This is me....at a pulpit....giving a sermon.
I know...weird! It was a surreal experience, for sure. But now that it is behind me I am so glad I had the opportunity to push myself. For me, this is REALLY outside my comfort zone. First of all, it is public speaking. yuck. I have always have dreaded it all the way back to communications class in high school. Really, really dread it.
Second, I am speaking in a church to a congregation (3 times!) about my "calling" to AIDS Walk Africa and our adoption. Speaking about my personal journey and spirituality. I am almost too tired to explain all of that..(more here:gentle-nudges)...but for me this is big. I have for so long struggled with my own spirituality, the constraints of organized religion and the literally interpretations of the bible.
It is only recently that I have come to understand the role of religion in my life, for my family and my own personal growth. It is good where I am at today...the struggles aren't completely gone, but I am at more peace with it than ever. I feel much more at peace about religion and understanding its place in my life...I am even embracing it.
So, standing in front of a congregation talking about my spiritual calling was meaningful. The process of writing the sermon was cathartic, it opened my eyes to how God has worked in my life despite my resistance. It is remarkable really.....how god "nudged me" for years about Africa, about adoption and how those journeys were all intertwined. How I received the call when I finally could hear it. Certainly, I continue to be a work in progresss, but am grateful for the presence I feel in my life today.
Today was way outside my comfort zone. And so I am officially crossing off:
#38:Do something outside of my comfort zone &
#13: Service the church
from my "40 before 40" list.
2 for one....double bonus points
I am smiling as I type this.....just makes me happy.
P.S. Isn't my church (St. John's United Church of Christ) just so pretty? The wood, the organ pipes. There is so much more to show that isn't in this shot....there are stained glass windows surrounding to "ooh and ahh" over. Not that a church being pretty matters....well, to most. it does to me and I love that part of going to this church.