On Plans, Permission, 30, & What’s Next (a love story)

A couple of weeks ago, I made a big, scary, exciting decision. I’ve waffled about whether to post about it because there’s nothing formalized about it to make it feel real, other than my own conviction. Nevertheless, I am thrilled and invigorated by it and, if you know me at all, you know I can’t keep my mouth shut about that sort of thing. So here it is: I’M MOVING TO DC THIS FALL!

No, I don’t have a job yet, and I may not by the time my residency here in Chicago ends, but I’m planning to go to DC either way. I’ve got some savings and, if I have to, I’ll figure out the rest when I get there. That may mean part time work and volunteering and pulpit supply and who knows what else. We’ll see what the future brings. But I know where I’m headed.

Three years ago, I passed through DC on my way back to Texas from Philly. I hadn’t been there since our safety patrol trip in 6th grade, and I had never really given it much thought. But that night I fell a little bit in love. I’ve been back 4 or 5 times since then, and I’ve fallen a little bit more in love every time. It’s beautiful, and it feels enough like the South to quell some of the homesickness I’ve carried since leaving the Southeast 8 years ago. I love the feel of it, and the history. I love the people I know there, and the happy hours ;). And there are so. many. awesome. Presbyterians. I love it that important things happen there—new history all the time.

DC also seems to resonate, in many ways, with the growing pull I feel to the intersection of theology and justice. I want to apply my faith, theological training, experience, and ordination to the world of advocacy, to the world of policy change. I want to stand in that intersection and help build the sort of world Jesus believed in. Though for now, I feel  led to places other than parish ministry, who knows where this path might take my ministry down the road. All I know is that it will go somewhere and I am wide open.

I’m afraid that people will see this as a move away from my call to ministry, but honestly, this feels more like I’m following my call than anything else I can imagine. For awhile now, I have felt led to DC—in a way that I can’t quite explain. But I’ve decided to give myself permission to just trust without fully understanding, and to go and see what God has in store for me there. I have always wanted to be the sort of person who would just take off on an adventure to a new place without any guarantees, but I have always been too afraid. I am finally learning that risk can lead to great things and failure, when it happens, is rarely fatal (thanks improv).

I turn 30 this summer and I have finally decided that this is how I want to celebrate. By being brave and following my heart and embracing adventure–giving thanks that, at 30, I have the savings, the resume, and the confidence to do so. I’m a little scared, but I’m even more excited. Last fall in an improv class I said that I dreamed of one day letting myself make the “heart choice” instead of always just the smart choice. That led me to dedicate this whole year of my life to LOVE and to letting go. And this move, this choice, is absolutely an act of love—for myself, for God, and for this gift of a life I’ve been given. I suppose something crazy could happen and turn this all on its head, but barring that, I am DC bound.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Connections – especially when the time draws near, I want to connect with as many people I can in DC for friendship and community (and some job leads wouldn’t hurt!). So if you know good people, let me know them too.
  • Prayer – my future is an open question that I’m trusting God will do something with. Prayers for courage and conviction and faith are much appreciated.
  • Encouragement – Even if you think I’m ridiculous, I hope for your love and support.

Love you all! DC, here I come!

DARE.

(My shoes and the Capitol, from that first fateful trip)

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