For those of you who aren't LCMS nerd like me, call day is basically when those at the seminary learn where they are headed after their studies. For those in their second year at the seminary, they find out where their one year vicarage will be. For those getting ready to graduate, they get their first professional assignment. It's a pretty big deal.
I went through my own experience like this when I finished my fourth year of college and was finding out where my internship would be. The whole thing is very Book of Mormon.
If you want to learn more details of how the whole system works just let me know. Heck, you can even ask it for the Q&A post I'm thinking of doing soon. ;-)
This year, one of my friends from college was one of those preparing to graduate and received his first call last night. Hearing about the service made me think back to our college days. He and I had been friends ever since our first week of college. Heck, I think we even met freshman move in day. We clicked right away and were basically inseparable until graduation day. Even after, he (along with another one of our close friends) went to the seminary in St. Louis and I had my internship only two hours away. That first year out of college was basically college all over again, only with bigger paychecks and I had a job instead of classes.
I remember our group of friends always sitting around in various places on campus. It changed year to year or semester to semester depending on where we lived and which had 24/7 hours. Sometimes it was the local Irish pub or IHOP. A lot of our conversations focused on where we felt we were heading and what we wanted to change and the big dreams we had for the future. We were our own ministry dream team.
Now, here I am, not doing ministry but at peace with it. Instead of sitting in the pews watching our other friends receiving their first calls, I'm finding out through text messages and Facebook. Some of us are far away in other states, some are right back where we started (or so it feels at time), some are happily married and looking for new adventures, and others are doing something completely different than when we first began.
Sometimes I wonder what that college girl would think if she met me now. Would she be mad? Sad? Disappointed? If I were to tell her full time public ministry wasn't going to be forever and it was a good thing, would she believe me? Would she be sad at how our small group of friends has dispersed? We all still love each other and care about each other, and I still call all of them my good friends. But those friendships look much different than I thought they would at this point in my life.
The friends I do talk to on a regular basis and I discuss this topic often. We are always amazed at how much has changed in these years since college. It's not a straight line to whatever our supposed goal was at the time. The goal changes. The road twists and turns. We meet new people and have new experiences those from our past may not know about or understand.
All of these things are okay. It's part of life and growing and becoming an adult. But it's hard to adjust sometimes to these new situations and elements of life. Some people stay with us and are by our side the entire time. Others remain in our lives but their roles change. Others might just leave. Not because of a choice, but simply because you grew apart, and you still think of each other fondly. Some you might even rediscover somewhere along the line and pick up right where you left off.
Jobs and dreams change too. I know I'm not the 18 year old girl I was when I began college and wanted to be in youth ministry and change the world. I'm happy with the person I'm becoming - at least for the most part. There are definitely things in my life I want to change. I get frustrated and have doubts about everything. But I'm also glad I'm not who I was. She was awesome and helped me to be who I am now. But I'm glad I'm not her anymore either. I don't want to regress to who I was in the past and keep moving forward.