sometimes i doubt that i’m doing my job well. the skeptics, the know-it-alls, the stakeholders, their opinions and my own insecurities clutter my mind and i end up overwhelmed. frozen. unable to move on to the next best thing, i find myself in a familiar posture–sitting at my desk, head in hands, eyes leaking. but that’s only after i’ve finally decided that aimlessly browsing facebook is not a healthy coping skill. i hate feeling so weak. and yes, even in 2011, i equate tears with weakness, with the inability to handle unknowns. and every time i cry, i mentally beat myself up a little. helpless.
that was me the other day, in my office of all places. and in walked a student.
great. i hoped she’d think i was deep in prayer and swiftly leave. but she didn’t. she stood beside me until i lifted up my head. then she bent down, hugged me, said, “i love you michaela,” then asked what was wrong to which i explained that all i want to do is help them know God, know that He loves them and surrender to His love and that sometimes it’s really hard to believe that’s happening…
i’m surprised at how passionately i spoke yet i’m so glad that the passion is real and that i had no desire to hold back. i could have given in to my pride. it would have been far more “appropriate” to be stoic and lie. “my allergies are bad today…” after all, who in her right mind confesses weakness to the person she’s supposed to serve?
God’s grown me, to say the least. so i shared my heart and my student shared hers, the struggles she has to take the leap of faith she knows she should take… we talked and talked and the “what am i doing here?” moment that i’d previously experienced turned into “this is what it’s all about–thank You God!”
we didn’t solve all her problems. she didn’t cry out, “baptize me now!” and that’s absolutely fine. and it’s not as if that’s what i’ve been expecting to happen as i chaplain but it’s indicative of the clearer journey i often wish i could experience, the grand ideal where everything falls into place immediately, all the time and the outward manifestations of spiritual growth that are undeniably clear. it would be nice. it would also be the biggest ego trip of my life. and somehow, even though it hurts, i think i’d rather experience more “what am i doing here?” moments…they always lead to a divine appointment. nothing else quite compares to when God shows up.
these are uncharted waters…