Saturday, 5 October 2013

First Week Reflections

Gosh, can you believe it? I have just finished my first week of year two at Vicar School! It's been a fascinating and, just like last year, tiring week. Looking around I remember so clearly how I felt to be starting college. Not only are you meeting a bunch of new people who will become very important in your life for the next few years but also processing a mountain of information and, if you are like me, trying desperately to quell the sense of rising panic as you realise, yes, you did actually sign up for this and this is your life now.

All this is combined with being fairly sleep deprived what with prayer starting at 7.30am and spending most of the night with obscure rules for worship running through you mind. If I sound negative then please forgive me! The whole experience of being here is wonderful and exciting and the best decision I ever made but still, it is tiring, it is hard and, in my experience, you have to spend an awful lot of time getting over yourself and that is pretty tough going. But more than simply passing on the message 'it's going to be all right' to the new students I found myself much more saying 'you are meant to be here'.

Watching the dawning horror on people's faces as they are signed up to lead a service they have never even been to before took me right back to being there myself. As you, dear blog reader, know well I am some what of a late comer to the party when it comes to church. This can leave me bewildered, confused and not a little bemused at times. What is instinctive to many is a serious learning task for me. I led a service this week where my prayer book was absolutely full of yellow post its to keep me on track. I had a friend sit in the pew nearest to the front so no one else would see my scribbled red notes to myself saying 'SIT!' 'STAND!' 'PRAY!'
Here we go again!
This world is an academic one and I sometimes forget that I arrived here last year having read basically no Theology and am now approach finals at Oxford Uni, for goodness sake! My degree was in Biology, if you want to know the evolutionary history of amphibians then I am your girl, but Theology? It was all new, every bit of it. Of course I've come to realise that a lot of this is my greatest strength. Fresh eyes and new experiences are vital to the church in this age of change. I am part of that and that excites me. The rest? Well I always remember that what is natural to many doesn't come so easy for me and pat myself on the back for sticking in there in the areas I find tough.

That, more than anything, is what I have been trying to impart this week when I come across a, completely understandable, little wobble. To be a diverse bunch is a wonderful thing. What I can do others run from, what they can do naturally in half an hour takes me a day and thirty post it notes. I sincerely believe that there is no one who walks into any new task fully confident in their ability. If they do then quite frankly they will likely be the one to miss out. Admitting that there are things you don't know means you are ready to learn and grow. I am not ashamed to say 'I don't know' because it is the only way I will learn and that it is more important that my pride.

All in all, it takes all sorts, doesn't it? And this week I have realised again that we really are the richer for it.


  1. This is really good Nicola. It gives us lots to think about. I particularly like the idea of you being fresh eyes and bringing new experiences. Also a timely reminder that we need to be wiling to learn in order to grow. God bless, Linda

    1. Thank you Linda, that is really kind. We all have our own unique experiences to bring and that's what makes it an excitied place to be I'd say. I hope you are settling in ok so far! xx

  2. "I found myself much more saying 'you are meant to be here'." - I love this. I'm quite sure that some years down the road, someone will be telling their own story of starting their studies and tell them, 'but some wonderful woman reminded me I was just where I was meant to be...' Enjoy year two!

  3. I love this. I am quite sure that a few years down the road, someone will be telling their own story of starting their studies and how confusing it all was and say, 'but some wonderful woman reminded me 'this is where you're meant to be'' :)
    Enjoy year two!

    1. Oh I hope so Fiona! Anyway, I just remember how I felt and the people who helped me hang in there. Paying it forward as it were!

      Thanks so much for commenting