Ever since I can remember, I have felt “called” into a specifically “christian” ministry. I toyed with the idea of being a singer and actress for a while, quickly dismissed the idea of teaching primary school children, rejected the idea of nurse because it involved science etc etc.
All the ideas I considered were never really more than that. Just ideas. Because from the age of five – I’ve known that I have a job to do. I had no idea, of course, of shape and name at that age. But I wanted to be a missionary, a preacher, wanted to work for the Church which I loved so much.
Indeed, the calling got me through my GCSEs and A-Levels. When I wanted so badly to throw in the towel, the knowledge that I needed qualifications to get into LST meant that I carried on.
It has been a massive encouragement and blessing to me, to have an inkling of where I’m headed. God has been incredibly gracious in prodding and calling me on in the right direction, in promising me a future when I was lost in the past. I have treasured my calling.
Recently it has begun to feel like a trap.
Because this is hard. This life, is hard.
It takes so much energy, to be the person I feel called to be, to lay my story out for people to poke, prod and question.
And sometimes, I wish for a different life. I wonder if a different life would be less painful. Less all-consuming. Less of a sacrifice?
Because what if I walked an easier road? A comfortable job that didn’t involve the questions?
What if I could feel, for once, like a twenty-two year old instead of a forty-two old?
Perhaps these feelings are some kind of long forgotten and neglected rebellion?
Perhaps, it’s just been a long week.
But the difficulties of this life, this one where I’m called to bare my soul and speak of my vulnerability, this one which uses the pain instead of burying it – it is, after all, the path I chose.
For all my sense of calling, I chose to say ‘yes’. I chose to write and speak about those things which most scarred my soul.
I choose the light instead of giving into the lure of the darkness.
It is a choice I would make again. And again.
And so I guess, this is the price I pay. It is not, in perspective, a very high price. I gave up my “right” to give up on life. I gave up my “right” to give up on God.
I have been through too much to give up now.
I need reminding of that, today of all days. I can see it as a burden, a trap.
Or I can be reminded of the grace it took to get me to today.
So I choose to be reminded of grace – to see the gift, instead of the trap.
It isn’t easy.
I trust that it is worth it.