This feels pretty relevant for me right now as I have had a year that has contained more life changing things than I would have believed one life could contain. But everything that is going on right now, as amazing and exciting as it is began earlier with another momentous decision. So let's start there....
- The first big fork moment in recent history was my decision to leave my secure known life behind and move across the state to this small place. It was undertaken (after a kick in the posterior from another friend) to work with National Health Service in order to pay off my huge student loan debt acquired while I was getting my doc. The plan for this particular fork was, go out to the prairie, "do my five to seven years" and hie myself back to the big city where I belonged. Ha! God seemed to have another dream for me which began unfolding almost immediately after my arrival in this place when....
- I began attending the Episcopal church and was approached about joining the ministry team, first just being commissioned for lay pastoral care. But the discernment process widened out after my meeting with the commission on ministry and the Bishop and the focus of my call shifted to full ordination for the priesthood as part of the local team. Another fork, as it appeared that "five to seven" was suddenly becoming a commitment to God's people in this place.
- With all the joys and happiness of finding a new life here, there was an undercurrent of sadness. My relationship with my "Dear One" (DO) was not going well. I had been working very hard to dive deep into my heart to find my own truth and it was becoming painfully clear that my truth and DO's truth were simply not going in the same direction. As I looked down the path of life I could see that there was not a fork but a major life highway interchange. The kind that no matter how many maps you read and how much research you do, you really can never feel quite ready. So I did what I had never done before. I did something totally spontaneous and impulsive and totally for me. I jumped ship! On the ship that is....I went to the BE!
- What a fabulous time spent at a fork that was. Life-change at it's finest. It was, for me a time to say things that I felt were unspeakable and have them heard. To see a me I was not yet but could possibly be reflected in the eyes of accepting others. And it was just plain fun! Something I let myself have far too little of in my life. The RevGals on the BE were the best support group anyone could have. In informal groups, in passing conversations, in the intentional moments to tell me something that might be helpful.....you who were there may never know the difference you made.
- The next fork would of course have to be meeting R. I have to laugh at myself now. I was so certain that I was not "dateable" coming to the party late as I was with all my baggage. C and my other friends just laughed at me and urged patience. "It will come when you are ready." And of course they were right. On the first date we closed the coffee shop we talked so much. We laughed at ourselves for being nervous and the silly things we did...about the first date. On the second date I knew I was already having some feelings for him. Then there was a time lag when we did not see each other, during which I almost gave up on him. Old tapes kicked in and of course I knew again I was right about no one ever being interested in me. But one fateful night I decided to be brave....a fork now it turns out...and do something totally out of character and take a chance! I sent an e-mail. I got response almost instantly. And well....you know the rest of the story! (If not it's just a couple posts back and a picture of the ring is on Facebook!)
- This whole series of forks is really about love. When I left the big city to come to this little place I left what I thought was a fine little life. I had a decent job, a career, the trappings of life. I had a couple of friends that I kept at a safe distance. I spent time doing things and taking care of people. I was alone a lot and I was lonely, even though at the time I am not sure I knew that. I was faced with a choice that I thought was about money. Give up the so-called security of what I had to come to this place full of strangers in order to take care of the burdensome debt. It was terrifying but exciting to start over. I had no idea what I would find here. I have been gifted with not only the love of a good man, but some of the most wonderful friendships. In C, in my Soul Sisters and other close friends in town. And I feel surrounded by a larger net of love from my RevGal friends, from others in the community here. By taking that chance....such amazing things have happened, and I really do thank God every day!