Ministry Training Calling
Greetings! Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit about myself, my testimony, and the ministry training calling that our Father has on my life. My name is Sean McFarlin, and I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. As a child, I was raised in the Catholic Church, where I attended Catholic school and served as an altar boy. My father died before I was born, and his death created distance between my mother and me. She remarried and her husband beat and abused me most of my childhood.
During my high school years, I grew disenchanted with the Catholic faith and began to question some of the rituals and teachings. Needless to say, this was not well accepted in the Catholic High School I attended. Nonetheless, I still had a desire and felt a calling to attend seminary following high school. On the day I was to visit the seminary, one of the priests at my school stopped me and told me he would not allow me to take the trip. I remember feeling both disappointed and relieved. Looking back, I realize that I was feeling God’s call on my heart, but His plan was NOT for me to become a Catholic priest!
During college, I met and married, and we started a family. It seemed that I should have been happy and joyful, however, the pain of my childhood plagued me and controlled me. I began to struggle with depression, anxiety, and chemical dependency.
The ministry training calling pulled at me throughout most of my adult life, through college and Law School, through the many years of turmoil I put myself through. Three times, I applied and was accepted to Seminary, and three times I walked away, resisting His will. Eventually, my life spun out of control. I was well on my way to full-blown addiction, my marriage crumbled, and I lost my faith.
For the next several years, I stumbled from job to job, getting more and more lost, and living in a haze of drugs, sexual sin, and alcohol. I was empty and craved death as what I perceived an end to my painful life. Several times I was close to death, surviving literally only because of what I now realize was the Divine intervention of Almighty God. I was out of control, and I missed Jesus Christ desperately.
Finally, the inevitable happened: I was arrested and jailed. Sitting in a cell gave me the time to clear my head, to realize that I didn’t want to die and that my life needed direction. I made the decision to be sober. After my release I was homeless, living in a storage shed with my girlfriend. That evening I was trying to build a bed platform and left to buy some screws at the hardware store down the street. The store closed at 6 pm. The time was 6:05. I began to feel myself coming apart again.
Suddenly I remembered that the church down the street had a food pantry. I wasn’t sure what they could do for me, but I knew I needed some help. I drove the six blocks to the church and walked in the front door. The pastor looked up and said, “There you are!” Apparently, he had been praying that God would send someone in the door who needed Him. There I was, indeed!
We talked for awhile. We prayed for awhile. I cried for awhile. And I felt the Hand of God on my shoulder, holding me up, and I knew that that day was the day I would look back to for the rest of my life as the day I finally gave my heart and life to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, once and for all.
Now it is time for me to do my part. God has saved my life.He has convicted me in ways I never expected. Within a couple of weeks, I asked my girlfriend to marry me, and we were married at that very church on February 26, 2017. Together we have reconciled with my children and my ex-wife. We have committed our lives to the service of the one true God. God has told us in Jeremiah 29:11 that “I know the plans I have for you…” We are His obedient servants.
The free education provided at CLI is a tremendous blessing to us, and to our future in the Ministry. I look forward to the high-quality education and training as we study in obedience to our ministry training calling and await God’s next challenge in our lives.
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