For nearly seven years, I have carried the live coal of vocation with me; now I have a place where I can set it down, and let it catch fire.
In the biblical numerology of my childhood, seven was the number of completion, and that feels about right.
I am so grateful for all of you who sustained and supported me during this long process–– helping me remember my true self, suggesting connections in my new religious home, giving me swift kicks whenever self-doubt had me dragging my feet.
If I haven’t thanked you personally, chalk it up to my MFC-addled brain. I remember you with gratitude in odd moments, when I’m away from a phone, when I’m walking the dog, as my head hits the pillow at night. Thank you.
Some of you have asked about my next steps. I’ve been “cleared for search,” which kind of means “hurry up and wait.” For now, my main tasks are reading the Settlement Handbook, and preparing the packet of information that I will share with congregations. As the Transitions Office begins posting available positions, I’ll start imagining life in those new places. Even if everything moves at lightning speed, the earliest we would leave Alaska would be late summer, 2013. Given the glacial pace of the last seven years, I have no illusions.
So the next steps are still almost completely unknown, and yet I feel a new sense of security, knowing that whatever direction the path takes, I’m walking “in fellowship” with my new community of faith, together with a new community of colleagues.