(Side note: So sorry for the two and a half month hiatus. Life got a bit busy and while I often thought about writing here, it just never happened.)
As you know from previous posts, I am currently employed by three different groups. They are all related, all church focused, and all dream jobs for me. But alas, it IS possible to have too much good in your life. So after much prayer and counsel I decided to leave two of my jobs and go back to English teaching. Wait a second, you hate English teaching. Well, yeah. I don't know if I would say that I hate it, but it's definitely not my favorite thing to do and it will be really hard to go back to it after getting to work in these jobs for a year. But the plan is to work teaching English for a year or two, earn and save money, and hopefully after a while have enough money saved to do something else. Like... open up a cafe.
So I gave my notice to two of my jobs. I'll stay with the church planting network job. Mainly because it's the one that costs me the least amount of emotional energy and yet still refines my administrative skills. Of course the transition will be hard, especially "leaving" ISA. I have to say "leaving" because I am not actually leaving the church. In fact, Cristobal has asked me to stay on the Pastoral Team. So I'm not sure how we are going to manage putting down limits and respecting those said limits. But to be honest, I'm a bit tired and I'm glad to be leaving my paid post as the women's pastor. This isn't to say that I'm not incredibly sad to leave the job. I have LOVED serving in our church plant. But ministry is hard. Pastoring is really hard. And pastoring in a church plant is REALLY hard. There are a lot of blessings that come with the job- seeing people have their lives changed by Jesus is biggest one. I can't tell you how much I have laughed and cried for joy over the last year. Seeing God transform lives right before my very eyes. Seeing people who have been consistently rejected from social groups because they are conflictive people, seeing them ask for forgiveness from those they have hurt. Seeing resolution. Seeing redemption. Seeing families restored. It's amazing. Nothing less than miracles. And I got to be a part of it all year long.
But I'm tired. All that amazing fruit that I get to see as a woman's pastor comes at a high emotional and mental cost. In our little plant, there are about 30 needy and broken women for every 1 woman who can serve others. I've had various women come to me upset that no one was there for them when they were going through their recent crisis. And all I could do is look from side to side and say, Who is supposed to go? I'm here right now. I'm listening to you. I care for you. I want God's best for you. But I am only one person and there are so many needs. Our church is immature. And if there is no one else looking to serve others, then there is no one else! I have lived all year with the sensation that there are women who just slipped through our fingers. Who needed a loving community, but that I just couldn't give any more.
And so I am stepping down from my paid position with the church. No one is taking my place (sadly) and I will still continue on the pastoral team. Next year, our pastoral team will be Cristobal (head pastor), Max (university minister), and me (the not-paid-anymore women's pastor).
As some of you know, I've been getting some medical tests done. Little did I know that my constantly stressed life was taking such a toll on my body. There are a lot of details that I won't go into, but after 6 months of blood tests and all kinds of fun, they finally sent me in for a CAT scan to see if I had a tumor. Which I don't. But my body was acting like I did, and it's from the stress. Scary, eh? The good news is that since I made the decision to quit two of my jobs, I can literally feel the difference. I live in a much lighter state of being. And this week's bloodwork confirmed the feeling. My body is starting to work again as it should.
So yeah. Let the adventure continue. I started this blog when I first came to Chile. And I named it "capturing the moment with Jesus, one day at a time" and it's been true to its name. This next year I think it going to be a year of settling. My health stabilizing. My work taking an appropriate place in my life. My relationships flourishing. And my life settling into Chile. I'm coming up on my 3 year mark here, so I guess it's about time.