Well, I completed my probation at the brilliant, amazing Airside Kirk a the end of September. I still can't believe it's a month since that finished. The people there are extraordinary (though I may be a smidge bias!) and I learnt so much, and truly accepted I am a minister. My wonderful Boss helped with that a lot (am I am struggling to get out of the habit of calling her The Boss, as she's not anymore...).
As a leaving gift, they gave me this ark:
It's odd not seeing that church family. They became my church family really quite quickly after landing there and I know I will always be part of that family - will be welcomed back with open arms (perhaps a little too literally!) anytime I do visit.
But I have to go away. No really, I will be moving, because earlier this month I preached as sole nominee for linked charge in a a beautiful area of the north of Scotland, with amazing, wonderful people whom I just know I will be able to work with. They voted in my favour and I am their Minister Elect. Exciting times ahead.
When I look back 4 years ago, when I started training, I can hardly believe the journey I've taken. Looking even further back, and as some people who I know have pointed out, it's been a long and not especially straightforward journey for me. But, who wants a straightforward journey? The more circuitous routes may be harder to get to, but they've more often than not worth it, for the views, for the new experiences, for the self learning. That happens in road trips and cycles and walks, and, I think, in life in general. Looking back, though there have been tough bits (and I did make some things tough for myself), the journey's been a great one.
And now I am about to head off to begin the next bit of that journey. A journey, a road, a way I will never stop travelling, as I follow the path God leads me on, knowing that Jesus walks at my side.