One way we grow is faith is by telling our stories of when we encountered God at work through the Holy Spirit. Here is my story about how I began my journey in faith formation…
In early 2015, I was at a crossroads in my teaching career. My current position was a term that was ending at spring break. This was nothing new to me, all of my previous teaching jobs were terms so soon I’d need to update my resume and start looking for work again. In the past, I accepted this pattern and would simply plow through this process, hopeful that I would find another job. This time though, I was feeling different for several reasons. Over the previous few months my workload felt so overwhelming – planning for class, keeping up with household needs, volunteering at church, being a mom, and our family was dealing with the loss of my mother-in-law. I was tired….burned out.
One day on our commute to work, my husband commented that it seemed like I wasn’t enjoying teaching like I used to and I “wasn’t having fun anymore”. He also noticed that I was more passionate about my volunteer involvement at church – serving as a Confirmation small group leader and as the congregational learning representative on the Leadership Team – than going to work at school. You know, he was right. I had been merely going through the motions, the joy of classroom teaching was fading. Perhaps it was time for a career change?
A few months later in April, our pastor and I attended Vibrant Faith’s “Do What Matters” conference in Minneapolis. This was an opportunity to learn more about the current research and practices in faith formation. As I participated in the conversations and activities of the sessions, I began see faith formation through a new lens. Faith grows in not only within Sunday morning worship, but also in our relationships and daily life experiences. I though “Wow, why hadn’t I seen that before?”
In between sessions, I took some time to reflect on what I was learning. As I sat outside, in the warmth of the sunshine, I felt God’s presence. I heard God’s calling to use my teaching gifts in a new way – in faith formation. For the first time in months, a feeling of peace washed over me. While I wasn’t sure what this would like yet, I knew God would guide me through the uncertainity of pursuing in new endeavour.