It’s been right about two years since my last Sunday with the church we started in Austin. We recognized our family could not thrive health wise in Austin. It was a somewhat fast, and very hard, decision. But it was the right one as we have seen improvements in our family. And the church, of course, is doing just fine without me.
I didn’t leave Austin looking for another pastoral job in a church. It felt like any new church role would be held in an unfair comparison to the church we loved so deeply in Austin. There was also the grief of leaving, and it felt like it was good to have time away from the strain and demands of leading within a church.
A year ago, I was feeling some longing to return to ministry, and sent out a few resumes. Some I never heard back on, though I did go through several rounds of interviews with one. It was a helpful process, as I sensed in the midst of it that my immediate interest was not to return to formal leadership in a church.
I felt like the kind of work I wanted to do did not match well with what most churches are looking for. The parts of ministry where I always found joy were in teaching, or walking alongside others in their spiritual journey. There were parts of the organizational leadership and planning that I enjoyed, but they weren’t what got me out of bed in the morning.
So, as I near the end of my fifth decade of life, I’m moving toward a new season of spiritual leadership. In the midst of my hunt for church roles, I began considering what it might look like to become a spiritual director. As I imagined and prayed about that work, the passion and the interest grew.
And so here we are.
This week, I’m beginning in a training cohort to be a spiritual director through Sustainable Faith. I’m hopeful for more opportunities to sit with people as they consider how God has formed, and continues to form, them toward wholeness and vocation. I’m hopeful for opportunities to do some teaching and writing around spiritual formation. And most of all, I’m hopeful to embrace life beyond 50 by making an effort to be generous and humble in how I offer my own learning and experience in a way that will benefit others.