Thursday, March 8, 2012

How I lost my voice: step one in reclaiming it

Six months into our life in Kansas City we wanted to move home; we called our new state Misery. 

Numerous times we sought a way back to Colorado.  Once it looked like we had a chance to move to Albuquerque which would put us within a six hour drive of Joel's parents and my mom.  I was thrilled, I love New Mexico.  Nothing ever worked out.  There was always a problem and the plans never came together.

At last, we had a plan.  I quit my part time job at the college, I quite my CASA volunteer job.  I began saying good-bye to our friends in Kansas City.  The girls and I were going to move in with Joel's parents while he stayed in Kansas City and I went to school to become a massage therapist.  We'd be separated no more than six months and the final result would be that we'd all be living in Colorado together, exactly as we wanted to be.  It was scary but we were desperate.  It had been 7 years of living in Misery.

Then I attended a 40's and Under United Methodist Women's Retreat.  In a time of contemplative prayer, I saw/heard/understood that God wanted me to attend Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City and become a pastor/minister/Reverend.  There was someone there that I needed to meet.  It had to be in Kansas City at SPST.  I told my husband about the pastor thing but not about SPST.  That would be too much, that was crazy.  I applied to Iliff School of Theology in Denver.  I was accepted.  We visited.  But I knew better.  Joel didn't get the job in Colorado.  I called SPST.  They waived my application fee.  They accepted me.

4 years later I was ready to graduate from seminary.  We still wanted out of Misery and back to Colorado.  I have family in Kansas, Kansas is closer to Colorado than Misery.  Perhaps Kansas would be okay.  While at General Conference I met a district superintendent from Kansas.  We hit it off, she said she'd be in touch.  A few weeks later I received a call from another DS in Kansas offering me a position in a small town in southwest Kansas.  We were thrilled.  We'd be closer to Colorado, not much but a little bit and that was better than Misery. 

Not so much. 

Since the town was an 8 hour+  drive, the DS announced my name during church.  They googled me.  In the meantime I had decided that I needed a new blog because I was no longer Seminarymamma but RevHipChick. 

Mistake #1 I called it Revhipchick Moves to Mayberry; people in this town did not have the same love of Mayberry that I did. They were offended.

Mistake #2  I had a picture of my latest tattoo and the crazy story about how I and a few friends got the same tattoo while at General Conference.  They were offended.

Mistake #3  I admitted on the blog and on Facebook that I cuss more often than I should.  They were offended.

That Monday morning I received a venomous email from 2 people  in the town.  I had some ugly posts on my new blog as well as my old blog.  I was friended on Facebook only to find out they weren't really interested in being friends. I was devastated.  I know small towns.  I know Kansas small towns.  I was terrified of what my family would be facing.  I didn't know what to do.  I deleted my old blog.  That's right, nearly 4 years of writing my heart out all gone with the pressing of the DELETE button.

The next day the DS called me and rescinded the appointment.  I was mortified but relieved.  I called my Misery DS and begged for mercy.  She was kind, pastoral, and wonderful.  Misery had an appointment for me, the same one I had turned down in order to take the one in Kansas.  I thankfully accepted.

We drove to Mound City, 90 miles north of Kansas City.  We met with the PPRC and it was great.   I was told there had been some big problems with the previous pastor (of course I didn't get the whole story or even the real story).  And the previous DS in this area (not "my" DS) warned me that this was a very conservative area and that I should keep my tattoos covered up and there was something else but honestly I can't remember what it was.  I'm not sure it mattered because what I heard was: "Keep your tattoos covered up and your mouth shut."

That is the story of how I lost my voice.  Something I rarely share about the story because it simply makes me laugh a little and then feel guilty.

The Saturday after I lost the appointment I received a call from my friend Stephanie, "Crystal I am NEVER messing with you!"

"What are you talking about?"

"I just saw ______,KS on CNN!  They were hit by a tornado last night!  Show's them for messing with God's servant!"

We laughed a bit and then talked about how we don't believe that God works that way but to be honest it did give me a boost.  Thankfully no lives were lost--which is why I can mention it.  There was a part of me that wanted to get a mission team together and go and help them rebuild and then introduce myself.  But I knew that I would do so with anger in my heart and out of vengeance, hence not something I would do.

Lastly, in our Mound City News there is a cartoon, "Mound City, Mayberry of the Midwest."  The first time I saw this cartoon I cried, Revhipchick did indeed move to Mayberry and lives in Missouri! Thanks be to God!



7 comments:

Mary Beth said...

Thanks be to God, sweet you! Grateful that you are finding that wonderful voice again.

Rob Allen said...

wow! i knew about part of the story, but not that much of it. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for being you! love and hugs!

Andy B. said...

Ramble on, Rev.

Charlene said...

Thanks for sharing this; I can identify.

God_Guurrlll said...

Love love love this post. Thank you for sharing.

Patrick Moore said...

I hadn't read this blog post until today. Today while driving to Trinity, I was thinking of you, your tattoos, and your appointment drama. I get to work and then I see a Twitter post, which led me to this post. Synchronicity.

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