I’m a chronic over-thinker and this is the perfect season for over-thinking. I’m trying to wrap my brain around stepping out of youth ministry. I keep telling people “I’ll always be passionate about youth ministry” and while that’s true, it’s more true that I know I’m done with the full time youth worker part of my life. I’m not sure I know who I am if my identity isn’t tied in with a 40+ hour work week dissecting adolescent culture, helping youth along their faith journey and trying my best to share a love for God with kids that I love. Yeah, I can still do the last two but without the first part– the youth ministry as a job– there’s suddenly great freedom to explore other parts of myself that have taken a backseat to youth ministry.

I haven’t been a student in a traditional sense for 11 years. Re-entering academia is going to be …. ok. I can’t finish that sentence. What is it going to be? Is it going to be refreshing? Is it going to be super duper hard? Is it going to be fun? Is it going to be exhausting?

Do I even have any friend openings? (I have become so bad at keeping in touch with many of the people I dearly love.)

And Dubuque! I’ve pretty much always lived in a small town around 5,000-7,000 people.  What will eastern Iowa be like? I have to get used to another county name on the map when there’s severe weather. I need to find new hangouts, new favorite clerks places, new secrets of the best places to get ______ or the best places to disappear when I need escape and quiet time. I’m open to suggestions, but I also know feeling settled in a new place can’t come from other people’s experiences.

If I sound or seem anxious, I am. That’s ok. I need that anxious, nervous, how on earth is everything going to come together energy to propel me through the next couple months. I think Steve and I will both feel better when we find him a job, me a job and when we figure out what life is like on the other side of the state. We’re getting there. I covet your prayers for myself, for my husband, for the church we’re moving away from, for the seminary…. maybe just for everything.

And P.S. I still know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this move to Dubuque is exactly what is supposed to happen next in life. Though nervous about details, I am (and I’m pretty sure Steve is) ridiculously excited at what’s ahead. The decision is right; the transition is terrifying.


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