August 20th passed without much revelry, and yet, it was a very special day – it marked the six month anniversary of my pacemaker implantation, and the six month anniversary of a second chance of sorts. This whole year – 2014 – has been a year of second chances, whether they be second chances in ministry, in relationships, or even, in life, as I have found in my pacemaker (the words of my EP still echo loudly in my head some days – there isn’t anything else we can offer you in the way of treatment. If this fails, I’m afraid there isn’t anything else. Those words still haunt me, and some days, I wonder what might happen if this option fails, if it should fail one day.)
And yet, it is fitting that the six month anniversary came and went without much notice in a place that holds a special place in my fragmented, burnt, fried, nuked, and defibrillated heart – San Francisco, California a few short days ago. I posted on Facebook yesterday that I was never much of a morning person, and yet, I have been awoken early in the morning each and every day since I moved here, refreshed and ready to take vigorous walks (walks that are far beyond my physical capacity, mind you!), and every time, I end up in places with views that are simply breathtaking. I pinch myself, asking God what I did to deserve such an unimaginable, unfathomably wonderful second chance.
Now, as I sit waiting for a date to be considered by my Classis, having been fully and joyfully sponsored by my home congregation for ordination, I am in awe of God’s providence and glory. In the wake of a year of second chances, many of which I am completely undeserving of, yet have wholeheartedly received, I stand arms wide open, eyes filled with tears and ready for a year of service – service to a city I fell madly in love with four years ago as a wide-eyed twenty-one-year-old. This city taught me the meaning of humility, but more importantly, it taught me the necessity of social justice, of God’s providence and love for all of God’s people as a result of Christ’s passion, not just some, and that my ministry here as a naive young adult was not done – that God would find a way to bring me back, some way, some how. I just never imagined there would be so many bumps, bruises, hurtles, scars, and electrocutions standing in between.
And yet, here I am. Filled with incredible awe, writing this blog on my computer, my toes nestled gently in the excruciatingly yet comfortingly warm sand of Baker Beach nestled beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in the Presidio, just a stone’s throw from my brand new apartment. I get to live into this second chance God has given me, and it is real, no matter how many times I pinch myself. I get to wake up every morning in San Francisco, not Princeton, nor in New York, two of the other places I have called home in the recent past, because God so intends me to be right here, right now. I still can’t believe it, given all I have been through, that I get to breathe this air, my heart gets to beat here, and at times, I’m still waiting for the crash, since much of the last year has been living in awesome anticipation of the next horrific crash, knowing full well that it is coming, just not when. But I can say this with some certainty. I am exactly where I need to be, no longer worrying about the crash as often, so much as wondering when and where my next adventure is, where I am going next, and who I am going to meet now. My life is no longer about juggling flaming chainsaws, but about managing them.
I can now sit back and admire the scenery, participate in it, not watch life pass me by, with other people enjoying what life has to hold. I guess this is what second chances look like, huh? I am beginning to really like it!