I’m sitting here thinking I need to write up something for the blog, but I have no words. Not because I’ve been stunned speechless. Nor has there been a drought of issues about which I could get worked up. I just am all out of words.
I spent too many hours over the past two weeks doing the sort of writing that is really hard for me. The dreaded self-discovery, self-evaluative narrative. There was the CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) midterm, in which I was to evaluate the things I have learned about my self and my peer group during the first few months of my chaplaincy internship. And it was time to write up verbatim five of seven. That requires writing up a conversation with a patient/family as if it were a script, then considering the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, theological and any other factors that might have shaped the conversation before identifying what I learned about myself as a pastor.
From CPE I moved to CPM – the Committee on Preparation for Ministry paperwork. This is the oversight committee for my denomination that has been guiding me through the ordination process. After seven years of classes, internships, and other requirements, it was time to complete the (hopefully) last of my annual report forms and a first draft of the form that will help the denominational database match me with potential church locations.
All of these have the sort of questions that wear me out mentally. I am self-aware enough to answer them… I know my strengths and weaknesses, I can identify places I am growing and where I am stuck. I have dreams and hopes.
I also know that the way I approach things is often quite different from the way others do. That makes it really hard for me to just dash off an answer and trust that I don’t need to filter, re-orient or pull back on what I’ve put out there. For every “It’s so refreshing to get such a personal and forthright response” I suspect at least one other person is wondering what the heck is up with me.
So, I’ve overthought and overwritten and stressed and finally submitted all of these forms. And I am all out of words. It’s time for a date with the Shadow.