Friday, 3 July 2015

Thoughts of a North London Curate: Day -1

The day before Ordination at St Paul's Cathedral 

Using the words of the inimitable Hugh Grant "Bugger! What on earth is happening?"

I am lying on a bed in St Katherine's retreat centre in Limehouse, today is a silent day, and I lie pondering how I got to be here. 

12 years ago I didn't know this Jesus that I am tomorrow publicly committing the rest of my life to, to serve as a Distinctive Deacon in the Church of England. It's just mad, and I remember saying those exact words to God as I committed my life to him on 15 March 2003 "Lord this is mad yet it feels so right, how can this be?"

These last few days the words I constantly hear are John 15:16 "You didn’t choose me. I chose you." Which is pretty hard to understand in this 'I centred world.' The understanding that this is none of my doing and what I am doing was written in my book of life before I was even born or thought of by my parents is astoundingly mad!

I'm really sad that neither my Mum or Dad will know about or get to share this moment with me. I kinda hope they would be proud just as I am proud of my girls achieving their hopes and dreams - in spite of the fact that for 40 of my 50 years what I do tomorrow was neither a hope or dream - not even on my radar! But I have peace in knowing that my Father in heaven is immensely proud of me, all the time, no matter what I do - through the good and the bad. But if I'm honest a hug from my Mum and a "well done Sag" from my Dad would not have gone amiss tomorrow or any other day for that matter. 

It seems when you open your life to God, and begin to get free from all the stuff holding you back from being the person He created you to be, then amazing opportunities like this happen. Not that all will be called to ordination, but we are all called to have the amazing freedom He offers; to be free of lies, hurts, physical pain, emotional pain and much more in order to have the full life He promises us. I thank Him everyday that I am not and no longer need to be defined by the world around me. That sticks and stones will no longer break my bones, and names will never hurt me. Because, by the Holy Spirit, who now lives in me, I know who I am, loved unconditionally. 

So tomorrow, doesn't really change anything in my relationship with God, how we feel about each other. I guess though it is a public declaration of that fact, not just to you who know and love me, but to every other person I meet for the rest of my life. Revd. Sally, daughter of the King, disciple of Jesus, ordained minister of the Church of England, representing the Servant King in all that she does, hopefully (though still a human prone to sin!)

I will wear my clerical collar with pride, and humility, because 12 years ago I didn't know this Jesus, but I now know that He knew and loved me, the whole of my life and beyond. I will attempt to serve Him well by doing what he asks, which is loving others. Something He seems to have gifted me in and something I hope to disciple others in the art of doing. 

So one more sleep before I call the bank to change my name from Mrs to Revd. But that's all of me that will change, God made me how I am for a reason, and that reason is to "love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, and all my mind.’ And, ‘Love my neighbour as myself.’” Luke 10:27

So let's do this thing God. You and me. Shame that black is not my best look, but I'm sure I can style it out! After all I have some pretty amazing black glittery shoes!

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