As my best friend and I were discussing this last night, she commented that I sounded grounded in my understanding of who I'm called to be.
This grounding, this rootedness, is what inspires me to pursue a call to pastoral leadership.
There's an important shade of difference between what I hear myself being called to be and what I feel naturally inclined to be. Leading for leading's sake doesn't feel comfortable to me. It feels awkward and threatening to my oh-so-precious ego. The only times in my life when I have felt comfortable leading have been those times when I bring some expertise, some gift, some knowledge that others lack or otherwise need me to exhibit.
Nearly all the occasions when I've been called to leadership have something in common: they've had to do with spiritual life, religious practice, and the deep-hearted, skillful care of others.
I walk into this conversation not with a sense of natural-born leadership, but cultivated leadership. I am prepared to speak the truth of who I am called to be, knowing what I have dared to embrace, despite (or perhaps because of) deep introversion, in the past thirty-one years.
What will my vicar hear as I speak openly, bravely, and truthfully about what I hear God calling me to? What will I hear as I let my God-given words pour out?