Three months into my internship and the facade starts to fall. I am not always on time, always together, or always crafting great sermons. I've made mistakes, missed appointments, hidden out when things got a bit scary, and forgotten plenty. People are finding out my flaws, my cracks, and seeing my warts all the way from the pews.
During supervision last week, my supervisor looked at me and said, "It's going to be an uncomfortable year. I'm not saying it won't be good, too, but it will uncomfortable." I couldn't say much after that so I just nodded.
Don't let anyone fool you - seminary is a difficult process. One that breaks down all notions of what ministry is and what being a pastor looks and feels like. It isn't all sunshine and smiles.
The truth is that your carefully crafted notions about life and ministry collapse around you. The good news is that sturdy strong walls of faithful living are coming up layer by layer, too. Some days it seems barely a brick has been laid on this faithful foundation but every time I look, I am more surprised at how strong and tall this wall is.
Seminary and internship are nothing like I thought they'd be. But like the beautiful analogy of the garden in "The Shack," God is creating space for something more amazing than what was there before.
Take heart when you see your walls come down - the Carpenter knows how to build skillfully.