Ahead there be DRAGONS…

In October 2012 someone wrote this to me in an email because of my ongoing doubts about “Call” and “Why ordained?”

Yes we all have a call on our life. I meant  I believe God does have a call on your life to what we were talking about at the time i.e. full time ordained Ministry on your life

I have kept in my inbox for this entire time and it encouraged me and pushed me forward. There have been many, many times when I felt like stopping, felt like coming off this crazy journey I am on and it was intertwined with first becoming a Local Preacher and then ‘candidating. Whenever I separated these things out, laid them out on the bed and sorted through them, all the things that caused me stress were to do with not only candidating but going to college and coming out a Probationer and becoming ordained.

I talked at length with various people along the way and they told me to stop being so negative, pull my socks up and best foot forward. My journey became a less solitary path as people joined and walked with me but the cost for me was to “stop being negative, pulling up my knee length socks and left foot in front.” It was difficult and as I say costly because it isn’t me. So I had to hide away my doubts and fears, I stopped writing partly so those fears would not surface through the written word. I stopped speaking negative thoughts but who was I kidding – they were still there.

When I handed over on Monday last, there was to be a discussion about this residential week. But it didn’t happen there were so many other things that needed to be said. So I was asked was I ready? And I answered yes. I added that covering the sabbatical had proved to even me that “I can do this.” I didn’t get to the BUT. But do I want to? This is the one question that hovered in the background through this whole process. I had got my answer the week before but how could I not go? So many people were rooting for me, praying at specific times and all through not only this week but for some time before as well. And was it a waste of the abundant gifts given me by our glorious Father? And these gifts kept on coming and coming, I was being blessed all over the place.

So the things I have loved doing is working with the unchurched and the church of the offended, I love children and youth work and I (when I get over my nerves and the odd wobble) do actually love preaching and teaching, I love bringing hitherto not seen gifts to the surface in people, I love to stretch people in terms of their faith, stewardship and giving, in terms of their personal commitment to the Lord and I just love singing and praising and encouraging others to sing out and dance. I love ecumenism with both main stream churches and one man bands.

In the past few months I have discovered I can admonish, that my no is my no, I can ignore what needs to be ignored and highlight what needs to be addressed, I am no longer afraid of confrontation and can gather and encourage a team of people, I am strong in Scripture, reason and experience and have been on a steep learning curve regarding tradition.

The call is there, and there is nothing I can do to remove it and it is to my understanding of ordained ministry of being set aside and being given the privilege of delving deeper.

So I remain with the word “want” as opposed to “obediently following the call,” maybe in the future I will be able to verbalise what struck me dumb, maybe I will be able to explain how this machine (computer) loving Northern bird has flowered into a people loving Irish living woman, that I have grown up in my faith and become ready to take on a leadership role that all my life I have run away from. It isn’t that I don’t have the skills, it is that I didn’t ever want to use them.

There is more, but not for the written word. Please know if you are reading this I am at peace, I am loved by an eternal, holy, unchanging, impassable, infinite, all –powerful, everywhere-present, all-wise, all-knowing, simple, self-existent, self-sufficient, immaterial, good & loving, gracious & merciful, just & jealous Sovereign God. And in Him all things are possible, including not going onto training and including maybe going onto training later. I am being led by the Holy Spirit into uncharted territory.

From the emails, texts and FB messages I have received I am overwhelmed by LOVE. One thing that was lacking in my life for so long is here in abundance. From Florida to Germany with stops in most counties in Ireland this is an outpouring of love. (names have been changed and the odd word removed to keep anonymity)

Locally I have told only two people, not because I am ashamed or anything like that, but have you seen an indignant Kerry man – think JH-R on speed. I have cried buckets not in disappointment for myself but for them. I have cried as I received these comments because of that lovingkindness that has stretched across faiths and denominations; the most indignant from my Jewish family in Germany and my sister –in Christ somewhere else in the world.

Bob

Every blessing – you just shine with the joy of the Spirit, onward, it will be lovely and challenging.

Marion

I have been where you are now. Holding you up before The Lord

Richard

Hi Suzie, I appreciate that you let me know – I was wondering how things were going. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as you hoped, but I’ve no doubt the Lord will make use of you if you’re willing to be used!! I think the Committee are a bit cautious sometimes in their decisions, and I know your circumstances are unusual. But that never stopped God, did it. So we’ll keep praying, and thanking Him for whatever he’s planning. Hope I’ve caught you before you turn off again! God bless. And thanks! x

Johannah

which church? Bad move on their part I’d say ! Hope you are all OK

Sally

I am standing in solidarity with you, what about starting a radical Wesley one

Carrot top

GBY

Dolly

That is a bit of a shock Suzie. I was looking forward to seeing you up here. The Lord has plans for you, don’t forget that. Thinking of you.

Cookie Jar

Dear Suzie I am really very sad and so sorry to hear this news. I appreciate this must be very a very difficult time for you.

Remember God is in the middle of all of this and perhaps this is not the right time for you to enter training for you and your family. You did mention your son’s need of your care Suzie, perhaps this is God’s way of telling you where He needs you to minister at present.  You also have a wonderful ministry to offer as you have proved by taking over for Laurence Graham something I have no doubt through which you have been a great blessing to others.

Suzie, there are many wonderful ministers who have candidated a second and even third time. Please do not give up on your calling if you feel this is what God wants for you. Remember if it is He will make a way.

This has been an exhausting week for you spiritually, emotionally and physically. Take a little break for yourself to spiritually and emotionally allow yourself to recover from this news. Look for God in the centre of it all, He is not in the noise of life but in the gentle whisper of your heart. Do not make any rash decisions but “Wait Upon The Lord.”
Dear Suzie please do keep in touch and if I can ever do anything, I mean ANYTHING please do not hesitate to ask.
God bless and keep you my friend and my dear sister in Christ.

John F

Suzie,  I am so sorry to hear that you were unsuccessful. Love n hugs

Andrea

Hi Suzie,
God bless you for who you are – I soo want to come down and experience worship with your congregation!

Katie B

There is but one church and One God. We are all Christians, equally loved by our Heavenly  Father who asks that “We love the Lord our God, and our neighbour as ourselves.”
You have a wonderful, ecunemical servant’s heart and I am proud to call you my friend. The Methodist and Roman Catholic Churches are very close, actually John Wesley was one described as “being very close to Aquinas” in his teaching on Christian Perfection theology.
Do not change Suze, stay the same wonderful Christ filled person you are. You are doing great work in Co. Kerry where Gods church is flourishing.
God bless

Dr H

Hello Suzie
You are in my thoughts and prayers as you make sense of this and seek God’s direction for the way forward.
Be encouraged you are called and have a ministry.

John S

Suzie, sorry to hear that you didn’t get through, but keep on being true to yourself and sharing God’s love with the people around you! It was lovely getting to know you, and I’m certain our paths will cross.
Your people will be relieved not to lose you, but I know how you must be feeling after all you have put into the very long process. You are in my prayers as you discern how God wants you to serve him.
May God richly bless you and open doors for you!

Gaynor

I am so sorry to hear that.  Please do keep in touch.  I will continue to hold you in my prayers. If you are ever up this way or Belfast my door is open.  I do hope ad pray our paths will cross again.  It was a blessed few days of fellowship

Charlie

WHO didn’t accept you?  The Bible college?  A congregation?  I’m shocked, too — you seemed like the perfect candidate to me, from what I know of you.

GH

Hi Suzie.
I so enjoyed working at XXXXXXX with you, and getting to know you.   Yes, your love for the Lord and your pastoral concern shone through EVERYTHING you said.   I can feel something of your disappointment at this report from the Board of Examiners, and my heart goes out to you.  However, they have not closed the door on you, just said, “Not yet”.
I pray God’s peace may fill your heart and mind at this time of disappointment, and questioning re the future; I know He will guide you as to the next step.  God bless you, and keep you and all your family.

Roberta

Hi, how r u? Completely forgot about the week and shocked at the e mail. I should say something spiritual but I don’t know what to say. I will be thinking of u. Blessings.

Tully

xxx may never be ordained – whether or not makes no difference – xxx is available to God and that’s all we care about. We have been negligent in keeping up with xxx but….it’s a strange old system and hard to fathom at times. When I talk to xxx about his experience  it was selective too. We said just the other day, if you were ever to get your eyes off The Lord then you are finished. If only we had people who were interested in an experience with God rather than preserving an institution. Sorry for being negative. God is good though.

freespirit

Unlike some of my commentators I do have faith in the system for choosing those to go onto further training, and I think that for right now the decision was correct.

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