"How did you make that switch from nursing into being a pastor?" This is a question that I get a lot. I've answered it twice in the last four days. Once for a young man I've known for a few years and once for someone I just met yesterday at a party (yup, party talk).
The short answer is that I married a Lutheran. At the time, I had no idea what 'Lutheran' meant. Now, of course, I see it for its quiet subversion as one expression of a 2,000 year old story.
A cool part of being asked the question is that I usually get snippets of someone else's story. The young man who asked it gave me bits of his story as we talked. Things I wouldn't know otherwise across our almost 20 year age difference.
My bio is elsewhere so I'll spare you the details here (caitlintrussell.org). Suffice it to say for now that having a religious commitment that pushes in on me from the outside is a good thing. But first, before that push, there was and continues to be space. Space to acknowledge flaws and fatigue as well as gifts. Space to wonder, think, and doubt. Space to know, experience, and learn. Space to drop into the 2,000 year old story and figure out my part in it.
When I made the switch from nurse to pastor, my brother started calling me a "nurse of the soul." My own soul needed some serious healing well before that switch was flipped. Those are stories for a different day.