I’m still here!

Celebrations at Wells Cathedral as priests and deacons are ordained.

Celebrations at Wells Cathedral as priests and deacons are ordained.

This week I finally cracked.  It has been a month of waiting, a month of silence.

After meeting with a Vocations Chaplain my details were passed on to the Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO).  It would be their job to delve even deeper to discern whether God is indeed calling me towards ordination. But since my meeting a month ago I haven’t heard anything, which was fine, to a point!

God often asks us to wait for things. There was good reason to wait too.  The DDO would have been busy with ordination services that were happening in this time and helping the new priests settle into their new roles.  This celebration of God in action through people’s lives, calling them to follow and serve Him in the particular role as a priest, is certainly a higher priority than a person impatiently wanting to continue exploring.  Anyway, with God no time is wasted.

As I practiced patience, God reminded me that He is interested in the every day stuff and the little things (see Too busy to listen?).  He encouraged me through another person (see Did you mean ego?).  I’ve started the process of finding a Spiritual Director to help me wrestle with the issues my walk with God brings to me.  And if I’m honest God is speaking to me and trying to teach me each day.  It is more a case of am I listening and willing to accept His teaching?

Sometimes God asks us to stop waiting and act.  Working out whether to wait or act is a difficult thing to do though.  Act when I should be waiting and I am effectively seizing control from God.  Wait when I should be acting and I am failing to follow and obey Him.  It isn’t just that, waiting for things to come to you when you should be seeking them can lead to apathy, loss of momentum, missed opportunities.

I’ve often joked that I’m waiting to be talent-spotted, for someone to see me in the street and pluck me from my normal life into one of super stardom.  It has happened to some people but, as I have never pursued an acting or music career, it isn’t surprising that I have never been the headline act at Glastonbury or walked the red carpet at the premier of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Something in me said that it was time to act but I wanted to make sure.  I sought the counsel of trusted friends, friends who walk closely with God and who have been through the process I am going through.  It was suggested that rather than take the matter into my hands and contact the DDO I should contact the Vocations Chaplain.  It was wise advice: in following it I wasn’t seizing control from God, I was simply reminding people that not only am I still here but I still feel God wants me to be actively involved in it.

In my anxiousness I feared, as I sent my email to the Vocations Chaplain, that my email may come across wrongly as being sent my someone irritated by the wait.  A level of impatience would surely have been apparent but I hoped that it would be received well.  However it was received, my Vocations Chaplain sent me another warm email in reply saying that he would contact the DDO again.

I am waiting once again and I’m fine with that, well, almost! I’m resisting the urge to do more, instead doing my utmost to trust God because I know that He is in ultimate control.  I can’t say it is easy waiting, it isn’t, and it’s something I need to work on with God.  At least He knows that I’m still following, exploring and excited about the path that He has placed me upon.  What’s more the DDO will know it too!

2 thoughts on “I’m still here!

  1. In my experience the feeling of being left waiting and the mounting frustration that goes with it is perfectly normal – and I know plenty of others who have felt the same way. I suspect that it is actually an informal part of the process of discernment. As a Young Vocations Champion I see the enthusiasm of people, yet also know the time-scale of years that the process takes from first enquiries through to ordination and curacy. It’s a tricky balancing act (I often felt that my sponsoring diocese was testing my dedication and call by trying to give me every chance to give up, mainly from frustration!) However old or young you are I’m sure you have years of potential ministry ahead, far more than the waiting time. It might help to see it all in that light… and the perspective of God’s eternity too, of course!

  2. Thanks and keeping a perspective on the potential ministry and eternity is helpful. I have had others tell me similar things, that sometimes being left waiting is a deliberate test. It’s one I’ve always found tough. Part of my frustration is from not wanting to lose momentumn and from wanting to get started with the series of meetings I will have with the DDO. Yet I know God makes use of such times and has plenty to teach us in them, my task is to discern just what He is saying.

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