I’ve learned a lot about my personality and how I make my decisions. By birth order, I’m the “Eldest Child”. I have an older sister who’s eight years my senior, but if you’ve done any research into birth order and personality, you’ll be know the age difference nullifies my being the middle kid.
Since I’m the “oldest”, I have some interesting character traits and I lean towards the typical “A-type” personality, where responsibility and leadership are most prevalent. As a kid, I was careful not to color outside the lines or disappoint my parents, but I loved being in charge. I loved being the leader, getting good grades, and was an incredibly high achiever in high school.
I’m also a bit of a dreamer and have a tendency for indecisiveness. In college we took the Myers-Briggs personality test and I discovered that I’m a hardcore, text book Feeler. Every decision I make is mostly based off what I’m feeling, as opposed to logic or reason. Of course, as I’ve grown older I’ve taught myself to think more about the decisions I make, but my A-type “oldest” personality and my nomadic Feeling spirit have been at odds my entire life.
In this juncture of my life, it seems this internal battle between my opposing personalities is becoming worse. Since leaving my calling in youth ministry in 2011, I’ve become even more indecisive than usual. On Monday, I’d wake up and think, “I know what I want to be when I grow up! I want to be a marketing consultant!” and I’d spend hours Googling everything about Marketing and Advertising and what I would have to do to pursue such a career. By Thursday, I’d have realized Marketing was not what I wanted to do and move onto the next thing.
My indecisiveness has become a running joke amongst my friends and family and I’ve become notorious for changing my mind at the drop of a hat. I’ve even surprised myself by some of the plans I’ve creatively developed, all in hopes of finding my vocation.
While my lack of direction can be quite humorous, it can also be quite sad. Being a nomad is fun when you know where you’ll eventually end up, but wandering aimlessly through life is no way to spend your days. I’ve craved the constant, steady life of knowing the plan, any plan. Youth ministry was a terrible fit and I struggled through my time in the Lutheran church, but I was at peace with knowing my calling, simply because I felt I had a calling. Since leaving that calling, I’ve become a vagabond of the worst kind.
A few months ago, I stumbled on an article in Relevant Magazine about quitting your job, written by Dan Cumberland, and wandered over to his blog. Dan had made an entire career out of helping people discover their vocation, so I thought I’d take a leap of faith and email him my story. A few days later we were Skyping and began working together.
It’s been almost three months since Dan and I first met and slowly God has been opening my eyes to where He’s leading me. I don’t know exactly know what I want to be when I grow up, but I have a hunch it’s back into ministry in some capacity or another. I’ve also made the decision to apply to The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology to learn more about God’s story and how to share it with others.
For the first time in years, my indecisiveness is dissipating and I’m learning more about vocation and God’s plan for my life. Instead of feeling the discomfort of internal struggle, I am learning to be at peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV).