This summer I went on a CTCYM Combo Mission Trip. I walked out of there with a purple t-shirt, a swollen shoulder, and a new understanding of where I was supposed to be. it was kind of time for me to face things. As my new found sister of the soul, Alyssa, would say “I was just sitting there on mission trip, thinking: ‘what am i gonna do with my life? The only thing that makes me happy is Jesus!” or possibly: ‘I am settled on one thing. I’m going to be A UNITED METHODIST CLERGYWOMAN!!” When she says both those things, the words ring in a very glorious explosion of excitedness over life.
Redefinition is not an easy thing. We tend to try and renovate or remodel. Sometimes we reword or rethink or relocate or retreat when people start talking about redefinition. It’s scary to say “I’m going to let go.” Letting go is one of my biggest problems. It’s not so much accepting a call into ministry that is scary. It’s the letting go of everything that is NOT a call to ministry that is scary. It’s giving up my dream of majoring in bagpipe performance at Carnegie Melon and touring the world with a monkey on my shoulder. It’s the letting go of what I think I know or feel or think.
I like to do everything. I like to be in charge. I like to know what’s going on. It’ really hard for me to let go of things and let other people take over them. It’s also really hard for me to not worry about things. It’s really, really, really hard for me to just generally loosen my grip. I get this feeling like as soon as I let go, things are going to get away from me. Like people are going to leave. Like I’m going to end up with all the things that are familar or controllable gone and I’ll be lost. Don’t even get me started on lost. The point is…I think it’s hard to let go.
Redefinition doesn’t stop at getting rid of things. Yu can’t just let go. There’s always something more. In this case, it’s the letting in. For me, this is about people. It was really hard for me to let people in on what God was doing in my life. It was hard to hear my name echoed through the speakers at Annual Conference as they all heard that I had felt a call into ministry…I hadn’t told anyone except Bishop Solomon whom I had talked with only minutes before. It was hard to tell my mom and dad. It was hard even to tell my wonderful fabulous beautiful favorite SLT friends. It was even hard to tell Ethan and Carly who both knew before Itold them.
Letting in people, or love, or knowledge, or anything for that matter, is sometimes hard. You don’t know where that stuff has BEEN! To just open up you heart and hang a ‘welcome’ sign is tough. It’s like letting go all over again. you have to trust something bigger than yourself. Redefinition is a two-way street. You have to let go of what doesn’t make the Webster’s edition of your life, and beef up what’s left by letting better things inside.