I posted the final draft of my Pastor Profile yesterday.
On December 15, I have a meeting with my District Superintendent to discuss appointment possibilities, based on my gifts and growing edges.
My packet (letter requesting end of leave and accompanying forms) to the Conference Relations Committee is complete and ready to be sent. I will probably do that tomorrow.
This is happening...with only a few hoops to jump through, I am going back under appointment. I am going to be a pastor again.
And I am terrified. Totally freaking out.
I believe with all my heart that this is what God is calling me to do. I'm a great chaplain, but my greatest gifts and joy lie in serving the local church.
I have thrived at BTUMC and love Mac and the people there, and will cry buckets of tears in June...but unless an absolute miracle happens and they suddenly have enough money to add an associate position, I have to leave BT in order to fulfill my calling. (Of course, even if they did add an associate position, I don't know if Mac would want me as his associate. It's one thing to have me in his church as a clergy person on family leave, it's another thing for us to work together on a daily basis.)
I know that God is with me, will continue to be with me, and will give me everything I need to be an effective pastor...as long as I continue to trust in Him.
Harry is a wonderfully supportive spouse and even Nora gets excited at the thought of being a "pastor's kid" (although I doubt she'll feel the same way in a few years).
I asked Mac point-blank a few weeks ago if he thought I was ready to go back, and he said he thought that I was.
My counselor (who is a retired pastor) thinks that I'm ready.
In other words, all the lights are green. God, my intuition, my family, colleagues...I am not seeing any red flags suggesting that I should wait.
But still, I'm terrified. I'm scared of myself, because I know that I am potentially both the greatest asset and the greatest hindrance to my ministry.
God has given me the gifts for being a pastor, and God will give me guidance and wisdom. I have everything it takes to be an effective pastor.
...IF I continue to rely on Him.
...IF I continue to choose faith over fear.
...IF I continue to listen to God's voice and my own intuition over the voice of others.
...IF I continue to practice good self-care and establish/maintain a good support network.
So many "ifs"...and so many are dependent on me being faithful. And I'm so scared that I will fail...