Well I've got my diploma in nutrition, and with merit no less! It was an interesting experience studying again and doing something so different. I'm not sure I feel at all confident about knowing my stuff yet, but then when you think about it, that's always true when you have really only studied the data and not practiced with real people in real situations. I remember learning so much chemistry at university, but only every really applying a small amount of that knowledge at work.
My next task with the nutrition studies, as far as I can see at the moment, is to grow my familiarity with the subject matter. To read and re-read, and to work with some real people. So. I'm going to put it all to work by developing some diet information for a friend who wants to lose some weight, and then I might do some research on sports nutrition, maybe supplements and prepare some leaflets I can give to interested people.
It's quite a scary thought to consider setting up a business doing nutrition and then adding the sports therapy stuff and possibly personal training to it. But these are all opportunities to create a new career for myself.
What is quite hard is explaining to people that this isn't me leaving the church behind, but neither is it me trying to find an income stream while I wait for a church to grow that can support a return to so-called full-time ministry. This is a new way of doing ministry and leadership, not a stop-gap because I don't like the established church and it appears not to like me much!
My hope and prayer is that this is a new way of being alongside people God loves and misses. I'm not a nutritional advisor to do evangelism, I'm a nutritional advisor because I think nutrition is important and interesting. But I will always take my faith with me wherever I go and whoever I see. I can't help that.
So let's see where this takes me. But for the moment I'm enjoying having got my diploma.