Dear Pope Francis,
It’s very late to be writing my Christmas letter. I wanted to write it sooner, but the time wasn’t right, and I needed to let the ideas percolate a little bit more. In many ways that encapsulates my year. It was a time of intense waiting to see what was going to unfold, of waiting to see how I would grow and change, of waiting for opportunities to present themselves.
That being said, 2014 had some definite highlights. In February, Meredith and I launched Letters to the Pope, which has been huge in helping me get comfortable with the idea of sharing my writing with other people (which terrified me before). In June I participated in the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics seminary stream, which took me to New York, Berlin and Poland to study professional ethics and the Holocaust. It’s safe to say that this trip was one of the most life changing events I have ever had. In September, I started my final year of my Master of Divinity degree. It was a bittersweet moment, but definitely more sweet than bitter.
As 2014 comes to a close, I know there is a lot of change on the horizon. I will finish my master’s degree this spring, which means that the twenty year education streak is coming to an end. I haven’t ruled out going back someday, but right now, I need a break. Finishing school also means that I will be looking for a job, and aside from being a paid position in my field, preferably with youth or young adults, I really don’t know what that will look like, or where it will take me.
Usually all of these unknowns would leave me curled up in a corner hyperventilating. Not this time! Instead, I’m ready to see where life takes me.
Both Luke and Matthew’s Gospels include Jesus’ genealogy to show that he was in fact from the House of David. They also show that there was a pattern in the history, a particular number of generations passed between the great patriarchs, which brought some sort of change to the status quo, and Jesus was coming at the time of the next great change.
In a similar way, I’m at a junction, and regardless of the options presented to me, what I ultimately choose or where I go, there is going to be a great change. Like the birth of the infant Jesus, I suspect that whatever comes will be something I’m not expecting, but that it will be life changing, probably challenging, and ultimately life giving.
In the meantime, I will wait with baited breath to see what comes next. I will study hard so I can finish this school chapter of my life strong. And I will continue to explore the world around me.
Wishing you peace, joy and love in this Christmas season, and all the best in 2015,
“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” – Isaiah 64:4