Friday, December 17, 2010

My first semester of seminary is done.

Hebrew final cancelled.  Paper on ministry with queer youth submitted.  Mark final emailed.  Systematic theology essay sitting on my hard drive, to be printed and turned in tomorrow.
And suddenly my first semester of seminary is over.
It’s a little anticlimactic; I finished the very final paper alone in my apartment, with Kristi at work and Oliver asleep in his cat cube.  I’ll drive to campus tomorrow to turn it in, but I don’t know if I’ll see anyone.
I feel extraordinarily ambivalent.  
It is fitting, I think, for me to feel torn at this moment.  Life back in school has been a total subversion of all my unconscious expectations about school.
I had, to begin with, no idea what I was going to learn this year, and not even an inkling of how much.
I had no idea how many heart would swell and ache in daily worship with excitement and joy.
I had no idea (although I might have guessed) how great a support Kristi would be to me, how accommodating and loving and compassionate in my times of overwork, undersleep, and stress.
I had no idea when I finally turned that application in last March that I was going to have moments where I felt totally alone.  
I had completely forgotten how hard it was that first semester at Olaf, when I was eighteen and completely redefining myself after spending so many years as a sick girl.  If I loved my Olaf friends four months ago, I love them so much more now - for simply being the amazing people they are, and radically allowing me to participate in that and to grow and celebrate and laugh and cry and dance with them.
Now I have begun to add new friends to this community that I rely on for strength, joy, and celebration.
I had no idea how many amazing people I would meet this semester.  Perhaps abstractly I knew that G-d sometimes calls incredible, gifted, wondrous individuals to serve the church.  But I had no real concrete expectations for how amazing and diverse the student body at Luther Seminary would be.
If I have any confidence in my call, I have so much more in theirs.
If I am excited to be a part of the church, so much more now am I to be when I see the leaders that G-d has called.
I have loved this semester because it is absolutely where I should be right now.  And I am very pleased to be done with finals and to know that the next two weeks are at my leisure (well…except for the Christmas pageant, the December 26th sermon, the confirmation retreat, and the Peace With Justice Congregations project…) 
But part of me is not eager for one-sixth (yes, even just one-sixth) of my seminary education to be over.
And part of me is so terrified to even think about going into the world and living out what I am learning.
Yet so much of me is so excited, and so amazed, by the blessing of the other students around me.  I believe that Christ is coming and G-d’s kingdom is about to break in solely because of their dedication, their compassion, and their brilliance.

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