It is not quite New Year’s Eve yet, but close enough to take a moment of reflection on the year that is passing, as one customarily does. I don’t quite know where to start. The past year has been full of unexpected plot twists. To name a few:
- I had my gallbladder out last January, my only experience to date with surgery or indeed any non-superficial medical care.
- Then in early February, Spouse had a nasty episode of back pain from a bad disk, but has avoided surgery so far.
- Meanwhile, an internal client at work was trying to get me fired for doing my job properly instead of they way they thought it ought to be done.
- So I applied for a promotion, and got it at the end of February.
- The perennial threat of Spouse losing work came up again this spring, but did not manifest.
- Then at the end of April, my church program staff member broke my heart by resigning unexpectedly at the end of the last committee meeting of the year.
- So I spent May having a breakdown and organizing the farewell.
- And I needed to be on the transition team, for program review.
- And by the middle of June I was chairing the search committee, because it needed to be done.
- And came down with a spiritual crisis the same week, because the Author of Creation has a sense of humor and clearly I didn’t have enough to do.
- And led the summer music program, because we needed it.
- Through the summer search process, fitting it in around everybody’s vacation time.
- Which ended up taking a little longer than our original ambitious estimate of having a hire by late August.
- So I ended up leading the choir for a couple of weeks, to get us into the start of the church year after Labor Day, while the hire was being finalized.
- Which involved arranging some music, because we needed it, and I haven’t done that before either, but by this point I was so freaking far outside my comfort zone I wouldn’t have recognized it if I’d stepped in it.
- Did I mention the ongoing spiritual crisis? It was still there in late September. I needed to do something.
- So in early October I dusted off this blog and started putting religion in it.
And here I am, on the eve of 2013, side-eying the Gaping Maw of Inadequacy that whispers things about how I have done nothing, nothing substantial since October or so (except, I remind myself, for all that church music work) and if I haven’t got everything all together by now I obviously am unsuitable, etc. and the Gaping Maw of Inadequacy can STFU now, really.
Although I do need to make some mental space and draft the MDiv application essay and set aside making contingency plans for when things go horribly wrong. Deep down I am afraid that I will do something to lose what seems like one last chance, unlooked-for, to … what? To unfold, all of my soul, not just the bits that are fit for polite company. To have permission to exist inconveniently, gloriously, extraordinarily; permission to stop trying to be the kind of normal that was not ever going to work.
Permission to ignore the hissing whispers from the past: the ones that tell me I am not worthy of grace and wholeness; that there is neither magic nor holy mystery in the world; who whisper that God does not choose people like you. Flawed. Broken. Human.
Fundamentalism is a bitch. I got off really lucky, with as little damage as I received. And yet its ghosts haunt me all the same.