Some years ago I learned a song that I’ve never been able to put out of my head. I only remember 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
The point of bringing up this song is twofold:
- I am a work in progress, always have been, and always will be
- I’m still working on my eBook “Lady Father: How I Overcame Outrageous Discrimination in the Church,” 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. (See below)
This eBook 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.
My theory about that, which I figured out after ranting and raving for a little bit about the monumental waste of time it was to work that hard and then lose it, is simple: It wasn’t time yet. 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, I have learned so much more about myself and how my journey affected my life, and I am so much more comfortable writing about the uncomfortable things, that 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 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, that he used me to make a difference in the lives of many people, and that I now have the God-given talent, the opportunity, and the means to use my experience to help other women who may be facing the same attitudes and who may not have a support system to turn to for encouragement, advice, and 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 through the ordination process. Whatever – just add a comment – or email me. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to sign up for my Announcement List so you’ll be among the first to get a copy of the eBook when it’s finished – or at least when it’s at the place where it makes sense to publish it. I know that it will never be finished because God is 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.