A Calling?

Having a calling, as in from God, not your kids shouting down the stairs at you, seems to be one of those Christian sticking points. For years I frankly cringed when someone said, ‘God called me to this’, or ‘God told me to do that’. I think you either understand it or you don’t (I mean it’s almost in the marmite category). I very definitely did not ‘get’ it, but then I guess there’s a lot of things about Chrisitanity I didnt ‘get’. I bet God is having a good old laugh at me now actually, saying and doing things I would have scoffed at others for doing before! So it was a surprise to me that shortly after being saved I felt like God was calling me to something – although I couldn’t actually put my finger on what ‘it’ was or is, I just know he is preparing me for something. Now I haven’t admitted this anywhere except to my husband (& on here, for the whole world to read of course), but one of my first thoughts about Gods plan for me was about going into ministry. Where this came from I have no idea (ok well, apart from the obvious, duh). I mean I am not the kind of person you would imagine being a vicar, I cannot see myself in that kind of role and so on… however I would like to study theology – that’s more my kind of thing. Getting my teeth into some good studying and critical analysis. I can see me doing that, God willing…

I had a lengthy chat with our parish priest (not at the church I attend) after the drama of getting saved and he asked me if I felt called to anything, so I said yes, but not sure what. He, interestingly, told me he felt called to ministry very soon after being saved, like a few months, which kind of made me feel better, like I wasn’t being too ‘up myself’ thinking God had a plan for me so soon in my journey.

So this thought has been occurring to me every now and then, but honestly I just can’t see it happening, I mean apart from anything else, what a responsibilty, how many years studying? I am approaching 40 for goodness sake.

Last week when our curate came over to talk about the baptism he told me that he felt my role was to be in ordained ministry. I laughed. a lot. The the other chap with him said to me ‘you need to listen to him, he has a prophetic gift, what he says usually happens’ or something along those lines… I stopped laughing pretty quickly. I think I probably did one of those comedy ‘gulps’. But still although I was a bit ‘worried’ I still thought, well, really? it’s just not me…

Last night at a church meeting (ok so I did get some God time) I was chatting to a lady I didn’t know about work and I made some comment about changing jobs soon and she just said straight out ‘are you going to go into ministry then?’, there followed another comedy gulp, louder this time…. This lady doesnt know me and I had not given her any reason to think this (especially as I still don’t believe it myself!).

So today I was very interested to read Lesleys blog here, where in part she talks about her initial calling to Ministry. In particular this sentence stood out to me:

It all started when I thought God was calling me to ordained ministry. I couldn’t admit it, because I was so determined that my role was to be at home with my kids and be a ‘good’ wife. I was also uneasy about women being ordained and I could not believe what I felt God was saying to me.

This sums up where I am I think. I can’t and won’t admit yet that I think that’s where God wants me. I really can’t believe that I am even worthy of such a calling and I’m not sure I want to give up my business for that. I wanted to give it up to spend more time being a mum; and to focus on my faith, yes, but really? to go into ordained ministry? And I too, despite being a ‘modern woman’ am not sure I like the idea of women priests, sorry Lesley, I am sure you are wonderful!

Maybe I am not quite ready to hear it or maybe there really has been a string of coincidences (I hope) and I intend to put it right out of my mind, so that if it is what God wants me to do he is going to have to show me in a pretty bloody obvious way. But now I have got off my chest all those nagging thoughts. They are down in print and I can move on. Please Lord, don’t make me eat my words… 🙂

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  • Reply
    Lesley Fellows
    April 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Oh Red, this is laugh out loud funny, you are great. Good luck with moving on and avoiding the subject. I managed for a year before I turned up, dejected on the doorstep of the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands). She looked at me kindly and described it at divine toothache. You keep feeling the pain, then it goes away and you are relieved, then it comes back etc.. until eventually you have to go and see the dentist.

  • Reply
    Finally Free
    April 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I went through the same thing as my calling to be a counselor. When God was calling me to go back to school to get my Master's I ran like Jonah. Well, you know how that ended….
    Same with me. God kept chasing and I kept running, until I turned and accepted the calling. He helped me the whole way. Now, I can't imagine not doing what he created me do.

    Just my two cents. One thing I learned about God is that He is very patient, but very persistant. 🙂


  • Reply
    April 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks guys. Maybe we will look back at this post in a year and think, well there you go – God had a plan all along! although I am kind of hoping not as I'm sure you can tell 🙂 The chap from church is already calling me Revd really as I keep saying 'really?' in that questioning way… One day I will learn to stop saying that to God!
    bless you both

  • Reply
    Just Be Real
    April 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Thank you Red for this inspiring post. I am totally sensing a calling or an anointing on my life. Very scary. Have no clue yet as to what that entails.

    "I really can't believe that I am even worthy of such a calling…" Those very words hold a lot of people back from their calling. I can relate.

    Great post Red. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Alan Crawley
    May 1, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I was over 40 when I heard my calling, and like most spent time running away from it. I had almost talked myself out of it when I went to a vocations event to "prove" that I wasn't called to ministry only to find the Bishop saying that the people he wanted were those with exactly my experience.

    Practically (for Anglicans) there is a period of time with a DDO (this can vary significantly) before a selection conference followed by 3 years part time or 2 years full time. I started as an unpaid part time curate (children's education stopped me moving), but redundancy enabled me to transfer to full time paid ministry. Best thing I ever did.

    Keep on listening!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2010 at 9:18 am

    you are all lovely. thank you
    still running though….:) !!!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Hello Red

    I didn't see a email available on your profile?

    I just wanted to thank you for your recent comment on my Blog Topics post. I thought there were some interesting comments on that subject and appreciate your input.
    Your comments are always welcome. I also added myself to follow your blog.

    Thanks again


  • Reply
    May 2, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Thanks Ron. no, not sure how I add email – must suss that one out!
    red x

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