“What a beautiful service,” everyone said to me and I felt it in my most core being. The beauty of God radiated through song, liturgy, the spoken word and the laying on of hands. Cantomos’ music was serene, Seth’s hymn contemplative, and Joy’s song passionate. Add to that Samuel’s expertise on the piano and Lynnette’s soft, telling voice, and musically we were at our finest.
I had said to Genie Norris before the service, “I hope I don’t cry when I give my word of witness,” “Crying’s okay,” she told me with a smile and a hug. And cry I did. From the moment Holly Eades opened her mouth in prayer to God for God’s daughter and God’s people, I cried. I had no idea how overwhelming the experience of ordination would be.
Remembering people who have shaped my life, opened doors for ministry, pushed and prompted, encouraging me to use my gifts for God’s glory: it was an emotional trip down the proverbial memory lane.
I tried to listen as hard as I could. I kept my eyes on Julie as she told our story and gave the charge. I practiced the good listening skills they teach you in leadership classes. I made eye contact, I repeated what people said in my mind, I nodded my head.
And I’m not sure I caught it all. From some, I remember exactly what they said, from others, how they laid their hands on me, from others, how they spoke, and still from others, their facial expressions. But it was clear as the ocean on a cloudless day, I was loved. Love, love, love was all around.
I am still remembering, and writing what I remember down. Who said what, who slipped a gift in my palm, who hugged me hard. I only wish every young adult, as they recognize their calling in life, could be blessed, pushed out of the nest to discover they can fly on God’s grace; I wish everyone could have that affirmation of calling, that affirmation of love.
So thank you First Baptist. Roger’s last words for me as we left his office to go to worship were, “This is an honor and blessing for First Baptist as well.” Thank you FBC for all you’ve given me, thank you Wyatt Park, thank you CSM, thank you UBC, thank you Mosaic. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to love you too.