Learning and Discerning Vocations: Baby Steps

What is a vocation? My understanding is that it is a call from God on how He wants me to live while I am growing to know, love and serve Him.

This path of vocation is the best that God has for me. If I choose God to be in my life, I have made the first step. This first step is a big one. God is always near but this is a step that declares that I believe He exists, that I believe that He is who He says who He is, and that if He is in my life that means that I need to make room for Him. When I had made this step, the first thing that happened to me was an awareness of His provisions and encouragements and love. As I stepped into this choosing of God to be in my life, I noticed that I was learning that God has chosen me. This began with the scripture that I heard at Divine Liturgy.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other (John 15:9-17, NIV).

When I heard these words, I was intrigued. Jesus’ message of love was clear about loving, about His love for me, His desire that I would have joy, even that He declared friendship, but the most clear message was that He chose me. Me! I reacted with “I am not important enough for God to choose me!” I struggled with that message! The rest of the message was good and encouraging but those words “You did not choose me, but I chose you” caused me to reflect and dig deeper for understanding of just what that meant.

At first, I almost rejected the message because of my own struggle of accepting myself with all my unmet expectations and weaknesses, and peer judgments on me. I prayed and asked God to let me see what He sees when He looks at me. I felt a warmth envelop me. I felt peace and happiness. I was listening with everything in me and I had a desire to “know the truth.” I did not expect anything. But, there was awareness that I was heard. I wanted to take it slow. I did not want to rush.

I found that I was making room for Jesus in my life. Often, I would say His name. I would wake up in the morning and speak to Him about my day. This was a long slow process and it had many, many bumps and breaks. When I had been feeling alone, I would call on Jesus. I did not have anyone in my family who encouraged me to get to know Him. I was always encouraged to “be good” and “listen.” I heard of some young people going to church through the week during Lent. I felt a desire to go too! I went as often as I could and found that I felt good. I wanted more.

Copyright © 2011 Irina Demkiw, all rights reserved.

 

…..published Oct 2,2011 under my pen name, Irina Demkiw, and now —– republished on April 24, 2014 under my personal blog site:  “Small Thinks with Great Love”

Copyright © 2014 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.

 

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