOT being in the field? Mmmm, I'm so grateful for having a job, truly, its just the hardest transition I've ever faced, because it was a surprise.

It hit me like a brick wall.  .... what's next? I know I'm not alone in this confusion; I'm surprised there aren't more people in the mental hospital after a system shock like this.  How many of us choose ministry, but find ourselves having to choose between paying your loans or leaving for China - fearful of the IRS hunting you down? Its not just a practical thing, it can be deeply spiritual, deeply emotional, deeply psychological. I find myself asking, "what is my purpose?" "why am I here?". What on earth am I supposed to doing here - I've been preparing for it for the all my adult life!  These are really important questions to ask - but difficult to answer when you're not on the right least it feels that way. 

The only balm - prayer - and the love of your life telling you its going to be okay.  Well, its been a long day ... this made me smile ... a lot.

image via here