Sunday, April 27, 2008

Maiden Voyages

Well there always has to be a first time, I guess. And I admit have been dodging this one. "The News" about the separation was announced in the parish newsletter the week before last. I skipped church last week as I had the nursing home in the afternoon, and well, I just wasn't ready. But today was my Sunday to celebrate and preach, so there was no getting around it, I had to be there. Sermon writing was hard. Things have been tense between us this week. As much as we both have good intentions about this being positive, we are both in pain, both edgy, and it does not take much for feelings to get stirred up. We disagree about some pretty fundamental issues and I am feeling some anger right now. This was a hard place from which to write about the commandment to love one another. It was not my best sermon, and I found I couldn't get too stirred up about that. At least not yesterday. This morning was another story entirely. The good news is, I know a panic attack when I see one. I know what to do to get through it and I knew afterwards that asking for help and support would be a good thing. Having done that, I went and did what was before me. My first encounter was with our sweet altar guild person. She was not able to stay for service due to another commitment, but had come early to set the altar. She gave me a hug and told me how much she appreciated that we had told everyone so openly. "I've never been in a church where something has been handled so honestly," she said, "I'm praying for both of you." That made me feel good, and it made me cry. There were very few other people there today as there are a number of things going on out of town that involve members of the congregation. Dear One was there. That was good, but hard. Seeing the face of someone I am finding it hard to forgive while I am preaching about Jesus' mandate to do so...well that was a little disconcerting....and that critical voice in my head? Oh, yeah, took advantage of the moment to call me a hypocrite, she did!

But other than that, and the fact that I seemed to keep finding myself in tears, I got through it. It was the prayers. I know it was the prayers. That and the love and care of my friends is all that is getting me through any of this. I am riding that like a slipstream....it is God's grace manifest. You know who you are you angels and messengers.

So I have made the maiden voyage. The first hard step is over. There will be other ones, other people who were not there today who still must be faced, some in particular whose judgments I fear, some whom I am sure will have things to say to me or about me. But I have to let it go. I can't control this part (as if I can control any of it!). One of the things I found myself praying over and over as I vested this morning was to remember that this is not about me, not this part anyway, that my job here is to get out of the way as much as possible, leaving the space for God.

I am waiting and hoping for this first sort of shocky stage to pass. I'd like to start making some sense of this, finding my self in here again. I have hope that this will happen. I don't know when. I'm told it will be sooner than I might imagine from here. I'd be good with that too. In the meantime, I'm finding my comforts in blogs and e-mails, dogwalks and talks with good friends. I'm trying to pray and knowing others are doing so for me. I'm holding out carrots on short sticks and long and moving through one experience at a time.

14 comments:

Jan said...

(((Kate))) Prayers. You are brave. Be in the moment, aware of the Holy One holding you.

Mary Beth said...

Love you!

writing as eliza said...

((Kate)) many prayers for you, both as a leader, and as a beloved child of God.

cheesehead said...

You do not voyage alone!

((((Kate)))

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Sending you prayers and blessings.

The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

(((Kate)))

God_Guurrlll said...

(((kate)))

you are an amazing woman. know that we all have your back.

peace and love

imngrace said...

Prayers upon prayers for you. I have done this, too. I had to preach on Jesus' thoughts on divorce one week after I moved out of the house. Ouch. Know that you are beloved and God will not let go-even in this.

Diane said...

(((Kate)))
holding you in prayers now.
praying that others treat you gently.

mid-life rookie said...

me too (((Kate))). One day, one hour, one minute, one step at a time. God is with you and we are too.

mompriest said...

My life is such that I can't get to all my blog friends every day...but please know I still hold you in prayer...every day...wow...what a tough day...

Rev SS said...

(((kate)))

Kathryn said...

we're here praying xx

Choralgirl said...

Hi, Kate--

For what it's worth, I think the little voice in your head might have been a bit hard on you.

We have to keep preaching and living our way into the hardest and biggest truths, no? Forgiveness ain't easy. You'll get there, but you have to be where you are first.

I'm sorry for your pain; will keep you in prayer!

Peace and courage to you.