Can I complain?

15 Feb
I realize there are probably more fruitful avenues for my time and for this blog, but can I complain?
[There is often critique of personal blogs – that they write only of lollipops and rainbows, and give the perception that the life behind the writer is swell.  You officially can no longer say that about my blog.  Also note, I write this not as a pity post.  But it’s where I am tonight.]
Mondays are my nine-hour day of class and we’ll just be honest – I’m mighty crabby at the end of the day that begins at 8am and ends at 9pm.  [If I were wise, I wouldn’t even be writing this right now.  I would be in bed … curing my crabbiness.]  Three three-hour long classes is just a lot on which to focus.  Three hour classes are no good for me to begin with; get me to the end of hour two, and I’m as good as gone.  That’s just a simple fact of Lindsay as a learner.  Multiplied by three plus little introvert Lindsay time and it’s best – at that point – that you don’t engage me in conversation.  Maybe even run in the opposite direction if you see me approaching? 
The kicker of the Monday classes – I feel dumb.  Totally and completely dumb.  Academic theology, Bible knowledge, theological frameworks – I don’t get it like my classmates do.  I never have understood it like others … but now I’m even tired of faking it.  Ask me to speak in class and it’s like the horrid movie – Dumb and Dumberer.  I’m so ready to be done with classes.  To be done with seminary.
Professors don’t notice me; why should they?  I don’t talk because I feel dumb.  [And I have nothing to say.  Literally – brain empty.]  I feel like I’m shoved to the back of my senior class.  I have friends who are called out and seen as leaders to take on special projects and have special relationships with professors.  I have a hard time thinking of even once that a staff member or professor saw me as a leader who could be given extra responsibility or tasks.  [Okay, one.  The Cooking Pastor video.]  I think this is the kicker – I have underlying fears that this will continue as I journey in the first call process.  I’m really not great at first impressions or even second impressions.  [I often joke that to know me is to love me, but to know me takes a long time.]  Will bishops of synods see me as incapable of leadership and not as capable of pastoring a church as my classmates are capable?  Will they see through my cover-up and realize I don’t know all that I should?
Deep down, I know I’m totally capable.  I can be a leader.  I know that I have practical, applicable knowledge and buckets of creativity to use.  But between meetings regarding first call assignment, two classes that made me feel dumb, and one class on women in ministry leadership, it has been a day of feeling insecure.  Of feeling unnoticed.  Internship gave me confidence in myself and in my ability to do ministry – confidence that I feel I’m losing.  Confidence that falters when I remember that next time I’m doing ministry in a congregation, it’s the real deal.  Can I actually do it?
I need to find my feet again and stand upon them firmly.
So if you see them, please let me know.
I’d like to locate them before I start making horrid first impressions to bishops who phone me on my mobile.

5 Responses to “Can I complain?”

  1. cassination February 15, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    hope you find your feet (in some fabulous nunicos or something) soon.but until then. drink some almond champagne. and watch a pale kid rapping ridiculously fast.

  2. Erin February 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Lindsay, don't lose confidence in your ministry. I took some graduate courses at the School of Theology in liturgical music, and when it came to rites of the church, I also felt that I completely lacked knowledge and intelligence, compared to others in the class. However, some of these very same people go on to struggle horribly in actual parish positions because what they had in knowledge of theology, etc., they actually often lack in the ability to socially relate to others. We all have different gifts when it comes to ministry. Unfortunately, seminaries often tend to focus on the academic side of training, rather than the practical. You'll be swell. God has richly blessed you with gifts that are far more valuable than being able to quote obscure theologians. 🙂 And besides, who wants to be un-relatable?

  3. ourlittlesliceofhappy February 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Lindsay, I remember those feet. In happy yellow shoes. Standing in front of the Grace congregation. Being awesome. It will all come back when you find yourself in front of another congregation. Just like riding a bike. You do know how to ride a bike, right?

  4. Lauren February 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Lindsay, I'm glad you're feeling better, but am also really happy you were honest in this post. This call stuff is freaky. I can relate with you on being that long-processor in class who has nothing to say. ("Literally – brain empty!" I know that feeling so well, it made me laugh!) And also, in regard to your latest post, thank God (really) that we introverts have blogs and social media–that way, we can get to be good friends. 🙂

  5. Jenni February 17, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    Okay, I'm not a regular reader of your blog, but I wanted to share my thoughts about this post. I have ALWAYS regarded you as a bright, well-put-together woman. I am awed by your fashion choices (You are how I want to dress when I grow up…). I've always thought of you as one of the "cool kids."It's weird (and oh-so-refreshing) to hear other people in seminary—people I always assume are so on top of things—say they feel dumb and to wonder aloud how they are going to get through. Every class I take I wonder how I will ever be able to fake my way through it to the end. I hope my writing abilities are able to hide the fact that I generally have no idea what is going on. Sometimes I feel like the puppy to the in class. "Oo, oo, like me! Please think I'm cool!" I wish more people had the guts to say what you just did. This can be such an intimidating place. And I have no doubt you will find your wings and soar once you're out. Thank you for writing this.

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