Midlife Decisions In Search of Resources for Personal Discernment

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Amanda Quick


This article explores the issue of discernment through tracing the author’s experience wrestling with personal midlife decisions. The article begins by describing my sense of turmoil and enquires whether Baptist resources are available to support the decision-making process. ‘Communal discernment’ in its traditional form is examined but dismissed as ill-suited to my task, while the Baptist principle of ‘soul competency’ seems to offer a viable starting point. Similarly, searching the Scriptures offers insights but fails to resolve my dilemmas, although engagement with Catholic spirituality through the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius proves fruitful. I go on to consider whether small group discernment within Baptist settings might provide an effective blend of intimacy and community, discussing both a home-grown experiment and a published case study. In reporting the outcomes of the process, namely attaining a sense of peace despite continuing uncertainty, I conclude that discernment is deep spiritual work that cannot be rushed.

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Author Biography

Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick serves as Assistant Pastor of Leven Baptist Church in Fife, Scotland.