Today is my first Sabbath day as an ordained minister.
And finally, I feel like I can rest.
To mark the occasion, I’m writing a bit about it. And updating my blog.
For starters, my home page on my blog for the past four years has listed my “titles”: writer, youth director, seminarian.
I’m still a writer and hope always to be a writer. I’m now a full-fledged pastor, becoming an ordained minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and being installed as the associate minister at New Hope barely a week ago. I’m still in charge of youth ministry.
But I’m no longer a seminarian.
This….has grieved my soul.
I adored being a scholar. I loved my time at Memphis Theological Seminary. I loved being able to stretch my mind and my spirit, and I loved being asked to use the intellectual gifts God has given all of us.
I loved the network of fellow scholars available to me in classes, and I loved the ability to have my creativity stimulated scholastically.
I thrived being introduced to new goals and assignments, and being productive in school produced productivity elsewhere.
I came alive in this time of equipping and preparation. I cherished the title of seminarian and what it meant in my life.
In fact, when I traveled to Mexico City with a group of young adults a few years ago to visit other Cumberland Presbyterian churches there, I met a fellow female seminary student. Despite our language barrier, we bonded, discovering we were sisters through our shared title of “seminarista.”
And now? My identity for the last four years was finite. It had an ending. It has ended. A loss of identity. I don’t get to claim that title anymore.
So I grieve.
People have asked me “what’s next”? so many times the last six months. For me, it’s important that I rest. That I breathe. That I reflect. That I celebrate. That I seek.
I began seminary six short months after my divorce, and truthfully, this identity as a student is all I remember in this new life.
I want to be present in the moments and ministry immediately ahead, and remember that my identity isn’t in what I do, but rather in whom I do it for.
My identity is rooted in Christ. It is enough. I am enough. I have always been enough. Degree or no degree. Title or no title. Ordination or no ordination.
I am enough. Because Christ claims it so.
And in this, I rest.
And I seek Christ first.
And I enjoy my Sabbath.