At the time of writing this, many of you will have enjoyed the summer and the journeys that you may have made, as you travelled during the summer months on day trips out, and further afield to holiday destinations.
These opportunities, to get away and relax give us the opportunity to return to continue with our everyday life journeys, and all that life throws at us good, bad or unwelcome. For the majority of the time we have choices in what we do and what we aspire to become, but sometimes, God has a different idea in what path we should take, and no matter how hard we may try to resist that choice, He will eventually help us to see that, as it’s His will, then we must trust His path and follow Him.
In 2001 I found myself at the start of a journey that has seen me facing many challenges and much resistance on my side, on a path that God had chosen for me. This was the time that I began to answer God’s call. I went through the selection process with the blessing and support of the PCC, and I started formal training with the Oxford Diocese in September 2002. Yes, 2002!
Seventeen years and two months later, I am finally being licenced as a licensed Lay Minister. During those seventeen years I have faced many challenges: lack of self-esteem to be able to complete the academic work due to my learning style, pressures with having a family, ill health, work pressures and finally trying to train under four very different Rectors. In fact, my training has taken so long that last year I had to go back through the selection process again so that I could complete my final training. In all this time I have been very grateful to the Ministry team, the PCC and all the parishioners, friends and family who never lost faith in my calling.
What I have learnt through all of those seventeen years, is that it is God that is in control of my destiny, and that with patience, and that recognition, I have learnt to let Him direct me. Those challenges that I have faced are still there, and in fact there seems to be more, but I have learnt to hand them over to God to deal with. I have said to Him, “If this is your will for me God, then help me with all that hinders me.”
People have asked me, “So once you are licenced what else will you be able to do?” Well, the answer to that is to carry on with what God has been calling me to do over the past seventeen years, sharing His Gospel of love with all those that I meet, and especially with the very young; but also to encourage others to discern what God is calling them to do, no matter what challenges they will meet along the way. For God has also taught me that He will never ask us to go where he has not provided the means to help. He wants us all to answer His call, and go where He leads us, trusting Him to supply courage, confidence and the resources at the right moment.
I thank you all for your continued love and support over the years, and I very much look forward to continuing my ministry as an LLM in the Parish.
With much love and prayers