Saturday, 4 July 2009

Locum, week one: and all manner of things shall be well

Week One of locum in 'leafy parish in the burgh' and an amazing learning curve, particularly concerning time management and prioritising... and the bemused realisation that although I may have had my week planned one way, all sorts of unexpected things pop up and throw you a curve ball. If there are two words to describe where I'm at right now, I think they'd be 'blossom' and 'flourish'. This is a good, deep, awesome experience and a great 'taster' for the future - I'm really thankful for the opportunity, and also for the trust that minister of 'leafy parish in the burgh' has that I can do the job. She is a brilliant encourager and mentor.

This week included my first 'solo' bereavement visit and then funeral, as well as a 'solo' hospital visit and being texted for relationship advice. I like the variety and some of the more quirky aspects of this ministry lark. I've also realised that in a full-time capacity - if I get through all the training/ conferences and such like - it would be very easy to have all available waking hours consumed by the job, and that I will need to be vigilant about making sure I keep a healthy balance between work and time out. A good lesson to learn.

Worship tomorrow and a hospital visit I hope. And then two funerals to do next week.

Going on the funeral visits has, I don't know, been a good reminder I think: what a rare privilege to be allowed to be a part of people's lives when they are at their most raw and vulnerable... and that, in some small way, we can make a difference... and that ministry is more than 'social work'. We're allowed to ask the deep questions... or get asked them, which is a bit daunting... and to hear people's stories - and people are just so amazingly interesting.

Interesting how prayer has increased exponentionally to learning curve: on Thursday afternoon, with 5 minutes to go before my first ever funeral, I was in the vestry praying very, very hard... pretty much a one-word prayer 'HELP!'

Weird, in just this very short time span of a week, my sense of 'this is the right place to be/ this is the right path to persue' has been confirmed yet again. Lots of thoughts in process, and it's all good, all very good... and God is good. Feel very much reminded of Julian 'all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. And I am content to trust that right now.

The dissertation, however, could be better - remember: time management!!! :)


Mrs Gerbil said...

Sounds like a hectic week. It's great when we realise we're where we're suppossed to be, though I'm still "searching".

All the best for next week.

Kate said...

Sounds like a pretty intense week, but I'm glad it's been so affirming.

Please do remember to take time for yourself, though. (and 'yourself' comes before dissertation!!)

Danny said...

Funeral visits are a privilege, people we have never met before trust us when they are at their lowest ebb. I always leave feeling very humble. And that Julian quote is one of my favourites but from TS Eliot at the end of Little Gidding where it is so haunting.

Glad you are enjoying the locuming... and I never get beyond the need for the one word prayer, especially before funerals :-)

Stewart Goudie said...

Hi Nikki,
Thanks for sharing your week with us. I'm glad it has been affirming for you, as well as being a learning experience. I recall similar times when I was a summer locum after my first year at New College.
My supervisor is away this past two weeks, so I've been 'in charge' too! And like you, I have two funerals this week, and the Sunday services too!
So enjoy the last few days as Locum, then back to work!