A few weeks ago, I took part in a vocations event for my Diocese. Someone asked me during the Q&A ‘What has your first year of training been like?’ I let out the international signal for ‘I don’t want to answer this question’ which is speaking at a very high pitch. But I was honest, and said it had been hard, for a variety of reasons, many unique to me, to try to not put them off. But I wish I’d been really honest and said:
Look, sometimes ordination training is just hard.
Sometimes, it’s just really hard.
Between the formation strife and the financial struggles, and the course work and the placements, and the wanting to dream with God about the future but having to submit to the institutional machinations, and the tensions between investing in the community whilst retreating to God, and your wounds bared open to the devil when it seems like Christ the triage nurse is nowhere to be found… sometimes it’s just really hard!
So, if you’re in pit, don’t fret. It’s not just you, (I’m here too). And, on a few occasions, I’ve got out of the pit, I know a way out and it has a name: Jesus. And when the time is right, he’ll help you out, but for the time being, he’s down here too.
Hold tight, dear friend.