Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reflection on the past leads to a new begining

As I take a break from my “work” today I reflect back on the day that I came to interview here at the church. I don’t know why these memories pop back into my head. Maybe it’s because the weather is brutally hot as it was on that day. I remember I was at what was my fiancé’s house, soon to be our house, moving some of my things in and arranging it to my liking. I decided to take a walk through campus, explore my surroundings. I marveled at how close the church was to my new place of residence. It was very hot and humid; I was sweating profusely by the end of my walk. I knew that I would drive the few short blocks rather than risk arriving at the interview sweaty and disheveled. I entered the back doors of the church and saw a woman I had known from my old parish. She greeted me excitedly and asked if I was interviewing for the job (she must have guessed from my awesome interviewing suit). I replied yes and she was very excited. I greeted the secretary who called my now Campus Ministry boss (who I will refer to as J from here on out). J escorted me to the conference room where the interviewing committee was waiting. I remember meeting my “other boss” (K), and all the different folks on the committee. It was a grueling interview. They just kept firing questions at me left and right and giving me scenarios that I had to respond to. I later found out from one of the students on the committee that I was their 8th and final interview so they had the pattern down pretty good. K really worried me. I remember thinking that if she had to be my boss I wouldn’t like it, she seemed mean and angry, which is totally untrue but she does come off that way. I remember thinking how I would prefer working with J since he seemed so kind (ha!). After the interview I was told to wait in J’s office and was given the National Catholic Reporter to read. The couch was sagging and I was uncomfortable. I sat there, sweating (no air-condition) as I waited and waited for the committee to finish deliberating. As I waited the music minister (M). Met me and was excite to find out that I had attended the same University she was teaching at. I waited and waited listening to the clock in his office chime on the quarter hour. I kept thinking that I didn’t do so well in the interview but they must have liked me somewhat otherwise they wouldn’t have taken so long. Finally the music minister went down and got J. He dismissed me and said they would be in touch.
I returned to my future home and sat outside in a lawn chair rehashing the interview with my dad on my cell phone. I really wanted the job. At the time I had no other options. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do if I didn’t get the job. Plus it was so conveniently located. I had a good feeling about it. While we chatted my call waiting went off and I could tell it was from the church. I let my dad go and found it was the church, the priest actually, calling to offer me a job. I really couldn’t tell you what I said in that interview that day. But for some reason, out of all the people that applied and interviewed that committee saw something in me that they wanted here at my church. I was so glad! I was getting married to the man I loved, had a nice place to live AND a job in my field. How could life be any better?
I also remember those first few weeks of working here. It was about this same time of year. It was slow and quiet. I met with each of my bosses and got the low down on what went on around here. I also had to clean off my desk which was piled high with “stuff” from the previous Youth Minister. Then I got take off for two weeks because of my wedding (how nice and generous of my work place). When I returned it was August 28th and I was thrown into the whirlwind which is this ministry until about December 15. I had no clue what I was in for.
I don’t know why I am looking back on that day. Maybe it’s to get in touch with those good feelings I had, those feelings of hope, anticipation, excitement, confidence that I could do this job. Now that I am headed into my third year (the longest I’ve stayed at a job by the way). I don’t really have those feelings. I have some ideas on how I would like things to go but I also have the past two years of experience and know what I am getting into. I don’t want to have to fight and push to try new things. I don’t want the pressure of feeling that I have to have “numbers” (common way that the priest evaluates programming which I happen to disagree with); the pain of dealing with parents who do not prioritize their child’s faith, the struggle to communicate with my colleagues, the uncomfortable atmosphere this work place exudes at times. Oh yes, and did I mention that I would like to be pregnant this year too? I’m sure that will throw everything for a loop since I have no idea what it will be like to be pregnant and do this crazy work.
Right now I don’t know why I am doing this work. I do know one thing. This is where God wants me to be. What I thought were doors being opened for me in other directions obviously weren’t. And so I wait. Wait for the craziness to begin, wait for the joy and energy that I know my students will bring me wait to see what God has planned for me this year. Maybe I should try and forget these past two years of challenges and focus on the task at hand.
O Lord, please help me to see your light in this ministry. Help me not to get discouraged by the little things that can eat away at my soul. Help me to know and accept that this is Your will for me right now. Show me how I can serve you today and each day.

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