Shout out to Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool coming out soon. No one gets the reference? Remember when he was on the show called Two Guys and a Pizza place? No? … yea, because it’s actually called Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place. No wonder the show didn’t survive…
But in bigger and better news and shout out, my wife passed her ordination exam and will be a commissioned deacon!!!!
That’s just church speak for — she done past her exams and we can call her reverend now.

It was harder to watch her go through this process than actually going through it myself. She’s not quite done yet. One more hoop to jump through before she receives her fish, which she can start that process in about two years (yes, in this metaphor, we’re all seals at Sea World — which we’ll never go to because #Blackfish).
As anything that comes in the world of bureaucracy, this process comes with it’s own set of bullshit. Holy bullshit, mind you, but bullshit nevertheless.
At some points of the journey, your resolve is tested and it can come down to the matter of just how much BS you’re willing to swallow.
After failing one year, I was strongly encouraged to go see a psychologist because the Board thought I may have been struggling with ADHD which the psychologist laughed saying, “Wow, this is ridiculous. You may be anxious, but that comes nowhere close to being ADHD. This is BS. What else do you want to talk about for the rest of our time together?”

In all seriousness, there are strengths to this process, as well. And mainly it’s the Board Members who actually care — not about the process — but about the person coming through. Pastor Steve Peralta from Thousand Oaks UMC was one of the pastors who went completely out of his way to affirm my calling after failing for the second time. I will be forever grateful for the conversation we had at a random Starbucks in Porter Ranch about the burden and weight that comes with the process and the joy that comes from recognizing God’s relentless love for me, despite the minor setbacks.

And just as it was much harder to see my wife go through this process and failing, the joy was absolutely greater when she got that phone call letting her know that she passed. Her resolve (and stubbornness) throughout this entire journey was something else. It was admirable.
Saying, “I’m proud of her” doesn’t come close to capturing just how happy I am for her.
But, hey whatever the outcome, I would’ve been absolutely proud of her. And so would’ve all the folks who prayed, loved, and supported her throughout this journey. And we still got a lot more to go in the journey that is ordination.
But for now, we are joyous, we are grateful, and we celebrate!
Congratulations, Reverend!!

 

And if I may, I also know that there are many colleagues who were continued this year (our church speak for: didn’t pass). I know how disappointing, frustrating, confusing, and just plain hurtful that experience can be. I mean, it sucks. It sucks all the more when you see your friends celebrating and you genuinely and sincerely congratulate them and are happy for them — but it just sucks. I’ve been there. I think a lot more of us have been there than not. So, if you happen to stumble across this, please don’t let my flippant talk of BS further jade you. I’m half kidding. In the big picture, it’s a minor setback because regardless of the outcome of your exams and interviews you are called. You don’t need a piece of paper to tell you that. You don’t need the Board to tell you that.
You have that affirmation everyday. You have the affirmation of your calling through the people that work with and serve. But most importantly, you have the affirmation of your calling in God, who indeed has called you. I do hope that you won’t let this setback reach your heart and that you’ll go at it again the following year. Don’t let a continuance undermine who you are in God and God’s purpose in you.

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