Sometimes you have to trust the process. That is what I am learning as I near the end of my first year. Sometimes you have to trust a process you did not have a hand in creating, one you still are not entirely sure you have bought into, and one you know will push you to your limits. Sometimes you realize mid fall that God both pushed you and provided the safety net, even if that does not seem fair at the time.
I’m not mid-fall quite yet. I’ve climbed the ladder up to the highest slide in the park, the one that was calling out to me, and I have sat down at the top. I could choose to climb back down the ladder. I could stay seated at the top, crippled in fear. I could lean into the sliding process. Or, I could wait on others to give me a push and tumble down kicking and screaming. I’m trying to avoid the kicking and screaming as there is something undignified about kicking and screaming.
I’m leaning into the three year process that is Wake Forest. This is more than just academics. If it were simply academics, I would be halfway down the slide by now. It is more than just training clergy. If it were all about how to conduct one’s self in a ministry setting, I would be halfway back down the ladder by now. It is more than just being a part of a community. If it were just about community I would be kicking and screaming in a most undignified fashion, because the people here know I need to slide down that slide even if I’m still unsure. I’ve found it is a process. It takes time. It takes intentional step after intentional step. It takes trust. It takes faith. It takes courage.
I’m sitting at the top of the slide. I feel small. I’m looking down at how much work it took to get to the end of my first year and realizing how much work it will take to earn my degree. I could turn back, but I might regret it. I could sit here paralyzed or kick and scream for the next two years in a most undignified fashion, but God has called me for more than a ministry of reluctance. I’m ready to lean into the process, however cliché that sounds. The next two years might be incredibly intimidating, but I trust at the end I will find a firm foundation. I will make it to the bottom of this slide, whole.
Amanda is finishing up her first year. She is an outspoken feminist, bent on social justice and general anti-patriarchal do-gooding. She thinks she might actually turn that into a ministry one day, so stay tuned.