Future plans

I, at some point in my future, hope to become a Vicar in the Church of England. Right now however, I am trying to take things nice and slowly, going to church and praying etc. 

The title of my blog comes from an experience I had, which I will tell you more about in a minute.
Since I was a child I wanted to become a vicar, I remember when I was about six or seven I asked my mum if I could go to church, this was probably an unusual request from a child whose family weren't in the slightest bit religious, and not surprisingly they weren't exactly up for the idea. 

As we had recently moved house, we were still getting to know our neighbours, on the one side lived Mrs G and her two daughters, she regularly went to a kind of church (Baptist I think, but not sure), and with the church, came a Sunday school, so I asked her and my mum if I could go, and adults being adults, and not wanting to put the others nose out of joint, agreed. This was a very intense kind of church, everyone piled in for the main service then separated out into groups, such as the Sunday school afterwards. There was plenty of people throwing their arms in the air and shouting "praise be to God" and the like, and seemed very much to be into the whole hell and damnation thing too. 

I continued going for a while, but it all got a bit heavy, and I remember having to have one to one talks, with one of the ministers there, who quizzed endlessly about the Bible, and what we should learn from it, the only thing I learnt there though was that if I didn't know the Bible inside out, then I would definitely go to hell. Not the greatest thing to tell a small child.

When I was eight, I joned our local Brownies. They , and the guides and rangers were joined to the local church, and attended each Sunday service. This kind of religion was so different to me, everything was so beautiful, and calming, the music, the building, the smell of the incence, all gave me a love of the Church that has lasted to this day. At this time I remember thinking how much I would love to do what the vicar was doing, unaware at that point that women couldn't become priests in the Church of England. I remember asking the priest about it once, and he asked me if I had had "the call?" I then remember asking him what call, I assumed that he meant a phone call, like the Bishop phoning you up or something like that. I asked him what call, he replied you would know if you had had one. Being only eight years old, I couldn't get my head round it. If I didn't know what he meant by "the call", then how was I supposed to know whether I had had it or not?

Looking back, I think that it was a beginning of a call, the first time that I thought about becoming a vicar. The thought stayed with me all through my childhood, my teen years and into my adult life.

All the time it seemed to get a little stronger, the more time I gave the idea, the more it seemed to make sense, and even though I wanted to do that, felt drawn to it, I carried on my life as if I wasn't. In my mid to late twenties the thought was getting stronger and stronger, I felt a pull, something that I cant really describe in so many words, like someone had reached inside me, wrapped their hand around my heart and was gently leading me, on a journey if you like. I couldn't do anything but try to trust where I would be led, and if I was to resist, then it would probably tear my heart out from me. All of which sounds weird and scary, I suppose it was scary in a way, uncertain as to where I was going. 

Then on a day out with my mum, we visited Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

Out of nowhere, completely unannounced, utterly surprisingly, something happened. 
To this day, I cannot quite get my head round it entirely. Everything stopped, there was no longer any sound. The Cathedral in which I was stood, was no longer visible. All there was, was golden light, like beautiful sunbeams all around, bright pinpoints of light shone and sparkled in the beams, It was as if evrything that had ever existed, and that ever would exist, was there for those few beautiful moments I felt what eternity, the universe was.
Over under and in all of it though, was Gods utter and complete love and joy. Never have I experienced such love, it was everything, all consuming, eternal, blissful and completely unconditional. 
Then I heard a voice, although I didn't hear it as such, like a thought, but not a thought, and He said what I should be doing. My first thought in all of this wasn't what I would have thought had I been given warning, but rather it was "me, you are kidding, right?" Apparently He wasn't.

Right now you probably think I am a complete and utter nutjob. Believe me, I have thought that about myself from time to time, but I think of everything that God means to me, what He has done for me, so many things I suppose could be called coincidences, but so many of them to make it extremely unlikely, and I look at myself, I am intelligent, and sane in everything else I do, so the only sane conclusion is that, God very much exists, it did happen, and I can take heart in the fact that I am more or less sane (thankfully).

There are many other things that have led me to this point (but I wont bore you with them now). Anyway a few months ago, I had lost track somewhere, I hadn't told anyone in my family, not even my other half how I felt, so I e-mailed a priest whose address I got from the local Dioscese website, and told her everything. Just getting it down into an e-mail helped immensely. She replied with most incredibly sensible advice. I sent a few more e-mails and she replied a few more times. I eventually built up the courage to tell my other half, which was surprisingly difficult. I started going to church regularly again and plan on being confirmed in the near future. Although I havn't mentioned it to the vicar yet (he must think it odd that I dont go up for communion though). And then my other half and I will get married. 

I has been lovely slowly getting to know the faces in the church and the vicar, and I really hope that he will be someone I can talk to about everything in the future.

I have started to pray regularly, and have grown to love the form of prayer in the Morning and Evening prayer from Common Worship from the Church of england. I even do the night prayer occaisionally, as it is a lovely thing to do right before bed.

It hasn't always been easy though. Sometimes it feels like God has left me, usually when I am in a strop about something, and only when I realise what I am doing wrong, or have done wrong, and attempt to put it right, does He return. I feel bereft when it happens, and somtimes it takes me longer than I would really want for me to realise what God is trying to make me see or realise. But when I do, and He returns, It is almost as if I have a better understanding of things, like I have been taught a valuable lesson. That is probably not the best way to describe it, but I cant do any better right now.

Anyway there you have it. I will hopefully be keeping this updated on everything I do from now on, in everything that happens, good and bad. and how I get on with everything. So TTFN.  

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Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Born in 1975 in Brixham, in glorious Devon. Spent most of my youth in grimy birmingham. As soon as i was able at 18 I moved to beautiful Herefordshire. Where i remain to this day. Work at Locks Garage, famous for our ice creams. Generally wonderful place.
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