In this moment. Right now. I'm leaning in.
There is an ache in my heart and I am praying for wisdom and direction. I know I'm meant to be a pastor. I'm clumsy and a mess most of the time, but that's part of the reason I know it so much. When I hear the stories of spiritual abuse, when one of my friends in ministry shares something on their blog and someone in their church shames them or pleads for them to take it down, I feel that ache. My heart breaks. And I know where I'm supposed to be. I just finished reading a chapter of Lean In. The one called, "What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?"
I would be a pastor at a real live church.
I didn't know that's where my heart was. Honestly, Christians scare me. But I feel it. I know I'm supposed to walk that path. Even though I've no idea where to start! The closest seminary is an hour away. They have a dual program where I could get an MSW and an M.Div. Mental and spiritual health are two of my great loves. But the deadline is Friday! And honestly I don't even know if we're going to be here in a year. I started seminary at Wesley in DC but my husband joined the Army that same year. We ended up in this sad military town and I had to put school on pause. If my husband deploys this summer, he'll be gone for nine months and so I've considered moving back to the DC metro area while he's away and continuing my degree. But I can't finish in nine months. And, then what?
Perhaps I don't even need a degree. My last pastor was a seminary dropout and he is bloody brilliant. But as a woman, it's almost impossible to get a job in a pastoral role even with a degree. And, on top of all of this, we have $225,000 in student loan debt and I am so weighed down by it. It makes me nervous to consider piling more on top.
But still. This feels big. Tremendous. Like the day in the car in 2007 on highway 277 when I almost crashed because a still, small voice told me I was meant to a pastor.
Like the day I met Rob Bell, one of my heroes, and I told him I wanted to be a pastor and he told me, "We need you!" And I knew he meant women but he was talking to me! And that seemed incredible. A dream.
This is my dream. I haven't yet sorted out the path. But I know I'm on it. And I know God will show me the doors I need to open. And so I ask you to pray. Even if you are not the praying type. For courage. And wisdom. And ambition. The drive to take me where I am meant to go.
Because we need more women behind pulpits. Even though even now, I'm tempted to ask: Why me? When really, I know the question is: Why not?