Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who Am I?

Ever since I was ordained, I have happily claimed my status as the Reverend Dr. Kate, a happily bivocational person, who, at least in a previous life balanced the two hats of priest and psychologist in some sort of equilibrium.  I had a church life and a day job life and the two intersected at times. Mostly that was good thing, at times it was challenging, but it was all part of a whole that made a life I realize in retrospect that I simply took for granted, and assumed would just always be part of my reality.

Well, life moves forward and times change, and the transitions and shifts of the last two years have shown me that my assumptions and "taken for gran teds" just ain't necessarily so When we first moved back I had "just assumed" that of course it would all work out.  Kind of like true love....there would be a church with a Kate-sized need and we would find each other and live happily ever after. And for a while it looked like that might be happening.  There was a short assisting gig that never quite got off the ground. And then there was another plan that sounded promising enough for a relocation to a town down the road. We "met and dated" for a while, but somehow I guess the spark was just not there. The little frission of interest fizzled, we stopped seeing one another. I moved on.

So today, my "professional" church life and my day job life are, for the most part, non-intersecting. Rev. Kate and Dr. Kate do not travel in the same circles at all. Sometimes that leaves me feeling a little dis-integrated, a little sad. Clergywise, I am doing some supply and some writing. I am seeing a spiritual director and trying to discern if there is something else I might/could/should do now in that realm. We are part of a lovely congregation where we are feeling more and more at home.  The rector is welcoming and inclusive and I know if I came up with something I thought I might want to do there, she would very likely be open and encouraging.

I am also trying to consciously vision my day job as ministry. To see this as my little altar in the world where the congregation comes and sits before me in the chairs in my office and I am given the chance to bring into their lives the compassion of God's healing love.


Terri said...

It is curious, isn't it, when we find ourselves in this kind of vocational limbo? What does it all mean? I truly suspect that what you really want plays a part in what it all means - in other words if your priestly vocation is one you really want to continue to embrace - then you hang in there. Do supply work. Keep yourself up front and present in diocesan life. And somehow, sometime, in someway, your next call will present itself. It can take awhile. Like a couple of years....but then all of a sudden you are right back where you always felt you were called to be.

If you feel your call is elsewhere, well it willl unfold in similar ways.

At least that has been true for me - including the waiting years for the next real call to present itself...

ANd, you know, ordination is like baptism - you are now ordained forever.

Sharon said...

Kate, what a delight to hear how you are and who you are and are becoming. It's such a weird journey, isn't it?

In whatever circles, you are surely a blessing.

Miss you, friend!

Katherine E. said...

You know what I resonate the most with here, Kate? -- when you mentioned trying to see your role as therapist/psychologist as ministry. In my view, it IS ministry, ministry at its's about transformation, and everything clergy do is about that, one way or another. Of course, I know that leading worship and doing funerals and weddings and all that give us variations on the role, and that's important and valuable, but really, when I'm sitting with someone one-on-one and we're talking about how they are growing and becoming the person God intends them to be (whatever language we use for that)...I don't know...that's ministry at its most profound, to me. Wishing you well, Kate...

Wendy said...

My therapist was/is a pastor, and that is tremendously helpful to me. It is ministry. (But as someone who is wondering about ministry, I feel your pain.)