I should be reading right now, but really, that’s a constant statement in my life, so no big deal. But I needed to get this off my chest.
I’ve learned something very important over the last few weeks. Something that no one really prepares you for when you enter seminary. At least, not during this first year. I heard it happens during CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and I heard it happens during your internship, but I didn’t expect it to happen this soon. So, I’m telling you now.
You will be an emotional mess.
Things that shouldn’t be that big of a deal, things that six months to a year ago I could handle with ease and grace, now leave me a sobbing, heaving mess. I’ve cried harder and longer over what my logical brain thinks should be trivial (and even the not so trivial) things.
I thought I was cracking under the pressure. Which, to be honest, hasn’t been that much pressure, not compared to what will happen in the next couple of years. I went to my close friends who are walking this journey with me and they said the same thing my teaching pastor (who has already walked this journey) told me. The same thing I say about most everything right now:
“It’s all formation.”
The difference is that this formation is subtle, it’s internal, and it’s near invisible. Until the tears flow. I’m fragile right now, my heart is being reworked and so anything and everything can seem to set me off. I’ve noticed the shift, the change in how I see things and how I feel things, but I did not expect this level of emotional heartbreak at times. But, it’s there.
So now, how do I live with it? Well, I try to see the tears as cleansing, as holy, as my body and my heart purging the leftover bits after remodeling.
And I keep a pack of tissues in my purse.