Confused: Too Many Possibilities

Photo by: Stefan Baudy

Lately I have been frustrated with the choices I have in front of me.  While I was comfortable coming into seminary not knowing what I would end up doing afterwards (since it is at least 3 years away), I have definitely been seeking clarity with respect to my call.  I have quite a few great opportunities with the programs the seminary offers, and it is all very exciting!  That is except when I start to plan what it will look like to follow that path and subsequently wonder if it is the path I will walk or not.  For instance, there is a great joint degree program that Princeton Seminary offers that would allow me to earn a Master’s in Social Work with only one additional year of schooling.  As this is something I have felt drawn towards in the past, it started to seem as though that was something I was called to do.  As this would require me to be much more judicious with the courses I take, I came up with a fabulous spread sheet to keep track of the credit requirements for the M-Div and leave room for classes that would count towards the MSW.  But now I am doubting that.  I am taking a class about teaching in the church and it is becoming very evident to me that I am passionate about helping people learn.  But what am I supposed to do with that?  I have thought that maybe I could see if they would let me shift to a dual degree so I could get an Master’s degree in Christian Education and the M.Div. but I can’t very well do that and the MSW program.  I’m not trying to make plans of my own without regard for what God is calling me to do but maybe that’s what’s happening.  I am trying to discern what God is calling me to do which to me means stepping out in faith and being willing to be wrong.  I wonder if that’s part of the problem then?  Maybe I am not really willing to be wrong.  Maybe I just want to pick something and have it magically be part of what God is calling me to do.  I guess I will try to hold the possibility that I am wrong and the hope that I have discerned rightly together for as long as possible and wait for God to redirect my plans.  If only that we as easy to do as it is to say.

On a positive note, I am scheduled to meet with my session via Skype on Tuesday to start the process of becoming a Candidate for ministry of Word and Sacrament.  My meeting with CPM (the ordination committee for PC(USA)) is scheduled for Jan 19th though I will not be going to the Presbytery meeting until April.  I am okay with that though because it means everyone will be able to be there.

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3 Responses to “Confused: Too Many Possibilities”

  1. Elaine Says:

    Have you considered that Social Work is teaching? Maybe you are being called to an urban ministry teaching basic life and work skills to the homeless and nearly homeless?

  2. wsmclean Says:

    Welcome to the club . . .
    Discerning what God is calling you to is an ongoing adventure. If you don’t mind some advice from an “old-timer” (I graduated from PTS long ago in 2007), use your Field Ed as a time to explore ministry and what you might be called to. As you said, seminary is at least 3 years so you have lots of time to explore things. Talk to classmates, profs, and Field Ed supervisors to hear about their experiences. Most of all enjoy your time at PTS it goes by way to fast!!

    Blessings as you meet with your Session and then the CPM.

    Grace and peace – Bill

  3. Sara J. Green Says:

    Elaine: that is definitely a thought. Not sure how it is going to pan out but I will keep that in mind!

    Bill: Thanks for the advice. I am definitely trying to use my field ed placements to help sort through all this. Funny thing is that is actually playing into the confusion! : ) There are so many good options and only so much time. But alas, in due time it will come together.

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