Thursday, March 1, 2012

changes big and filling

As many of you know, I am in grad school.  seminary, to be exact.  And I have a strongly discerned and confirmed call to be a sexual theologian through writing and teaching and story-sharing.  I had determined 3 years ago when I began seminary, that the way through which I would create such a unique career would be as a psychotherapist specializing in sexuality.  however, this quarter, something changed.

I have recognized that the clinical pieces of psychotherapy don't only disinterest me, but they drain me of energy.  Learning the diagnostic categories for "disorders," used to sound super intriguing, but now that I'm doing just that, it feels like labeling and hyper-focused listening that easily neglects the story of the client as a whole person made in God's image. I have, also, been mourning the loss of the theology and spirituality classes I was taking before my program intensified into the clinical.  I have been longing for Olivier Clement and Bonhoeffer.  William Countryman and Maya Rivera.  As I looked at the remaining 2 years + a quarter of school, I would not be able to take even one more theology class, and I suddenly felt empty, bored, unfulfilled, scared, and upset that I may have misled myself.  Though mental health psychotherapists and extreemly valuable members in society, I no longer feel lead to be one.

well, crap.  Does that mean $42k in student loans is down the drain?!? this is what I assumed my partner would say when I mentioned my thoughts shifting.

not at all! Because here's the grace! I chose to learn psychotherapy in a seminary.  As a candidate for ministry in the ELCA who has strong community support from her congregation, her family, and the sisterhood of the ELCA Deaconess Community, I know I am still called, if not more strongly than ever, to be a sexual theologian.   And now that I have been in my seminary community, I have found a way to make that call fit me so much better!

and that is something I am having a meeting about this morning with my adviser.  Is it feasible to change at this point? Practically, are the classes I would need available on my timeline, and some more questions.  The change in direction is slight.  My previous courses would not have been taken in vain, for they are required for both.  By noon I will be confirmed & registered for a new course of action preparing me as a spiritual director :)

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