I now believe with all my heart that God’s still working on me. The firmness of this belief is mostly the result of my journey with God to the ordained priesthood. But, some years ago I learned a song that I’ve never been able to put out of my head. I only remembered the first few lines but I found it on the internet, where you can find virtually anything! Here it is:
He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The Sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He’s still working on me.
There really ought to be a sign upon my heart,
Don’t judge me yet, there’s an unfinished part.
But I’ll be perfect just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands.
In the mirror of His Word reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He’s the Potter, I’m the clay
Of course, the name of this song is “God’s Still Working on Me.” I learned it while working with youth groups and I always liked it. I thought it had a good message for the kids. Little did I know at the time, but God was indeed still working on me. The point of bringing up this song is twofold:
I am a work in progress, always have been, and always will be.
At this writing, I’m still working on my memoir “Lady Father” and have been for years, but will not always be – in fact, I’m more than halfway finished so sign up to be on my Announcement List and I’ll let you know when it’s ready. (NOTE: Since writing this, I have finished Lady Father and it is available on many book distributors, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble..)
This book I’m writing has been rolling around in my head and my heart for about 5 years now. I even started on it during a 2-week Fellow-in-Residence stay in Sewanee. I wrote every day for 2 weeks and came home with a lot of my journey stored on a floppy disk, which is now “God knows where.” I have checked out all the old “floppies” I have and somehow all that work has disappeared.
After ranting and raving for a little bit about the monumental waste of time it was to work that hard and then lose it, I now have a theory. It is simple: It wasn’t time yet. First of all, I hadn’t worked through all the pain and angst of those days. Secondly, there was still more of the journey to come that shouldn’t be left out of it. It’s sort of Paul Harvey’s “rest of the story” if you will.
So much has happened within my life in the church since then that I am actually glad to have started again. It has flowed much more smoothly as I have learned so much more about myself and how my journey affected my life. I am so much more comfortable writing about the uncomfortable things, that this feels like the right time.
I think it’s because of three things:
I have completed the active ministry part of my life as an ordained woman in the church so it feels like a natural place to stop and reflect.
I have a new perspective on my experiences as I am now able to “look in on it” from the edge of it instead of in the middle of it. I’m not totally “outside of it” but I can see it all better than I ever been able to before.
I have a new motive for writing this book than I did before. At that time, I wanted to expose it all – to warn other women to watch out for the pitfalls I had not seen looming ahead of me and. I suppose I needed to garner some sympathy for all the pain and grief I had endured.
My motive now is rooted in my new-found, transfigured faith that God did indeed call me to be a priest in his Church. I now believe that he used me to make a difference in the lives of many people. Also, I am comfortable a new-found knowledge. I know that I now have the God-given talent, the opportunity, and the means to use my experience to help other women. I particularly want to help those who may be facing the same attitudes. I know there are many women who may not have a support system to turn to for encouragement and advice. Many do not have a safe place to ventilate, share, and reflect with someone who has “been there.”
Maybe you’ve been there – maybe you’re there now – maybe you can see it coming – maybe you just want to be prepared for your journey. Whatever – just add a comment – or email me. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to get a copy of “Lady Father” now that it’s finished – or at least it’s at the place where it made sense to publish it. I know that it will never be finished because
God’s still working on me!
Scroll down to register to receive our newsletter and important emails.
Susan Bowman, is an ordained Episcopal Priest, a Grandmother, and a Professional Writer. She was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1986 and has a story to tell that will speak to all women who are functioning in a traditionally male role. She has written a book about her experiences of discrimination within the church’s ordination process and in the parishes she served. Lady Father is now available for purchase on Amazon.com. Fill in the form below to enter contact information securely.
Email Marketing by Benchmark