I finished my last intensive for the Cert 1V in Chaplaincy in June 2010. On the last day, Pastor Terry Cahill, who has a prophetic edge to his ministry came to prophecy over us. There was a number of people in the room and he said because of time restraints he would prophesy over 3 of us.
I really wanted a word for myself, and yet I sat there saying to the Lord…Lord I want a word…yet so does every one else. I had struggled through the course. I was still hurting from the separation and divorce. I was still struggling in areas of emotional trauma as a result of the past abuse. And I was still struggling within areas of my identity and position in Christ, that I thought my calling as a minister was shattered. I was to be remarried in a few weeks time and there were internal struggles whether I was really doing the right thing there.
Terry prophesied over two others speaking into their lives and I was impressed how he spoke into the circumstances of their lives; having heard their stories over the previous 6 months. He then approached me saying “Young man, I have a word for you, and the first thing is that God wants you to know he hasn’t a bad word to say to you”
This set me off in an emotional burst of tears and relief. He then continued, You have been through a time of intense bruising, pressure, retreating, hiding and stretching. You have been terrorized in your emotions, you have had night terrors and been through trauma, now its time to turn to me. Respond to justice and mercy and not criticism and judgement. You have to choose to live in justice and mercy and not criticism and judgement.
This was a bit of a understatement, you can read my story here
He continued, I am going to sharpen your mind, you will have the ability to retain, recall, absorb. I am increasing your capacity, steady yourself, still yourself…”Do not say, What is the point!” Take up study again with new zeal.
I had collapsed mid way through a theological degree in October 2007. I tried to resume study in 2009 doing Greek 1. However as much as I tried to remember the Greek forms, I just couldn’t do it. For me to remember one word I would have to write it out over and over again on an A4 sheet of paper just to remember that one word. The virus had wiped my memory of all grammar and really affected my short term memory. The morning of the major exam I had been told by my specialist that she thought I had Multiple Sclerosis. Some how I managed to just scrape in and pass by a few marks. I dropped out of Greek 2 in the first week because I just couldn’t remember and I remember being so frustrated saying…“What is the Point!”
Terry continued, I have called you a minister and you are a minister. I have laid a narrow path ahead of you. I am giving you a heart for justice and mercy and justice and mercy will be your catch cry. I am calling you to minister to the poor and dispossessed.
I have always been interested in ministering to the broken and hurting. A number of years ago I set up a suicide prevention and awareness network across the Wollondilly Shire between the local churches. Over the last 12 months I have done voluntary chaplaincy work at a men’s homeless shelter and been broken by hearing the stories of brokenness of men in need.
This last part of the prophecy spoke deeply to me about how in the natural I can never be an ordained minister within certain denominations for the reasons of marriage and divorce. I was married to a divorced women…which prevented me from ordination within Anglicanism and certain other denominations. I would have no problems in being ordained for being divorced within the AOG movement because of the reasons for the divorce; yet because I have remarried I am no longer considered a suitable candidate for ordination. However, a title doesn’t matter to me, for if God calls you to do something then no man can stand against that.
What I have found really interesting is that in the past I have been a mediocre student. I have never been in the top of the class through school. I have never found it easy studying and even while I felt called to resume a degree in theology in 2006, I found the process frustrating, difficult and a struggle to just pass.
While my short term memory continues to cause me problems in losing my immediate train of thought or causes a complete mental blank as to what I was thinking or saying midstream, this term’s experience has been a different experience. I have enjoyed engaging with the Minor Prophets. I have enjoyed and been surprised at the way I have been able to engage with complex thoughts and even bring insights and different perspectives within the course.
Over the last months I have had thoughts in that perhaps God may be calling me to do some post-grad study when I finish the degree. I have thought perhaps even to do some lecturing. This is a complete reversal of my previous thought, experience and sense of calling. And because of this different train of thought and direction I have prayerfully kept these thoughts to myself, thinking that’s not me. However 5 different people have asked me during the last 2 weeks if I had considered doing post-grad work and or become a teacher / lecturer.
So I am wondering, is God leading me in a new direction?