Having the resolve to keep moving toward your goals or desires in your life is not easy for many people. There are real barriers to consider; for example, going back to school poses financial concerns. Personal sacrifices of time are made regarding what is realistic to pursue, given the rest of life’s demands. (i.e. children, parents, etc.) There are also the opinions of other people that need to be negotiated. Perhaps their skeptical or judging comments are dismissed, yet they may contribute to one’s self-doubts.
These external and internal barriers that pop up when one is considering a new direction in life, must be dealt with, negotiated. Will a wall that presents itself stop you in your tracks or will you be able to figure out a way to scale it?
When we met last fall, Johanna Gisladottir was anticipating her ordination as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland. A mother of three, she has balanced her family life with her theological training and work as a youth leader in the church. Jóhanna articulated how she sees barriers in relation to pursuing her call:
Having an awareness and perspective about how to best clear the hurdles is helpful when making changes in one’s life. Some can identify these issues for themselves, but I would think it is more common for most folks to need a trusted friend, counselor, or perhaps a mentor to help you strategize and separate the truth from the fiction.
Pastor Johanna is a gift to the church and to the young people being brought up in the faith. She has and will continue to touch the lives of her own daughters, but also the many youth and the people with whom her life intersects. She would have made a fine psychologist—but when she listened to God’s voice calling her to be a pastor, Johanna’s life has come together in a beautiful way.