I am in the midst of packing and preparing for an unknown future. I am in the last phases of the end of one of the chapters in the book of my life. As much as I felt called to be a pastor I now feel called to do something else. The problem is that I don't know what I will be doing.
I think that it would be so much easier to say that I knew: how I was going to pay the bills; how I will spend my time; and how I will make something significant of my life. When I answer people's questions about where I am going I tell them the physical location of where we are moving and they want to know more. I don't have the answers they are looking for or the answers my heart longs to answer.
When I was young, I made a life plan. I followed that life plan intentionally and proceeded to do everything I promised myself and others that I would do. I got my bachelors degree in Education. I was a dedicated teacher, won awards, wrote curriculum and led training events. Yet, I knew there was more to my life plan. I started out on a greater adventure and took my family with me. We went to be House Parents at a children's home. We did serious work that molded us and the people we helped. Then, we went to Duke University so that I could get my graduate degree. It was a huge challenge but we met it head on. We then came back and I spent the last 10 years serving as a pastor. I lived my plan.
There was another stage of my life plan. The plan was to get my degree in counseling or pastoral care. I almost got my doctorate before coming back from Duke but the bills had piled up and I was ready to make a stable pay check.
Twenty years later, I have finally decided that my life plan might have been a little misguided. I don't regret what I did, I regret the rigidity with which I lived out this plan. As uncomfortable as I feel about living without a plan, I think this is reality I must face. I believe I have outgrown a plan that I developed as a young person.
I don't think rigidity breeds success, happiness, freedom of expression or any aspects of embracing my whole heart so I long to leave that way of life behind. Yet, straying from my life plan means living with uncertainty. It means not having answers that make others feel more comfortable. It means not knowing how I will pay the bills. Currently, the biggest threat to my personal growth is the need to either learn how to live on very little or find a vocation that will allow me to more fully be myself.
So, as I pack up my household and juggle the entire process of making this transition I am asking myself... how does one pack for the unknown?