Once Upon A Time

Isn’t that how things start?
Well maybe not if you are baking a cake that usually starts with, cream the sugar and butter together, or come to that, not if you are driving a car that usually, (in my case any way) starts with; “Where did I put the car keys this time?”
But for the purposes of a first blog I think it is as a good a way as any to start.
Once upon a time there was me, blogless (isn’t that a word and if it is is it an adjective or a noun?) and now I have one! Does that mean I am part of a club? Do I get a badge? If there is a special handshake will anyone ever tell me what it is? Will I be invited to reunions in 20 years time? Who knows!
Once upon a time suggests that we are at the end of a story looking back to the beginning of it, but that isn’t quite true. This really is a time of new beginnings, this story isn’t at an end looking back, it is at the beginning.
We are still in the season of Easter, the churches season which celebrates new life; we are still welcoming those weary fishermen on the shore, still maybe eating those last elusive Easter Eggs. All around the cherry blossom is out green shoots and buds are appearing and up and down, this, country at least lambs are to be seen in just about every field, oh and there was something else now what was it ….. Oh yes I got married.
There are those who frown at the idea of a priest being married at all, there are those that frown at the idea of a woman priest, and there are even more that frown at the idea of a divorced priest getting remarried. Oh dear, what have I done a female divorced priest getting remarried and in church to boot!
When I came kicking and screaming into this world some 42 years ago, I came as I was. Created in God’s image, full of promise, yet human and thus imperfect. My ordination did not change any of that, although it did change peoples expectations, suddenly I wasn’t allowed to have any faults, wasn’t allowed to be angry, was supposed to welcome being treated as a doormat, was supposed to have the same likes and dislikes as the person I was speaking to at that exact second in time, my family, my life, everything was supposed to be like some 1950’s perfect world (if that world ever really even existed). For a time I struggled to be who people thought I should be, then one day as I was on retreat walking along a path in a small wood. I was mulling over and over in my mind a conversation I had, had with a parishioner the Sunday before. The conversation itself had not been heated, although we had held differing views, in fact the whole thing had been extremely amicable that is until the end. Suddenly I was public enemy number one and still to this day I am not sure why, anyway, back to my wandering through the wood. I was replying that conversation over and over in my head trying to make sense of it when suddenly, it struck me like a thunderbolt I was who I was by Gods making and only God could change that. The release was tremendous, but from then on it looked as if my life was slowly and methodically falling apart. Now, however, with that most wonderful of gifts, hindsight, I can see it was being rebuilt, and to rebuild first there needs to be some major tearing apart. And now I am here, still far from perfect but content and happy beyond imagination … and writing a blog!
Maybe the title of this my first blog is more accurate than I first thought, for now the natural way to close this is …. and they all lived happily ever after!

Or is that tempting fate?

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