About Me

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The next step... overcoming disappointment

So I've been thinking a lot about this coming year (I mean in the academic sense, from September). I have chosen to take a year before I start my ordination training for various reasons, one of which being that there are several things I would like to do before I get on the band wagon of training/curacy etc. I have written about this here, but I have been giving it a lot more thought and prayer recently. September suddenly seems really close and there is nothing concrete in the diary yet. On top of which my church has offered me a part time post from September which will take up a significant amount of my time. (and this is a total answer to prayer!!)

I think the key to all of the things on my previous list is my desire to experience more of God. Not in “an experience” kind of way, but in a daily, real, I want more of God in my life, kind of way. I guess part of that is that I worry once I have started training I won’t have the time to devote to prayer and seeking God that I do now, and I want to really get that cemented in my life in a way I can take forward into ministry life. But then I realise that is also rather naive, as I know this is a journey that will continue to the end of my earthly life and be evolving all the time, especially I would imagine once in ordained ministry.

So on my list I had (among other things) these:
1: Visit somewhere the Holy Spirit is really moving (and I mean really... hugely, massively, undeniably)
5: Be a bit (more) crazy for God, spend time getting out there, praying for people, in Tesco, in the street, in the dentists... spreading some crazy love!

And the more I pray about this, whilst it would be amazing to go off to India or Africa, or go spend some time with Heidi Baker, in reality, number 5 could actually bring about no.1! So it’s about my heart attitude. Going off to some far flung corner of the world I have been seeing as the hard bit, but actually I now think it’s the easy bit! How easy to raise some money, head off to the middle of nowhere where the spirit is already moving. Much harder would be to step out in my daily life, in every opportunity I see, in every chance God gives me to be Christ to those around me... I preached last week on Nicodemus and encountering God and I said this:

And we can encounter him every day. Not just the first time when we give our lives, but every day if we want to, in the opportunities he gives us, in reading his word, in others around us, its all there for us. That’s what I want, what I seek, not just an experience, a one off encounter, but a daily truth, a daily meeting with my King that informs my whole life.

So the truth is, if I want that, I have to step out, to risk rejection and ridicule, but also in that risk, be completely open to God using me for his kingdom. The times I have done that I have been so blessed and amazed by Gods faithfulness and His ability to use us wherever we are. And if I am going to do that I want to be accountable. In reality it’s what we should all do, daily – be available and ready for God to use us – in whatever way, and that will be different for each of us. But then I can easily not do that, because right now, I am shying away from it. I described this feeling a while back as being like someone pressed the pause button (then I realised it was me holding it down). After the feelings of anger and disappointment in the aftermath of our friends death a few months back, that’s what it felt like, like I was on pause, like I couldn’t or didn’t want to really allow God to use me, for fear of being hurt or disappointed again
So it’s really time to unpause that button and click play. And I need to be accountable about that, because it is going to be really hard. I feel the reluctance in me. Not a reluctance to come to God, but a reluctance to step out in faith and believe again for miracles. I still believe in a God of miracles and I am still so hungry for him, but there is still this underlying ‘something’ holding me back.

So now, for the next couple of weeks – until September starts ( I know I could start right now, but it’s kind of comforting to have a date to plan for!) – I am going to pray about what that looks like for me – how am I going to encounter God daily and enable others to encounter him too...


UKViewer said...

Thanks for some inspiration. Just delaying your training for a year is a huge risk. To go out into the world in hope is another. I'm not sure that I would have the courage to do either.

I'm still in the 'getting over phase' of disappointment at BAP, so am finding it actually quite hard to discern where God might be taking me. My Vicar has some idea's, but he isn't sharing them at the moment.

So, for me it's just relaxing in God and hopefully he in me, to allow healing to take place, healing which I know is partially there, but has some way to go. Despite my protestations that every thing is fine, everything is rosy.

God has a wonderful way of testing us, he allows us to discern something, to go headlong for it, only to take it away - it's a test of character, of perseverance and ultimately of our faith. I'm praying that the testing phase is nearing some sort of end game, to allow some movement forward.

I'll be praying for you on this new adventure, risk and all.

nicolahulks said...

All sounds good, Red, and brave too after a tough few months.

I share your feelings of worry about losing the reason I ended up going into ministry in the first place in all the busyness. I have been focusing on putting things into my life that I hope will keep me connected but it is scary knowing how that is going to be tested very soon!! Either way I figure that's the life of ministry and best to learn sooner rather than later about putting my realtionship with God first.

It's exciting, I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings for you! xx

Nancy Wallace said...

What a wonderful opportunity you have in the next year - who knows what it will bring. I pray God will use it for his purposes which are often surprising. Wise to postpone ordination training for a year. Back in 1995 I only had 3 months between selection conference and starting training - a little longer would definitely have been better!

Red said...

thanks all, appreciate the good wishes! You can all remind me in a months time when I haven't yet ventured out, that I said I would!!
Ernie, sorry that you are having to go through all that but I am sure that the end result will allow you to step fully into Gods perfect plans for you. For what it's worth I struggle with the notion of God testing us - not that I think he doesn't - but more that he is teaching us and guiding us, rather than 'testing'. If you truly feel called to ministry then the 'powers that be' cannot take that away from you - perhaps it is just some other area of ministry that He is calling you to? I am sure that you have people around you to guide you and help you to discern and I pray for you that there will be an obvious and perfect outcome very soon. much love
Nicola - yes I may well be emailing you for tips on life as an ordinand!! Praying for you that it all starts off smoothly :)
Nancy - thanks for the kind words. yes it was pretty surprising to feel called in the first place so goodness knows what God has up his sleeve next!!