Everything in life is about timing. The term late bloomer means your timing doesn’t match up with God’s timing. I received a Christmas present of an orchid two years ago and when the blossoms dried and collapsed on the desk, the base of the plant shriveled, and I was tempted to toss it into the trash. This pot of dirt has lived in the corner of the window of my home in a dormant state. But on the coldest day (7 degrees F) of the 20016 my orchid bloomed.
I’ve spent a lot of time listening to the desires in my head and what the world has fed me instead of listening to the desires of my heart. Here is where this past year of discernment, which sometimes felt dormant, was helpful, insightful and has brought me to this moment.
On the third of December my discernment as to whether or not hospital chaplaincy was a possible direction for my life ended with completion of the Bishop Anderson House course. For twelve weeks I was part of this volunteer chaplaincy program with weekly lectures given by leaders in chaplaincy, palliative medicine, psychiatry, end-of-life care, theology, psychology, human resources, and elder care. In addition, two hours per week in supervised ministry at a field placement site was required. Layered on to the skills necessary for compassionate care, I was also provided opportunities for self-reflection and spiritual growth. It was confirmed; this is where I belonged. Taking the time to be still and deepen my relationship with God led me to the heart of my ministry.
There are two components to hospital chaplaincy: clinical and academic. I’ve been accepted to a Clinical Pastoral Education program for Summer 2017 (Northwestern Memorial Hospital), and I’m waiting to hear if I am accepted to the Institute for Pastoral Studies’ Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies: Health Care Chaplaincy program offered by Loyola University. So the writing opportunities I’ve had this past year will be put to good use and will be honed under the tutelage of the Jesuits, if I am accepted.
I don’t know exactly when I will hear from Loyola, but it will have to be within the next weeks as courses start on January 16th. And if I get in I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it; but one thing at a time. So this week I ask you to join me in prayer that my application will be not only of interest but prompts excitement in the hearts and minds of those who will take it under consideration – because it’s my time to bloom.
Thanks for walking with me on this journey.