This Journey

Thoughts, rants, prayers, sermons I'll never give and other stuff gathered as I make my way through this life.

Pre-Advent. Or, Getting a Head Start on the Waiting

This is a bit of a luxury calendar year. We have a whole week between the Thanksgiving holiday and the beginning of Advent. So often, it seems like Advent 1 is the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and we’re off like herd of cats.

But this year, the way the days fall mean that Advent doesn’t start until the week after. We even have to wait for the waiting season.

Waiting makes me a little edgy – until it doesn’t and then I’m lethargic. Or maybe that’s depressed.

See, last December I fled my corporate job with the hope and dream that I was making myself available for whatever this big promised call that has been looming for years and years. With the help of lots of conversations with trusted people I thought I could make the leap of faith and set up shop as a leadership coach and organizational consultant. I know I don’t like to work alone so I was going to work with my friend, LN and we’d have a grand time.

We did (mostly) have a grand time this year, but unfortunately, there have been no paying clients. We’ve had lots of conversations and sent out lots of proposals but no one is ready to sign up. We’ve even had some pro bono clients just to test the process and make sure all the technical pieces were working correctly.

But a year is a long time to wait for even one paying contract. Or maybe it isn’t? How long do you wait to see if something like this is going to work? How long do you try something before you try something else? Because a year without me bringing in any real income is hard too.

In October, G found out that he is being laid-off at the end of December. So beginning in 2013 we will have zero income, a half launched business and no insurance unless we can find the money for COBRA (which isn’t likely.)

Because the paying gigs for the business were slow, I had already started applying for interesting types of jobs over the summer. And while there were still plenty of applications that went out and were unacknowledged (I mean really, would it kill you to send a cut-and-paste response “We received your resume for X position. We’ve selected another candidate. Best of luck in your continued search.”??) I actually have gone on quite a few interviews. Some of which for jobs I actually really wanted.

Actually, for each of the interviews, I generally work myself into a position of optimism and spend a good amount of time visualizing how I would accomplish the stated goals of the organization given the position I’ve applied for. Partly so that I can discern whether it’s a good fit, partly so that I come across positive during the interview, and partly so that I can get the job.

I’m still waiting to find that place where I’m good enough to be the lucky one who is chosen.

The last few spots were very disappointing. I really thought I brought something important and needed to the table. I really had my heart in them. But the organizations chose another way.  The really frustrating part is that in one case, I’m seeing that organization put into practice ideas that I had shared during my interview. Ideas I’m quite certain were not also generated by the other candidates. It makes a person wonder what I’m doing wrong in the interviews.

So I’m still waiting.

This waiting feels really hard because I’ve been at the bottom of the financial pit before and I see no good that I can do from there. If walking with the poor is my call then we need to do this a different way. This waiting has been going on longer than just a few months or even a year. So many people in a very complex and arduous process over the last ten years have told me that I have gifts and experience that are needed in the church. And yet, when it comes down to offering me a place to do that work – to use those gifts – the answer continues to be “No.”

So I we continue to wait. But look for what? I’ve run out of ideas and I’m beginning to run out of confidence that I can do anything that anyone wants to pay for and I’m running out of hope that even if it exists that I’ll find it. I feel like I’m running around offering these gifts to people who don’t value them, or understand them and certainly don’t want them. How long should I wait for them to change their minds? Put another way: How long do I wait before I give up and go back to corporate work and give up this delusion that I ever had a call to rostered ministry? Or that I missed the opportunity somehow?

At any rate, I’m activating my mobility papers this week – and indicating a wide range of regions and synods where we would consider a call. G is no longer tied here by his job; both my boys are in college so I am no longer tied here by parenting. Maybe 2013 is the year Chez Journey moves?

And so we wait for answers and hope that something comes.


Author: Not Fainthearted

A paradox wrapped in an enigma playing the accordion. I'm a sinner-saint, child of God working at the cross-roads of church and world. A Deaconess called to connect people living near the center with people on the edge and to help your life sing (literally and figuratively) while doing it. People don't always get the deaconess part. Could be the swearing, the corporate job, or the wine.

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