…this was the week that everything was supposed to fall into place and i was supposed to have all the answers and my five year plan.
it was a miserable disaster;
Academic politics where I realize that my fate is in the hands of people whose interest in me is as a poster child (not so much interested in the beauty and justice for my children), church potluck career meetings where we discuss night mare mission hospital stories (as in lost baby eyeball in vagina s/p forceps delivery…) and a boy who has me completely melted… who leaves me chocolate on my doorstep and kidnaps me for long walks at sunset along the river….
Wed when the academic hammer fell -“JUST KIDDING we will not tell you if we have funding till Dec….yeah we don’t really care if you have multiple other offers you have to let know…” left me completely exhausted and shell shocked and terrified. Where was the people who wanted a pioneer and said that opening up a global health program was part of our larger mission as pediatricians….. Where are the people who recruited me for this job….
In the mist of Wed which was one of the worse days of my emotional and professional life recently, I meet with a lovely pediatrics professor from Ethiopia who confirms that Addis Ababa no matter who hires me is likely to be my new home in an year…. And I marvel at how things I had not thought possible in Africa have come together: inner city, orphans, disabilities, pediatrics and early intervention program design….its a dream job. And its mine. I just need health insurance and enough money for the plane ticket.
Then Thursday played out in a predictable way that taught me everything that I love and hate about the conservatives I left behind in the Carolinas. I show up at said career meeting with the evangelicals in person (the first since the interview disaster) and am asked only one single question: “Have you prayed yet?”
I am somewhat befuddled by this question….Oh my heck, I’ve prayed but I don’t know everything yet…. And while I expected them to scold me and tell me I should pray harder and not be influenced by the world or some sort of cliche nonsense. They nod and emphasize with the gravity of my decision. No one backs me into a corner, no one forces some sort of terrifying covenant in my face where I agree never to drink, date, vote for Obama or buy books from amazon.com. They told me they trusted my judgement in boys, jobs and theology…. (then they proceeded to laugh with the gaggle of female surgeons (shocking again considering how conservative they are supposed to be) who were alums of the program over the scary eyeball story….for an hour).
Who are these people? And what did they do with the crazy people who interviewed me?
Then home for that long walk by the river where we dream about Africa and talk books and God and sunsets. When did my life become a romantic comedy? Where is the girl who was so independent, totally committed to my calling and work and ready at last to live the dream and move to Africa?? Oh wait said boy says if I can wait a year…he will come with me…I know…I know I want to smirk and roll my eyes except I am too busy blushing.
Somewhere in the mist of that walk and the conference (which minus the eyeball story was mostly about mentoring my gaggle of med students about vocation and caring for the poor), I stood before God and we both laughed and cried together.
We laughed at how five years ago I stood in the same retreat center and wondered and shuddered at what God was asking of me. God I have no hips…I said. And he said…I will give you new hips. God I have no global health training at my medical school…and he said I will put in you in the top residency program in the country with a global health program of your dreams. God I have no job…and he said I will give you more jobs than you need. God I have no team….and well the jury is still out but let’s just say the team thing seems to be happening differently but no less surely.
So we laughed at how silly I had been and how faithful he had been. And we cried at how beautiful it was to know that I will be one of the few who actually do exactly what they always dreamed of doing and are called to do. No regrets. And it was in that moment, I just stopped caring who signs my checks next year.
No really, I just don’t care. Ultimately this is about the kids and God’s will. Which every strange brand of politics and bedfellows I have to deal with, I have to deal with, personally I think the evangelicals and the academics are equally insane. The kids don’t care who signs my check, I don’t think God cares who signs my checks.
So there is no plan. No outline or guide. Just some more waiting and maybe a few more walks..
My life is a complete overwhelming mess but its a beautiful mess.
And somehow I am completely comfortable and content in it.
And maybe thats the only plan I need.