two weeks ago, i attended a dinner for a friend who is leaving his current place of ministry to embark on something completely new and different. as i listened to him talk about his next stretch of ministry, i couldn’t help but feel jealous of those who would be an integral part of it. the very thing for which he has been searching in regards (and response) to institutional ministry is the very think in which i seek. it is also a bold and courageous move, leaving the stability of a full-time job with a full-time paycheck that supports not only him, but also his wife and 2 children. at the same time, he is an example of someone being true to his self, to who he really is deep down. it’s that act of being true to himself that made him say to his wife one day (about a year ago) “i can’t do this anymore.”
(truth be told, some days i am waiting to hear the same thing from my own husband)
it was a wonderful dinner and chance to catch up with him as well as some other people whom i had not seen for months or years.
the next day, i drove to greensboro for the express purpose of having lunch with another dear friend (which i think was a pleasant surprise for him). we caught up on our lives and families and our conversation turned to my work at the hospital last year…how that was the hardest thing i’d ever done and yet the most transformational. and we talked about my grief and his wife’s grief and how that plays out as we adjust to the “new normal.”
i did take advantage of the locale to stop by my favorite coffee shop and get a cup of coffee, hoping to see some old friends there, too, but settled for the solitude of my glorious fair trade certified cup of decaf, the jazz that floated on the air and the eclectic groupings of art that hung on the walls.
and then, just as quickly as i’d gone there, i left. i regretted not having more time to be there, to really soak it all in and recharge–for every time i go i feel a little more grounded…part of it is nostalgia and the longing for a much simpler time. part of it is getting in touch with who i really am, as i started to become there. it is my place, where i embarked on the life that i built for myself, even if it was only for a few short years. it was, and i think still is, everything i need it to be.