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How Holly Byles was called

We are continuing the series of stories celebrating our soon-to-be Reverends as we head towards the ordination weekend on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June. Today's story comes from Holly Byles.

How was Holly called?

I was introduced to Jesus for the first time at age 20. Having not grown up in a Christian home, and having experienced a sense of being ‘lost’ through my teenage years, I began my Christian journey with evangelistic zeal and a thirst for understanding to better equip me to share God’s love with others. In hindsight, I was discerning the call to ordination even then. 

As I look back over my Christian journey - having spent a few years studying theology straight after my conversion experience, and a decade in youth ministry discipling teens – I recognise how God showed me just the next step each time He revealed more of His plans, gently guiding me.

The next step was all I was ready for! I adored discipling teenagers and walking alongside them as they grappled with big questions and grew from children into adults. God, in His grace, gave me the blessing of serving His church through them. 

There came a point about five years ago, however, when I couldn’t continue to brush off the nudge. God was taking me into a new season and for a while even saying it aloud made me squirm. Surely, not me, with my past, my struggles and my failures?

My time as an ordinand has been a formative one of learning to own my calling and settle into it. By doing so, I avoid denying God’s work in my life and am given the opportunity to point back at the One who calls and the One whom I do not go into this new phase of ministry without. 

If you are considering God’s call on your life, I would encourage you to hold on tight to the glorious truth that God knows you, He really knows you. And as you ask those big questions about vocation and calling, you need only be entirely and authentically you. Anyone else you may be tempted to try and be is not who God would be calling.
Rather commonly, my anchor scripture is Psalm 23. Those words of assurance, faithfulness, blessing and longing have been so utterly sustaining for me, particularly through nerve-wracking or intense periods of the discernment and training journey. It is a passage that recognises the grit of life and the steadfast presence of God through it all. “His goodness restores my soul”.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:1-3

Find out more on our ordinations page.

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