Tuesday, 4 September 2012


So we've arrived. We are in the new house and semi-unpacked. The decorating has begun in earnest and the place is already shaping up just how I imagined it (A post on that to come of course!). You'd think this would make for a great week but quite frankly it's been a bit of a 'mare. I can't say I ever find change that easy but this time it has been accompanied by the dawning realisation that after all the talk, all the interviews, all the explanations it is finally happening. I am going to start training for ordination.

Now logically I know that this is cause for celebration, that many good things as well as challenges are on the horizon. All that planning, prayer, thought and preparation have been for this end. But all I have felt this week, as I have been painstakingly unpacking each box, is 'What on earth have I done?' Suddenly I'm overwhelmed by the feeling that I might fail, no that I'm going to fail. I'll not be strong enough or clever enough. I'll let people down, worse than that - I'll let God down.

All the logistical problems associated with my STILL not being able to drive feel insurmountable, There is a big hill between me and the college that I am way too unfit to cycle up. I don't even know how I'm going to get there on my first day. It feels like a giant neon metaphor for this whole endeavour, all I can hear is 'You can't do this' and I'm inclined to agree.

And so tonight, after the first day I've had at home to just potter about the house, I sat down in my arm chair, unpacked my favourite cushions, brewed up an earl grey and took my shaky heart to God. After all these years of praying, all these years of 'getting to know' who God is, even being an advocate for how loving, how all together wonderful God is I still found myself creeping towards him on my hands and knees saying 'I'm going to let you down' and expecting a rebuke for not being strong enough.

But what did I get? A reminder of the journey so far, of the great big yes I have given to every challenge thrown in my path and the still, strong voice telling me that that means something. And even more than that the reminder, like a flood of light into the soul, that nothing else matters than what I already have, I can be loved no more than I already am. Every thing is going to be all right.

The challenges haven't gone away, I feel no more confident in my ability to get this right but I feel like I'm standing on the rock again. Knowing that succeed or fail I already have everything I need. And isn't that the point of this whole ministry lark anyway? Love, acceptance, some solid ground? For all of us? It is good to be loved, necessary. And with that love there is just enough in me to say another quiet yes. Let's do this. I will climb that hill.


  1. Maud I have no doubt in your ability to do this. You'll be totally fab!! Lou xx

  2. Thanks lovely! Looking forward to catching up on Thursday xx

  3. I think a lot of people feel like that at this particular moment of the journey. I remember this time last year being terrified of how I'd compare with the other people in my year. Whether I'd discover that I hated studying theology. Whether it would turn out that I was rubbish at preaching... All sorts of things - not to mention my difficult new flatmates.

    But as things kick off, I'm sure things will slot into place. Keep that rock as your focus and who knows, maybe next time will be your driving test victory?!

    Best of luck with all the forthcoming firsts! xx

    1. Thanks Liz, it's encouraging to know I'm not alone in feeling aprehensive as the start of term apptoaches.

      I managed to get up that hill yesterday and discovered today that the brake on my bike is permanantly locked on one side making the bike hard to push so I might not be as hideously unfit as I first thought! Small victories!! x

  4. You can do it, God wouldn't have got you this far if he didn't have complete faith in you.
    I am so excited about you climbing this hill, and ever so slightly chuffed to bits for the good old CofE that so many amazing folk are starting training to lead.
    I will be praying for you. x

  5. Nicola, as the others have said, you're meant to be there, doing what you you have been chosen to do and you will be fine. Think of it as first night nerves.... :-)

    1. Thanks Perpetua. I'm feeling a lot better these last couple of days after a good rest and a successful trip up to college. Also nice to hear I'm not alone in the 'first night nerves'! Good old blogging! What would I do without it!

  6. Hi Nicola, I got a bit teary eyed when I read your beautiful words about being reminded of God's faithfulness and the great love He has always had - and always will have for you. He is so kind and gentle with our shaky hearts isn't He?
    I have a feeling I might have told you about a brilliant blog before that I love to read but I was thinking of you the other day as I was reading one of the posts - it's written by a man called David Cooke - he's a vicar in Richmond but is church planting in Barnes. He writes with wisdom, depth, humour and inspiration:


  7. Hi Hannah,

    Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for the tip on David's blog. I'll definitely check it out, always love a new read!

    Hope you're doing good and enjoying being back at school!