Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The (Future) Reverend Edema

I feel like I have been away for a week. In actuality, we were only gone for 28 hours and only just 3 hours away. But I am still "recovering." I wish I traveled better. I have a sister right outside New York and a sister in France. Oh, but it would be fun to go visit! I wonder if I ever could actually afford to go see them, it would be wasted on me as I am so overwhelmed by traveling. I am actually trying to get up to see my sister in New York in November without kids. This is my thirtieth birthday gift to me. If you were wanting to get me a gift, (it's never too early to start thinking about it!) you are welcome to contribute to my trip. I think it will all be much less wasted without kids. It still feels a long way off and nothing is really determined, not even the dates, but I am still looking forward to it. It's just times right after trips, when I am taking the maximum dose for Tylenol and have been counting down until bedtime since before Amabel got home from school that I worry if spending money on a trip for me is a waste. I think the difference is that this trip is going to be made without kids. Or did I already mention that?

So where were we? George was asked to preach at a church in Springfield, Missouri, which is about three hours southwest of St. Louey. We drove out on Saturday night and had supper with George's dad's cousin and his wife, really nice folks who live over that way. We stayed in a really nice hotel and had a great complimentary breakfast and got everyone to church 25 minutes early! That's right! And do you know why we were 25 minutes early? Because they start at 10:30! Can you imagine a day of rest where you actually get to rest and don't have to get up at dawn?! And actually have time for breakfast?! For Belgian waffles?! It was so nice.

So I was noticing George being very nervous and was really not sure what to do to help him. I was sort of nervous myself because I had never heard him preach. When he took preaching classes all last year, he was determined he was the worst in the class. He has really struggled with the call to be a pastor and the serious deficiency of preaching skills he was uncovering in himself. We have hashed through it together and he has met with pastors and professors alike to get counsel and direction and encouragement about this very issue. A lot of people have encouraged him that public speaking just takes practice. Likewise he has been encouraged that just because he is weak in preaching does not mean he will not be faithful in pastoring, really loving and walking alongside people. So there was all of that which encouraged us to keep on pursuing this for George- all of that and the lack of any other doors opening (which, let's be honest, is often as clear an indication of God's direction as anything else).

So with all that in mind, and my husband's "controversial" theological sympathies, I have to say that future employment has been one of my not so secret fears. But George is good with fear, always reminding me that God will take care of us and has never failed us (or any of His people) yet, always reminding me what life is really like (as opposed to my spoiled expectations that everything will effortlessly be handed to me). But you know, I am a nervous person. So I just sort of decided to remember that the weekend was not about me. I decided I was not going to be my usual needy self and do my best to take all the extra stress off George so he could focus on the task ahead of him. Sunday morning I got the kids dressed, I packed the bags in the hotel room, and just tried to be encouraging while George went over his notes. This also helped my own nerves- not a whole lot of time to worry about meeting a church full of people I don't know or whether or not my husband will sweat and stutter if I am busy with other things.

But let me just say, there was absolutely no need to worry in the first place. Was it because of all the prayers we had said? Was it because my expectations were so low? I don't know, but y'all, he was like a real preacher. He didn't sweat. He didn't stammer. Not that there's anything wrong with those things and I am sure plenty of good experienced pastors do that all the time anyway. But my point is that he did very well. And I was so proud. It was a confirmation of sorts too; it was encouraging to see that God really is helping him improve and giving him what he needs to answer this call. I mean, I trusted that. I think. But it was so nice to see it. I mean, he did really really well. Now you will all just have to come hear for yourselves. Well, eventually. He has to graduate, get a job, and be ordained first first. (Just those three little things.) School starts for him tomorrow- his last year of seminary. This year will be about finishing his formal training and education as well as any field hours and finding a position in a church. As a pastor. More than likely an assistant or associate pastor, but whoa. And that means I have to start thinking about being the pastor's wife. Yikes. This is very strange. We're almost grown ups! I know, we'll believe it when we see it. But that's what I mean, I saw it this Sunday in George.

One of the ladies at the church we were visiting said that when he finished preaching her daughter said "He was a good guy!" She said she thought so too. Yeah, me too.


RHB said...

Yaaay for George! I agree, it is very encouraging for us "see" God's faithfulness at work in our lives! Glad that it was a good Sunday! Now we'll have to start praying about your traveller's stress. :)

courtney said...

That's awesome. I meant to tell you that I thought the way he spoke at our little gathering at your parents' was so pastoral. And I mean that in a good way. He seemed to have a natural and humble way of commanding attention to the truth that he was speaking. Hope that makes sense... Anyway, you'll be a great pastor's wife. One of the best qualities you have is the ability to be raw and real, and I think that is so important for what you are being called to do and be.

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