Last spring my mother’s health began to falter. Sensing she was entering the last leg of her journey, I pressed pause on many of my commitments.
I knew I would need time to support her. Energy to deal with all the practical aspects of supporting her through this final stage of her life. And ample space to grieve.
The journey has been challenging. And of course it has not ended for me, even though she passed away in February. For now I am facing the hard work of processing and working through the loss and grief.
But as part of that process I have also felt called to re-engage with some activities that will bring me a sense of joy and renewal.
So I am once again taking courses in the seminary at a local university.
It was one of the things that I felt called to put on pause during this past season.
A few years ago, I felt a pull to return to university. So I enrolled in the seminary and began a Masters in Christian Studies and Leadership. It was both thrilling and intimidating to be a student once again, because the last time I was a university student was almost 40 years ago, when in 1980 I completed my Masters in Counseling Psychology!
I wasn’t sure that I was ready or interested to return to my studies this summer semester. But when I glanced through the courses offerings, I jumped at the chance to take an Old Testament course focusing on the Book of Job and what it can teach us about suffering and wisdom.
I am currently in the midst of the semester, fully immersed in all the readings and assignments.
The learning has been profound, transformational on both an intellectual and theological level, but also on a personal level. It has definitely become a major part of working through my own suffering and grief.
Eventually, I will share some of what I have learned when I complete the course.
But for now, it feels wonderful to be able to take my finger off the pause button and press play on some life-giving activities.
To learn new things and see things through a new lens is profoundly transformative. It is has the power to energize and encourage and heal.
So while it is important to know when to press pause, it is equally important to know when to re-engage in activities that bring us joy.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: PAUSE
Photo Credit: Claudia, Unsplash