SUMMER INSTITUTE ON THEOLOGY AND DISABILITY

moon God is watching you
I received this picture from a friend and it seems just right for how I feel today. When I look at a moon, I get such strength and courage. It’s a visual reminder to me that God is always there and I’ll be just fine. Since I needed this reminder, I wore my moon earings to a voice class I had last night.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time since I am going to Toronto next week for the 2013 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability. It’s a little “out-of-my league” but I’ll be okay. The presenters have written books, taught classes and done research on various aspects of theology and disability. Then there’s me: a Presbyterian minister from Asheville, North Carolina who has a brain injury and is interested in the field. I’m not even sure I’ll completely understand all the presenters but that’s okay. Just being there and soaking it all in will be extraordinary.

I have a huge tendency to worry. “Will I get on the wrong plane and end up in Cuba?” “Will my spatial orientation issues mean I’ll be lost all the time?” “Will my tendency to be what is known as a “space cadet” shine through?” “Will I be able to use my ear plugs and ‘rest my brain’ enough?” “Will I try to do everything, knowing full well I have to skip some things in order to make it through the entire week?”

Since I’m now taking swim lessons and am improving my stroke, one of the ways I handle stress is gone. I used to swim laps and then repeat a phrase over in my mind in rhythmic motion. Now I’m too busy concentrating on my stroke to do this. This morning as I was doing my morning walk with Sparky, I decided to use the time to repeat part of Romans 12:2 “Not conformed. Be transformed.” Over and over I said the words as Sparky trotted beside me.

What happened? I calmed down. I realized it doesn’t matter if I don’t understand everything. It doesn’t matter if I can’t stay for an entire presentation due to cognitive overload. It doesn’t even matter if I miss a few presentations because I need to be by myself for a while. I have to do what I have to do to take care of myself and trust others are doing the same. I suspect if I don’t conform to what I “think” is the right way to be, I will be transformed.–more–>

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