To say that I’ve been confused and a little bit lost lately is an understatement.
I am super-duper lost and confused and pretty discouraged, if I’m being honest.
I’m having a really hard time picking out God’s voice from all the mental noise and I’m experiencing some…well, not doubt about God, per se, but doubt that what I think I want is what I actually want.
Is there any way to be sure? (If there is please tell me, for the love of all that’s holy.)
It all started a few months ago – well, truly it was this past year. This year I’ve been doing some pretty heavy thinking on what I want to do with my life and what the next steps might look like for me in terms of grad school. The problem is, I wasn’t sure what I wanted: I thought about a master’s in Anthropology, Social Work, and finally I stumbled upon a Master’s of Divinity.
“It’s three years,” I thought, “and it’s going to cost an arm and a leg.” I put it aside but it still sort of sat there. Also, I wanted to go to grad school abroad – that had been my goal for so many years, so I started looking at graduate programs in the UK. I didn’t want to stay here, and doing a master’s degree that’s sort of faith-based seemed like a risky thing for me because I’m never 100% sure of my inner landscape. What if I started and lost faith partway through, or hated the program?
So, I stuffed it down. I looked into spiritual-type jobs – hospital chaplain, spiritual director, (gulp) priest…I kinda skimmed over all of them. I was in a meeting with my former rector and I mentioned how I had thought about an MDiv, but moved on in the conversation. On my way home that night, I was walking and heard “yeah, why don’t you become a hospital chaplain??” in my head. It was my voice, talking to me…but snarky? And totally, completely out of the blue -it cut across all my usual mental noise. What the fuck? I thought.
But maybe… it was God? I don’t know, I know “hearing voices” isn’t how God often speaks, but hell, I have a hard enough time listening to that still, small voice (or whatever) that I need God to be really, really obvious.
I started researching hospital chaplaincy and reaching out to chaplains. I was told that I don’t need an MDiv, that I do, that I need to be ordained, that I don’t…and I’m over here not only digesting all this information but asking myself how do I know that it’s what I want to do in the first place?
It seems unfair. Shouldn’t we just know? Picking a new path is hard enough – it often causes us to uproot our lives, turn our entire way of thinking around, give up on dreams we might have had for years and yet, there’s still no certainty at the end of the day? Yikes. Yiiiiiiiiiiiikes.
So, anyway. Here I am, Lord.