I couldn’t agree more—although sometimes not talking to trusted friends and mentors is exactly what we need in times of discernment. As a verbal processor, I can oftentimes gab to girlfriends more than I take time to sit in silence with my thoughts. For me, putting the conversation on hold for a month or two helped in the discernment process, mostly because it forced me to talk to the One who yearned to talk to me in the first place.
For Ickes, though, sometimes you just have to pitch your tent in the land of hope (or so Acts 2:26 would say). Just because there’s opposition in a particular ministry situation doesn’t mean hope isn’t present, nor does it mean you’re supposed to leave. Perhaps you’re supposed to stay, especially if your situation is knowingly going to improve or change.
But for some women in ministry, discontent doesn’t accompany the discernment process when it’s clearly time to go.
Grace P. Cho, a second-generation Korean American, lived overseas for seven years, as her parents were missionaries in Kazakhstan with the Korean Presbyterian Church. When she was sixteen, Cho moved back to the States to live with her sister, plugging back into their sending church in Southern California. She stayed there throughout her college years, eventually meeting the man who would become her husband. It wasn’t until 2007, when Cho left to pursue a Master of Religion degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, that she realized the depths of her calling into ministry.
Even though the church of her youth didn’t support women in ministry, she believed herself clearly primed for church ministry. Soon enough, the pastor she served with during college asked if she would consider joining his team at an Assemblies of God church in Las Vegas. Not only had he invested in her as a leader, but he had also been confident of her gifts and passions. So, when he asked her to serve, Cho felt like she was simply stepping into God’s next thing.