Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
I have been meditating upon Christ’s words above for the last couple of weeks as I have been seeking the Spirit’s guidance for discernment on vocation and my place within God’s story for the world. As part of this exercise, I have asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what I need to take up and what I need to lay down. Through my spiritual director, I have seen the need to pick up and recognize Grace and to lay down a pursuit of something I have desired for over 5 years–the priesthood.
For those who have known me, the Priesthood has been a singular pursuit of mine for the last 4-5 years. Since I became an Anglican, I have felt the vocational calling to be a priest in Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. This pursuit, this longing, however, had and has replaced a genuine longing for Christ and a heart of service to the Church and to the world.
My vocational calling had become my idol.
So this week, I have expressed to the Canon to the Ordinary of my Diocese and to my Rector that I am removing myself from candidacy for the Priesthood. What happens after this? I am not sure yet. My calling was my life. And laying it down is taking up a cross. But even under the weight of the unknown there is a freedom I am discovering. A freedom to allow God to shape me and direct me to who I need to be– a child of God, a servant of Christ, and a son of the Church.
For now, and as long as I can see, I will be waiting within the ocean of Grace that is Christ Himself. I will be sitting here waiting for Life to occur from Death. Death of my dreams, desires, wants, and calling. Death of all that I thought I should and would be. Death of my identity.