Skip to main content


A friend of mine recently got married, and she said something very intriguing to me when she described the feelings she had on her wedding day.

She said, "There was this part of me that wasn't ready to let go of my parents, because I never quite had the relationship with my dad that I wanted. I wasn't fully ready to "let go", because I didn't feel the safety of his love. Does that make sense? It does to me, because I know it is backed by research. Children who are secure in their parents love are more likely to feel the safety to spread their wings and leave the nest, because they know their parents will always be right there, cheering them on. "

I had to stop and ponder what that looks like in our relationship with our heavenly father.

As I've come to understand the mistrust I have in people, I've wondered if there is a connection between how I see them (as untrustworthy) and how I see God. How do you really know if you trust God? I feel as though my actions (such as moving my live to St. Louis to go to seminary) show some measure of trust in him and his providence. But is that all I use as my measuring stick?

Last Saturday I was offered a job. In this economy, being fresh out of seminary, that’s a pretty big deal.

Not just because it would mean moving halfway across the United States to a place where I don’t know anyone, in a town full of mostly retired people. But it’s a big deal because this is a job where I’d get to use my degree, use my gifts, in a denomination which I largely respect. But these last few days have been pretty close to hell for me.

Saying no to the only job offer you've had so far is just as much of a step of faith as saying yes to the same job offer. If I say no to the church in Arizona, it could be looked as one of two ways: 1.) That's it's stupid to say no to a job in this economy, that's almost everything you went to seminary for, and is a great opportunity. or 2.) Saying no could also mean that I trust the Lord has something else in mind for me that’s more of what I need right now. What I’m currently doing is putting enough pressure on myself that I might as well believe the world will fall apart if I don’t make the right choice.

However, I feel like it’s just a stupid to take this lightly. It took a long time for my call to be revealed to me. I graduated college without any sense of direction, not knowing at all what I wanted to do fro a living. I just knew I wanted to serve God. The process from then to now has been a process of hurt and hope, damage and restoration, love and grace. But why is taking the next step such a challenge for me right now?

In thinking of the answer to that question, I cannot help but think of Thorton Wilder’s words: "In Love's service, only wounded soldiers can serve.”

My wounded soul doesn’t preclude me from trusting the Lord. At least, I don’t think it does. But what it can do is make cloudy the goodness he has so often extended to me. My wounded soul was born out the hardship and pain, and sometimes that’s so much easier to see than his blessings.

Posted via email from stephanienels's posterous


Kansas Bob said…
Hi Stephanie,

Couldn't tell if you said yes or no to Arizona or if you are still praying. Either way I know God will open that door up for you. And remember that God's call to a location/body are often just for a season.. don't feel that you have to commit the rest of your life to a position. I am excited for you and appreciate the journey of faith that you are on.

Blessings, Bob

Popular posts from this blog

friendship and INFJs

INFJs don’t form a lot of close friendships in their lifetime… we are very selective. This isn’t about conceit, but really about knowing ourselves. We only have so much emotional energy we can give to another without great harm to our soul, so we make sure we give it to those we truly connect with, those we deem “worth it.” What I mean by “worth it” is those who come close to understanding us. Those who push us beyond our preconceived notions. Those who challenge us and make us think. Those who aren’t afraid of not understanding us, but are willing to go along with us for the ride. Those who try, need to know they will never fully plumb the depth of our complications (we don’t understand our own complications, so we certainly don’t expect others to understand them either.) Those to whom we give our emotional energy have penetrated our surface, which we keep pretty impenetrable. Because we want those who’ve worked for it, because honestly?We would do the same for them. The thing about …

on feeling marginalized

mar·gin·al·ize: treat (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant or peripheral.
Most of my life I’ve felt like a social pariah.  In high school, I was never pretty enough or athletic enough to be accepted. (I wish I’d known then the importance of music and that it would one day become a career for me, so that I would have felt less horrible about it. None of the popular kids in school use their athletic ability or good looks in their career, which makes me sound petty and small, but let’s face it, all us social pariahs think this way. … if we’re being honest.)
And I really thought the social pariah status would go away at some point in my life. But then this happened.  And two big emotions caught me as a result: in the moment, complete relief. As my post says, I actually felt a weight lift from my shoulders when I was told that there was a reason no one understood me and it wasn’t my entire fault. In the years since, though, I’ve also settled into a rather unsettling emotion: inse…

the "INFJ Door Slam"

One thing that INFJs tend to do is read a lot about their personality type. Because we are rare, that also means we are difficult to figure out. So reading to try and understand ourselves simply goes with the territory.  Today I was reading about the “INFJ Door Slam”. Here is part of what I read:

There’s this thing called the “INFJ Door Slam.”  People talk about it.  Other personality types trash it, but few people try to explain it in simple terms.  It’s different for everyone, no doubt, but in simple terms… The INFJ door slam is what happens when we are burned out by unresolved emotions, so we resolve the issue by deciding that the relationship is over. INFJs are deeply emotional creatures.  We don’t feel as much as it looks like we do (that’s mirroring, which is a whole other topic), but when we feel…we feel deeply and fully.  That means that we burn out.  If we are emotionally toyed with, abused, or overloaded, and there is no end to the emotional assault in sight, we have to do some…