Firstly, beautiful Welsh name, I love it
Secondly, I too am a PK, as is @Michelle_Tepper , so we can definitely relate to what you and Farah were sharing!
For me, I was that weird child who when everyone else wanted to be a fireman or a ballet dancer or a doctor, at age 5 I was already convinced I wanted to be a missionary (not sure how I knew what that was!). That sense of calling only intensified in my teen years, when I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else but tell people about Jesus, that just seemed the most exciting thing in the world to me, and what I was made for. That sense was confirmed when I prayed with a couple of my high school friends to become Christians and I had just never felt more alive or more of a sense of doing what I was made to do.
However, I always assumed that being called to evangelism meant a specific ‘type’ of ministry, namely being a missionary, as that was the only real example I had of other women in ‘ministry’. When I was 18 I went and spent 7 months living in Uganda and working for a Christian charity to test that out. However, although I LOVED it, I also came to the conviction that the Lord was saying to me that although there was such physical need where I was working, spiritually a lot of people were actually richer than they were in my own impoverished culture, where people may be physically rich but spiritually poor. Basically, I sensed the Lord was calling me to evangelize more within my own skeptical, apathetic culture. And I was SO disappointed, because I really wanted to be a missionary and I didn’t want to have to share with cynical westerners who just didn’t care!!
But following that call, I went that summer to a Christian camp, and I heard Michael Ramsden speak for the first time, and like in that moment when I first led a friend to faith in high school, I had a similar sense while listening to him speak that what he was doing, I too was called to do. So I went to study theology at university and that was when I really encountered Apologetics for the first time, and then I came across Amy Orr-Ewing and realised that this was something that women were doing too, and she became a real role model to me! As I studied theology at university and encountered so many questions from my skeptical friends, I increasingly saw the necessity of Apologetics as providing a skill set to help answer them.
So for me, I guess I had a general sense of a call to evangelism from a young age, but the particulars of what that was supposed to look like in my life took more time to form.
As you’re trying to discern what the Lord is calling you to, I think two important question to ask yourself to help clarify are these:
- Am I called to evangelism (some people love Apologetics because they just love a good argument, but that’s not the same as loving people who don’t know Jesus, feeling a strong pull to sharing Christ with them, and using Apologetics as a tool to help clear up their misconceptions and move them closer to Christ), or to a different kind of ministry? (Eg. Something more discipleship-focused, or humanitarian? Or perhaps a combination?! Ministry takes so many shapes!)
- Is God calling me to evangelism in full time ministry, or through a different medium? A lot of people think that if they want to share Christ that means they should go into full time ministry, but that is not typically the case. It may be that God had given you other passions or interests (like for science, or business, or academia, or healthcare, etc), and he has purposes for you in those arenas. It is just as worshipful to serve God in these areas as it is to serve in ‘full-time’ ministry, and in fact, sometimes as an evangelist that is the best place to be! Those are often the areas that are least reached, and where it can be hardest to enter into as an evangelist- whereas if you work in those spaces, you are perfectly positioned to share your faith! (for example, Silicon Valley is one of the least-reaches places in the world right now, and it would be amazing to see more Christians working in tech companies who are doing so with the intention of sharing their faith) The person who has always been the greatest example to me of what it means to live a life that is a powerful witness to Christ was my grandfather, and he did his evangelism as a businessman!
All that to say, it doesn’t have to be an either/or. The question is just how God has uniquely shaped you.
However, if you have been pursuing other paths but all the time you have a continuous sense that you’re supposed to be moving into full-time ministry, and you just can’t shake it off, and others whom you respect in your Christian community also see that gifting in you, then it may be that God had planted a seed that he is asking you to explore. If that’s the case, I would look for more opportunities to serve in ministry settings as you pursue your studies (in particular, look for creative evangelistic opportunities), and ask God to confirm that call both through the opportunities he gives you, and through making your ministry fruitful, and by speaking through others in your life. Whichever way you wind up going, doing chemistry is not a waste! God shaped you to love it for a reason, and he needs chemistry-minded Christians to reach those in the sciences!
I hope that is helpful, I’m sure others have more to share!
God bless you,