When it comes to clergy interviews, appointments and moves, a lot happens quietly and confidentially, and rightly so. This means that as my blog is a place where I process things, I can’t always share when I want to.
I wrote this the week before Nathan went for his interview for St Giles, and I’m publishing it now that it’s all out in the open. For as long as this blog continues, I might have to do this occasionally; write at the time and publish a bit later.
So, here are my thoughts about being ‘the support act’ as Nathan prepared for his interview in November.
This week I have found myself in the role of ‘support act’. All through school I decided what I wanted for myself. I picked my degree and my University. I chose to go to London to be Chaplaincy Assistant. I chose to go to Durham to train. I met Nathan and we found that we wanted to be somewhere close to each other. Together, we chose to move to Formby.
All these decisions were prayerfully made, but they were all mine. I was either at the front of these decisions, or at the very least, joint first.
But this week, I am potentially building up to being number 2. Nathan has got a job interview on Monday. Should he be successful, he will be a vicar and I will continue being a curate. The church is not far away. If it all comes off, I will easily be able to commute. It makes a lot of logistical sense.
In terms of moving on, one of us had to go first, and something came up that suited Nathan so it made sense for him to give it a shot. I’m 100% behind him. If he is successful, it will be such a good fit, I am sure. Apart from a house move, it won’t impact much upon my day to day work.
This week, however, I have noticed how strange it feels for change to be looming and it to be nothing to do with me. As far as I am concerned, all I can do is keep Nathan well fed, make sure the house is nice and pray lots. But it does feel weird, in a way. I’m nervous, and yet there is nothing I can do. Change may be coming, but it won’t be my doing.
At the clergy retreat day on Tuesday, I found myself reading the book of Ruth. In the beginning, Ruth says to Naomi: ‘where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people’. I wrote out this many times in my journal as I thought about Nathan’s interview. I deliberately tried to put myself in Ruth’s position. Yet there is something about being the eldest child and independently minded that means that this is just a bit strange. It’s right, I know it is, but it certainly feels unusual. And I know that lots of people have done this many times for their family, but for me, it feels a bit weird.
But I can support Nathan this week in a big way, and I also know that when it’s my turn, he will support me as I think about the next step too.