Discerning in the dark

The words are hard to come by lately. Not, I’ve realized, because they aren’t there, but because so much is happening in my life and my soul that sitting down and making them march these fine little lines takes time away from actually living them. And it means I have to make it all real when I’d prefer some of it to stay in my head.

Dave and I are going through a process of some serious discernment about our future vocation/s. It’s not that we don’t know who we are, what we like, what gifts and talents and loves and desires God has given us. We do. It’s that, as of yet, neither of us feel called to do anything specific with these things. It’s hard. We see people all around us either doing things they’re clearly made to do or doing things we think we might want to do, but we don’t feel like it’s time to move on anything right now.

Right now, our calling seems strange. I feel called to three things (and I think these would resonate with Dave as well):

1. Be present in the present. This includes choosing to grow in the things that we love and that we’d love to be able to support ourselves doing.

2. Wait. This seems to include staying open, listening and continuing to ask the questions and wonder and hope.

3. Be ready.

These are three things I’m finding it challenging to do at once. It would be easier to be present in the present if that didn’t mean, right now, being ready to move on the future. If I could shut that down, if I didn’t have to remain that open, it would be easier to just be where I am. But really being where I am right know means that I know that I’m not where I’m going to stay forever and that I want to truly be prepared to move on at any time…and that’s hard.

I can’t even think up an image that works with what I’m feeling right now.

The concept of Story has become quite important to me over the last several years, and as I think about this, I’ve realized that I know a lot about my story–where I’ve been, what I’ve done, how things have affected me. I learn more about it every day, but I have a pretty good grasp of who I am and where I’ve been. But I don’t know any more than that. I don’t feel like I know what much of it means yet, to myself and to other people.

I don’t think I want to know the end as that would be too much for me. But I feel like I’m in the eye of the story-storm, like there are pages and pages to come but I can’t figure out what they are from here. When an author manages to do that for me, I applaud her depth and the reality with which she writes, so I shouldn’t complain about real life happening like, well, real life.

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2 Comments

Filed under Becoming

2 responses to “Discerning in the dark

  1. Monica

    Sarah, as I read your latest entry, I can’t help but think about everything I learned in my improv training. You are right in the middle of the story and that’s right where everything happens, but you have the least understanding and control. It’s truly exciting, but also the most scary place you can be. The question is, can you relax in the moment and trust that what needs to come will come? After all, you’re not really the One writing the story anyway, right? May God bless you with just what you need in the tension.

  2. Deborah

    It seems to me that being present with God in the present moment, and being alert and ready for his will for you, are both dispositions which you are called to practice in general at this point, but *not at the exact same moment*. It sounds a bit like trying to rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time (did you do that when you were a child?)

    Perhaps a good solution would be every day to pray that God will give you the capacity to recognise his will when he calls you, and every day to set aside a brief period to consider what “being ready” means for you at this time.

    The rest of the time, just be with him in the present, practising being attentive in daily life, and trust him that he will indeed make his direction for you clear. Maybe the awareness of a particular direction or opportunity will grow on you gradually. I think it unlikely that it will hover in front of you for a moment only and then vanish away.

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