Discernment. Vocation. Purpose. Life.
Unpacking one’s purpose for life is no small thing. For many people it takes most of a lifetime to say fully what they believe their purpose to be. And for others purpose changes over time and through the seasons of life.
For me a sense of purpose in life emerged early but the pathways of work and family life that were available to me for embracing that purpose were complicated.
I felt a call to ministry, yes. But in fact there was a deeper sense of calling about what kind of life I wanted to live and two years of searching for a ministry job, five and half years in that call, and the abrupt end to congregational ministry all led me to a deeper realization of a major vocational purpose in my life: being with people in a particular way and making space, creating conditions to see and be seen in a genuine way, this is the deeper life purpose that was emerging.
Taking on the training and the work of congregational ministry was the best and probably only path I could take at the point my life when I did it. And that path was difficult for sure as a woman. I tried to consider other jobs, but I always returned to ministry in those years of my 20s.
I have no regrets about taking that path. It was, however when that first congregational call to ministry was over, that I really began to see my purpose was so much deeper than working in the church. It was about a particular way to be human and be with other humans and with the world itself. The stream of that purpose continues on taking new forms in new seasons of my life.
This week’s episode of 3MMM is about vocational discernment. Hearing stories from many people in many stages and seasons of life and how they discern the purpose, their calling, their work and their families, can be a great encouragement. It can also be incredibly clarifying.
Each of our stories is it’s own unique conglomeration of ideas and circumstances, power dynamics and family legacies, social privileges and injustices. How we work this out, and if we are willing to share with others, is it self a tremendous gift. To bear witness to one’s in story and the story of others is powerful and inspiring.
In fact, I created this initiative, Three Minute Ministry Mentor, as a part of my deeper purpose of making space for people to find information and inspiration and connection for their vocational paths. Please let us know and how it might be helping you! And maybe join us and sharing it with others who could use some encouragement.
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