trying to find my way

Discussion in 'Biblical Advices' started by jaerod79, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. trying to find my way

    Over the last couple of years I have become very involved with Bible study on my own and with others and have taken my faith very seriously. I hope I do not sound as if I am boasting in any of the following message. Truth be told, I'm searching for my way. I feel very drawn to a church vocation but am not sure where to start or what vocation to persue. I have been praying, reading scriptures about this and try and line up my interests as well.

    I believe I have the ability to look at things from many different points of view even when I do not agree with said views, which helps me converse with others and “think outside of the box” when discussing Biblical issues. I really enjoy reading and studying Scripture. I do a lot of research and believe I have a knack for it. I have signed up for and I am taking multiple correspondence courses (via email & postal service), but provide primarily “beginner” type materiel. I attend church (service/Bible study) one to four times a week. I also have recently started looking into biblical archeology and I for see a lot of enjoyment and insight coming from that aspect as well. I have been considering a vocation within the church; such as going to seminary, becoming a preacher, joining a missionary (a missionary that trains in biblical studies while on mission sounds pretty ideal) or getting an accredited chaplain’s degree. At this point I am not sure what field would be most suitable for me.

    My main hurdle is that I have an OCD condition which results in a lot of depression, paranoia and social anxiety issues. I can be people shy and nervous in crowds and unfamiliar places. I am currently seeing a therapist and “treatment” is coming along slow to say the least. I can see how my OCD condition could have adverse affects when dealing with the previously mentioned vocations. Through all of this I still believe I have vocational calling from within the church. The more I think about it the more I want to complete a Church of Christ seminary and get an accredited degree in Biblical studies both.

    This being said, I feel somewhat lost as to what to do. A type of “monastery” or “commune” (I think such an environment would help me “stay on the narrow path”) environment seems to have some appeal as well, as I would be a productive member of the church day in and day out. I would like to find an “Bible Based”, protestant, or ecumenical community, I would even consider a Catholic Monetary if they let me speak my mind and I did not have to bow the “Papal authority” (for instance I don’t believe in baby baptism or have any inclination the rosary will help me any better than praying directly to God. I don’t have a problem with Catholics, I just wouldn’t be able to accept certain “customs” and would have to speak my mind where we differ. At such a place I would be willing to carry my own weight and help others learn Biblical teachings, within and without the “said religious community”. In this type of setting I would like to help spread the Gospel to those who need it and help with charity events. I know it probably sounds weird to talk about joining such an organization. I have yet to find any of these organizations outside of Anglican, Orthodox or Catholic teachings. If I was to join such an organization I would have to be able to support the views or at least tolerate their point of views (within reason, not affecting salvation). Such a task to find such a place is proving to be difficult and I surely do not want to end up in some “cult-like” environment.

    I have been wanting to ask the preacher at my local congregation for some advice or guidance, though I kind of feel like “Jonah stuck in the whale”. I do not know if it is wise to ask for support from my preacher in attending seminary or the like due to the condition of OCD that I have. I do not know if my OCD would actually prevent me from being accepted into such training. Though, I very much desire a very good Biblical education.

    Sorry if I have been rambling. I do not know if I have an exact question to pose here. If anyone knows of a seminary or something similar (accredited or otherwise) that may be suitable for a person such as me (based on the little information I have provided on this post) or even a potential “commune” I might be able to investigate, I would appreciate any direction. I hope I am not being overwhelming in this post. I sincerely want to grow as a Christian, obtain a good formal Biblical education, keep myself on the “narrow path” and obtain some vocation within the church. If anyone has even any suggestions outside of what I have been discussing, they would be more than welcome as well. I live in North East Georgia, and would preferably like to find something in that area (mainly to stay near my therapist, family and friends) but am not closed to the idea of changing locations.

    Thank everyone in advance for any concern or suggestions.
  2. Just a thought Jaerod- but if you are trying to overcome social anxiety issues then isolating yourself from the general public may be the last thing you need. In fact I find exposure to large groups of unknown people will generally lessen this problem after a period of adjustment. Perhaps a good Bible college would be a better choice.
    When it is all said and done consider your steps prayerfully and walk only where Jesus leads you. You are in my prayers.
  3. No you are not boasting Jaerod . On the contrary . God has gifted you with these special gifting and you are recognizing them and that is a good thing .

    If you are also recognizing your other deficiencies , that is also a good thing as God will and can help you work through all of these issues in your life . You see as He works in your life and you submit to Him he will take all these problems that you think are significant and make them insignificant and He will use them for His glory . All you need to do at this point in time is to trust Him and search each day for His will . He will direct your paths and make them straight .

    I am thinking of a Pastor we once had who had a speach impediment and He told the Lord He could never preach but the Lord keep knocking at this preacher "s door and telling him , that He will do the work through this pastor if he only submits and lets God work through him . This day that pastor speaks with authority and preaches the power of God and he has no sign of a speach impediment and he used to stutter badly before .

    So you see Jaerod .... all things work together for good and if God is calling you , He will bring perfection in to your life for His honour and glory . Only trust and obey . Let go and let God .

    Praying for you Jaerod . God Bless. :groupray::groupray:
  4. Jaerod, let me first say that it is good that you want to serve God. Do not see your condition as a roadblock to this, but only as a challenge that needs to be overcome along the way.

    At a practical level, no Catholic monastery is going to accept you as part of their community unless you are Catholic and fully compliant with Catholic doctrine and practice, so you need to rule that thought out of contention.

    Beyond that, I agree with Bo that a secluded community is probably not what you need anyway (and in any case I'm really not sure that God calls anyone to such a life - certainly I don't see anywhere in the Gospels where Jesus told anyone to shut himself away from the world. Rather, He told us to go into the world to take the Gospel and be salt and light.)

    What you need to be asking yourself is not "what vocation can I pursue?" but "what is God calling me to do?" To find the answer, begin by doing whatever comes to hand - teach a Sunday School class, lead a Bible study, whatever God opens up. Remember it is easier to steer a moving vehicle than one that is parked at the kerb! As you begin to faithfully serve God in whatever small ways open up for you, you will find yourself being drawn more and more in one direction.

    Ministry can be difficult. There will be times when the only thing that keeps you going is the unshakeable certainty in your heart that this is the thing to which God has called you. Without that, you will fall. So be sure you have it before you move into a specific ministry area.

    I pray that God will lead and direct you and open up His path before you.


  5. trying to find my way

    I thank everyone for the kind responses.

    Depending on the Monastery &/or Commune, there are many that do not “shut themselves off” from the word. A lot invite “lay” church members to come study and worship with them. Others make an effort to go out into the world to spread the Gospel and return to their respective place of residence. Also they are very well known for charitable works and assisting with missionary works. Some even admit women! I personally haven’t found any luck within the structure of such organizations, maybe there is not one suited for me, and on the other hand I may find such a place God willing. And know, I don't think I a monastery is the only option for me either but one I have been considering. Unsuprisingly it seems to be one of the hardest subjects to obtain information on when coming to locating such environments (location, theology, and so on).

    I think that finding “what God is calling me to do” in this case anyhow, lines up with what vocation to pursue ( I guess Ii interchanged the words as on in the same, sorry for any confusion). I feel I have a lot to offer but am not sure the path I should take and where to direct what I have to offer.

    This does make a lot of sense, maybe I’m over thinking the situation or putting too much pressure on myself because I feel I’m not doing all that I can. Maybe with the help of prayer, the Holy Spirit and study my “part within the church” could become apparent and possibly naturally.

    I pray God will use me the best of my abilities according to His will and I find the correct path the Lord wishes me to be on. I guess I feel kind of held back currently, there’s more that I feel I should be doing.
  6. Because you are open and eager to serve God, God will use you. Be patient.

    While you are stressing over wanting to do more, God is using you in ways you are unaware of. :smile_anim: You are already doing more than you know.

    God demonstrates His strength through our weaknesses. The key is to continue to pray and trust God is using you, even when you don't know it.

    Matthew 25:37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

    This passage is about more than just doing good deeds for others. It is about God using us when we don't even know we are serving Him.

    Be patient as God leads you thru life and uses you in great ways. And look forward to the time when you will see all the things God has done through you and be amazed!
  7. since you are people shy. maybe you can do some kind of internet church. or maybe help out at some kind of church camp. do you like helping kids? or maybe working with troubled kids, like being a big brother and leading them to the lord. going to the jails. a friend of mine, does bible study over the phone with ones that have questions. there is all kinds of ways to reach out to people.
  8. I recently started a new thread titled Planting & Harvesting and I have rered your comment here, and it does make me feel more secure in what I am striving to accomplish for the sake of the Lord.
  9. These are very good suggestions thank you. I particularly like the idea of vising people in jail and maybe even "Old Folks Homes".
  10. Thank you

    Thank you for your very kind thoughts and insight into the matter!
  11. What a very encouraging story about the Pastor with the speach impediment! Thank you for sharing!
  12. Jaerod here are some things I have shared in the past. If you put them into practice you will find they really help you in social situations:

    We are uncomfortable and that makes others uncomfortable and the problems just seem to get worse.
    I would like to share so things with you that will help. I have shared them with my sons and I have shared them many times here but I think they bear repeating:
    1. Stand up tall and straight when you enter the room- body language speaks volumes to people about how you feel about yourself and determines much of the reaction they will give you.
    2. Always look them in the eye.
    3. Smile- this will put the other person at ease. If you are not a natural smiler them spend 10 minutes every day smiling at yourself in the mirror- soon you will be smiling all the time without even thinking about it. This by itself can be life changing.
    4. Expect the other person to like you- you are after all a nice person with much to offer. This will help you to relax and that will make others relax around you. There is an old saying" smile and the whole world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone".
    5. Use the other persons name in conversation as this is music to their ears.
    6. Ask them questions about themselves. Most people love to talk about themselves and a few simple questions will cause them to speak volumes to you and they will walk away thinking you are a great conversationalist.

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