John Michael Montgomery says it perfectly, “Life’s a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. Don’t worry ‘bout what you don’t know. You learn as you go.” The Rev. Lyn Oakley’s journey to her call as the new pastor at Washington Presbyterian Church exemplifies the words of the song, Life’s a Dance.
The Rev. Oakley reflects, “I have had distinct moments of revelation for me along my journey. Some were big and some were small. It was in the small revelations that I began to see and trust that the spirit of God was speaking through others that stirred influences in me to look for God’s spirit in my own life journey.”
As Lyn sat around a table or under a shade tree breaking beans with her grandmother and aunts, she learned how God provided revelation for them in their lives, so Lyn began to look for provided revelations in her own life.
To become the Rev. Lyn Oakley, her life dance evolved from new revelations in each decade of her journey. When she was in her 20s she began in the family business of education, becoming a beloved kindergarten teacher.
During the next decade of her journey, as she was now in her 30s with a daughter in elementary school, she felt pulled to complete a degree in educational administration and supervision, but wisely realized being a principal might not align with her family priorities at the time.
The director of Christian education position at her home Fountain City Presbyterian Church became open, revealing the perfect fit, so the rest is history for the next two decades.
Well almost! Knowing Lyn Oakley is always listening for those continuing revelations, reminiscent of her grandmother’s teachings years before, there had to be more to come.
She says, “In my late 40s I felt that same stirring to go into pastoral ministry and fought the idea of another master’s degree. I was with the Rev. Anne McKee in a coffee shop talking about my next move when she told me about this hybrid seminary in Lexington, Kentucky, that required its students to work in a church while in seminary. Again, I felt the heavens open up and I knew my next move!”
Now, the rest is history, as she was ordained and installed this past Sunday into official ministry, and the world is blessed to have a truly spiritual and passionate Lyn Oakley serving the community and following those revelations given to her through her “life’s dance.”
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