For a long while this is all I wanted to blog about, and then for a long while it was the last thing I wanted to blog about. Discernment. We are all called by God. God has a vision for each and everyone one of us. We each have a prophetic vision of God to share with the world. We each go out into the world wearing the many calls of God.
I wear the call of child of God, mother, wife, aunt, lesbian, professional, and maybe, just maybe the call to ordained ministry. So the journey starts with tugs towards, inklings of, random coincidences, things keep popping up, can’t seem to get this crazy idea out of my head, and then, and then the saying of it out loud first to my wife, then my closest friends, then my pastor, then my spiritual director, then finally, then finally the vestry.
And while this is happening other events occur, like my pastor speaking with the bishop, seeing what he has to say since I’m openly homosexual in a committed relationship in a conservative diocese. Finding out I can’t discern here, not formally, not informally…and soaking that in, absorbing what that means, and wringing out the pain from my being.
And while this is happening I research the ordination process, look at other dioceses, talk with two of our church’s seminarians, talk to my spiritual director, and pray for answers or ok what’s the next step Lord. If it isn’t this then what? If it is then where? If it is then when? I read spiritual direction books recommended within the ordination process handouts/guidelines, trying hard to hear. I center trying to clear my mind and let God in, really let him in, no other thoughts or worries, just time for him.
I often feel like I’m doing this alone, but that is a selfish self-pitying thought. I walk this journey with God. I walk this journey with my pastor, with my spiritual director, with my family, with my friends, and now with I hope the prayers of my church.
My frustration comes in not being able to “do” the process with my church to discern with them through a discernment committee. My frustration comes that I will have to move and start all over again. My frustration comes because I’m scared about the risks involved with moving my family and starting literally all over with new jobs, new schools, new everything, and what if it wasn’t the right call, what if I’m getting it wrong. My frustration comes in that if I wasn’t homosexual, there would be no barrier to my beginning the formal process. My frustration comes that my diocese is unable to wholly welcome me.
Going on vacation gave me space to breathe again. I told myself I would neither bring thoughts of discernment with me, nor thoughts of work, nor thoughts of things that always need to be done. I told myself I would walk away from this for awhile, and if the tug didn’t come back well then there I have it. But I find I am unable to walk away. I tried ignoring, but then I ignored prayer and study, and they both kept beckoning – come back. So I learned I don’t know how to ignore this, and I found I do not want to. What can be more beautiful then walking the path, the call God calls us to? Because in walking that path I am more fully myself, more fully a part of the world, more present to my family, more at ease with myself.
So now I wait and I pray and I think and I listen and I learn and I grow.