I need to remind myself of the progress of one week since I came home from the hospital, otherwise I will continue to be an impatient whiner.
Today I went to Small Group Worship at my advisor's house, a 90-minute lecture in Systematic Theology, lunch in the refectory (something of a mistake, given the faux Chinese food on the menu, but my innards will settle soon), and choir rehearsal, where I was the substitute choir director while our dear Dr Bill is out of town.
I managed to get through it all pretty well, although when I came home at 2 pm (having left the house at 8 a.m.) I was tired and had to nap on the couch for 90 minutes.
In contrast, I went to school on Monday for two one hour classes and lunch time, and had to spend all of Tuesday on the couch.
This is progress of a sort. I will take it very easy tomorrow, except for the Fat Club weigh-in, where I expect good news, since I've been away from hospital cuisine for a week. On Sunday I may or may not go to Field Ed, depending on how I feel, but this time last week I couldn't have imagined driving 37 miles in each direction, assisting at the service and teaching the teens. I do have a video for them, BTW, so my level of energy can be somewhat less than usual and we can still get something done.
At the Refectory today, I ran into my Commission on Ministry (the Diocesan clergy-lay body that advises the Bishop on those of us who want to become priests) - they were in to do final ordination interviews with our seniors, who expect to be ordained to the transitional diaconate in late May. Several Commission members had heard about my illness and come up to check in and give hugs, even the sometimes intimidating administrator of the group. Another wonderful instance of support from a source that I didn't quite expect - shows how the Spirit continues to surprise me.
I'll be meeting with them in May for our candidate interviews, when they will determine if we are to be candidates for ordination. They call it The Process for a reason. Do we have too many lawyers developing this methodology?
One element of this year in my seminary career is my Middler Evaluation. In our Junior year, these letters which go to our Bishops are pro forma. As long as you're not completely tanking school or doing something that frightens the horses, you're fine. The Middler eval is a different animal. The student writes a self-evaluation first, the advisor writes his/her starting evaluation, then solicits the input of all the professors and incorporates it into the letter. The advisor meets with the student to share the draft prior to it being sent off, at which point the student may respond (which may or may not result in modifications to the letter) and it gets sent off to the Bishop. This letter can generate much conversation in the Commission on Ministry candidate interview. The letters that my friends have received have ranged from "sweet, but dumb as a post" to "gifted, well-prepared for ministry, here are some ideas for continued growth." So when my advisor told me this morning at the end of Small Group Worship, "Mibi, you're next for Middler Evaluation," there was surprisingly little consternation in my heart.
I know I've worked hard and have done reasonably well across a broad range of disciplines, some better than others. I know I've tried to keep myself open to learning new things in contextual learning environments, and that when taught, I didn't need to be instructed twice. I know, most of all, that I so value the gift of this call and am increasingly certain of it day by day, that I am confident that the Spirit will guide me through this process, whatever happens. The evaluation letter may be good or it may be difficult, but the Spirit will guide me through.
This coming week, the last one of this quarter, holds no terrors for me, since I've asked for extensions from everyone. Wisdom finally trumped ego ("I can power this through.")
Than you for all your prayers and reminders that this is transitory and I'm in it for the long haul, not just the next couple of weeks. I'm a slow learner, but I think I'm catching on.