'Once the soul awakens, the search begins..'

29th September 2022

Nicola Butcher was, for most of her working life a nurse, working initially on surgical wards as a staff nurse, then junior sister. She then spent time as a school nurse at Christ’s Hospital school in West Sussex. When she moved to Somerset, Nicola got a job as a nurse in a boarding school in Taunton

Nicola says for most of her life she was what she describes as an ‘on the surface’ sort of Christian. But looking back now she can see that there were times when God was calling but she wasn’t really listening. All this changed in 2017/2018 when “a mixture of things all led me to a dark place and a feeling that I had wasted my life. But then I heard a sermon about koinonia, fellowship, and what it actually meant, but what I heard was Jesus saying ‘I am here. Trust in me and follow me.’

I feel that the mixture of a crisis in my life and the feeling of being called – though to what I had no idea. It felt like a massive turning point. It led me to start going to morning prayer once a week in church. And I found that these days were better days when I was more at peace with myself. I then started saying morning prayer every day, or almost, and also started practising contemplative prayer – times of listening to God, of trying to work out what he was asking of me.” 

Nicola says that over the next few months she moved from a feeling of inner tranquillity to being filled with a joy like nothing she had experienced before. Nicola quotes John O’Donoghue to describe what she felt,’Once the soul awakens, the search begins, and you can never go back. From then on you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfilment. The eternal makes you urgent.’”

It put Nicola on a path to ordination. She will be ordained deacon and will serve as assistant curate in the parish of St Michael the Archangel in Alcombe.


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