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Home : Feed Your Spirit : Your Life, Better
7 Steps to Discerning Your Vocation

Written by Teresa Blythe

Becoming who we were created to be takes time, patience and prayer. Here are 7 steps in Christian spiritual discernment that can help you find your call.

Pray daily for the path to be revealed.

Ask God to help you be open to however God leads you. Use the prayer practice of the Daily Examen to learn, over time, how God moves in your life. Keep a journal of the moments where you feel connected to God and where you feel disconnected so you can detect patterns.

Sit in prayer with the question, "What do you desire for me, God?"

Sit in silence for at least part of your prayer, waiting for a word, phrase or image to form. You may also spend time exploring your own desire, since God works in and through desires planted in our hearts.

Listen to your intuition.

Imagine your thoughts descending to your heart. What is your gut feeling about how God is leading you? How does your body feel? Do any images come to mind? Allow your intuition to have a say.

Speak to a trusted person about your discernment.

Many people go to spiritual directors when they are deeply in discernment about a call or vocation. You may have a wise friend that you trust. Or a mentor. Ask them about the gifts they see in you.

Gather a circle of people you trust to help.

Quakers in discernment sometimes ask for a "Clearness Committee," a circle of people who sit in silent prayer for a period of time and then ask honest, open-ended questions. They are not there to give advice, only to assist in listening to the Spirit.

Try on your choices.

One tool for vocational discernment is to take your options and imaginatively "try them on." Spend one day imagining that you made one choice and then spend another day imagining you made another choice. Which day's imagination exercise felt more like a fit for you?

Take the leap.

Sometimes we just don’t know what we are called to do or be in life until we live into it.  After living into our choice, does it feel like we are on our true path? If not, don’t despair. Spend more time in prayer and continue the work of discernment. God is with us regardless of the path we choose.

About the Author

Teresa Blythe is a Tucson-based spiritual director who specializes in vocational discernment. She is a member of First Congregational UCC Tucson. For more information on spiritual direction and vocational discernment, visit



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