I just wanted to let you know that Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) has begun for me as of Tuesday. I’ve had a great time the first three days and really feel like we have a special group of people. Unfortunately, I can’t really go too much into the details, but I will tell you that we have already had some major breakthroughs. That after only three days? I can only imagine what we’ll have accomplished after eleven weeks!
There’s really only two major issues I see with this program… time and gas money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a great time, but with these two, I seem to be in short supply. Nothing I can’t handle, of course, but I guess it’s a bit more drastic than I originally thought. The gas money issue shouldn’t be as bad once the four of us going to the Quad Cities start carpooling together (if it works out) but the time is a bit rough. I get up at 5AM, leave by 6:20 for the drive to Rock Island and then am there until 4:30 when we’re able to start the drive back home. By the time we get back it’s almost twelve hours since we’ve been in Dubuque. And by then, I have time to eat supper, pack my lunch for the next day, and go to bed around 8:30.
Despite all the obstacles, I’m really looking forward to getting started with this program. At the end of last semester I had asked God to show me a way I could be a voice for the voiceless. That’s still a work in progress, but I realize this program will help me to be something else entirely. I’ll be a presence for the lonely, comfort for the distressed, someone who will listen and be present in the turmoil, in the questions and doubts. I’ll be a friend, a hand to hold, and a reminder of God’s ever-presence in our lives. I can be all those things because of God. God called me to follow, and instead of saying “no” again, I simply followed.
I still marvel over the fact that God chose me. Then I remember the words “God doesn’t call the equipped, but equips the called” and it makes sense. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t have to. I just have to trust the process and open myself to the possibilities. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. At this point, I hope Christ just works on strengthening my ability to shut up and listen. Because the biggest equipping I see that will happen in CPE is learning how to listen fully. With eyes, ears, heart, mind and soul.