Saturday, February 25, 2012

Find Your Voice

When I was in college, I thought I was going to be a high school English teacher.  After all, for someone who loved to read and write, what better major was there than English Literature?  And what else would I do with an English Literature degree?  Then I took a class on "Modern British Literature" and realized that I was tired and bored with literature and I could never, ever teach it to someone else if I wasn't enjoying it myself.  I am glad that saved me from taking education classes, though, because they probably would have been a big waste of time.  I stuck with the major though, because there was no way that I was going to start over with something else, and even if I had, I had no idea what I would pursue.  I ended up enjoying the classes in my minor, Religious Studies, much more than most of my literature classes, although there were some literature classes that were Bible-related, and those I loved.

I believe I had to meet with an adviser once during college to make sure that I was taking the classes I needed to take for my degree, and I found it to be somewhat of a waste of time because I had a spreadsheet that I'd created in order to track my progress; I knew what I needed to do.  I only have a distant memory of waiting to see the adviser, and no memory of the meeting itself.

At no time during my college career did anyone ever talk to me about discovering my vocation.  When people would ask me what I wanted to do, it was as if I was already expected to know, because, really, what 18-22 doesn't know what she wants to do for the rest of her life, right?

During my time in college and after, I had jobs that I did well, and even liked, but they were not jobs that I loved.  I was not passionate about them but I didn't know what I should be doing instead.  I got a little closer to figuring it out when I began seminary, but I was very unsure about actually becoming a pastor--but that seemed to be the "right" thing to do.

Fast forward a few years, two moves and two children later, I still don't have a Master's degree (giving it up will be a story for another time), I have had part-time jobs (one as "Operations Coordinator" for a non-profit organization and the other as "Campus Ministry Coordinator", and I have now moved a third time (as in I just moved about three weeks ago).

In my last sermon at Waldorf College in January, I spoke about vocation (Waldorf has a huge emphasis on vocation, which is an excellent thing) and said that I was heading into the unknown to find out what God's next calling for me would be.

I knew that when I moved I wanted to really start looking into the concept of vocation and learning more about it as well as discovering what my next vocation would be.  I have a stack of books in my "to-read" pile (and many more that are not in the immediate pile) that are about vocation, the Bible, and writing.

While I haven't figured it out yet, I have had little messages, you could say, that are serving to keep me somewhat focused.  It's as if God is saying "ok, you're mainly settled in, now get to work on this vocational discernment".  The messages so far have been:

  • A book called Deepening the Colors by Sydney Hielema that is required reading at the college where my husband now works.  When I picked it up to read it, I had no idea that the topic was vocation.
  • A tweet and blog post by Rachel Held Evans about a man who was a mega-church pastor who had to give it up is is searching for his new purpose in life.
  • A tweet and blog post tonight by my friend Andy of a video of a song called "Make a Noise" by Katie Herzig. 

There were a few lyrics in this song that stood out to me:
"Believe that you can change the world. Your dreams have been living in a code of silence.So let them out."
"Find your voice, find your voice.  Make a noise."
As I listened and watched, not only did I start to feel tears forming (and my interest in fashion made me wonder how I could replicate the singer's outfit), but I had a sense that there is something within reach, yet it is foggy, like waking from a dream and only being able to grasp a fleeting memory of it.

I hope as these next few weeks or months pass by, that the call will become clearer, the dream will become reality, and I will have the courage to discover my dreams and find my voice.

I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ himself,in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. --Colossians 2:2-3   

1 comment:

Joy said...

Tried to comment on your blog itself, but couldn't, so I'll do so here. Hang in there and resist the urge to give yourself a discernment deadline. Being the trailing spouse isn't easy. In fact, it sucks. So I even suggest allowing yourself to grieve when the feeling arises - those tears you mentioned when watching the video. I have found they are wonderful at clearing my vision. Love to you ...