Have you ever heard someone say they were “called” to do something? Or that God had placed a “Calling” on their heart?
Being a Christian, going to church, and being around other Christians, this is something I have heard many times. If you aren’t a Christian you still might be familiar with this type of talk, but if you aren’t I bet you can still relate to feeling a “yearning” or “calling” on your life.
Or maybe you haven’t felt anything like that. Maybe you are a Christian and you know exactly what I am talking about and you still haven’t felt that.
Well, you are not alone.
Can I be honest for a second here? I get a little frustrated, maybe jealous even, when people are so confident in their “Calling.” They know exactly what God has asked them to do with their lives and they are going for it. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe them 100% and I believe that God can place these callings on people’s hearts. So it is not that I doubt their feelings, I just don’t know why I have never felt that way.
I think the other thing that frustrates me is that I usually hear people talk about their calling when it is some huge life decision. And usually a huge life decision that is very “Christian.”
“I felt called to be a missionary overseas.”
“I felt called to quit my job and be a Pastor.”
“I felt called to adopt a child from a poor country.”
Again, don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these things, in fact, I see them as very admirable! And I totally believe these people and their feelings. But those are very big things that align right with something Jesus would want us to do right? I mean shouldn’t we all be missionaries and pastors and adoptive parents? No one would say that wasn’t a calling from the Lord.
But my struggle is that you don’t ever hear people say things like
“I felt called to work at Starbucks.”
“I felt called to quit my job and move back in with my parents.”
“I felt called to be a stay at home mom.”
“I felt called to be a teacher… in a public school… where we can’t talk about Jesus.”
I think it is easier to say something is a “Calling” on your life and be confident about that when it is Christian related. Does that make sense? I mean people wont argue with that. But what about when it is a choice that doesn’t have anything to do with your walk as a Christian or a job that has nothing to do with Christianity or teaching others about Jesus. How can you be confident in that and really know God is calling you to that path?
That is where I have had a hard time with this whole “calling” business. I have never made choices in my life because I truly felt God was calling me to do so. So to be honest I get jealous when people are so confident they are doing God’s work. I am a stay at home mom to three boys and I know and trust that my job right now is to raise these boys to know and love our Lord, but to say that is my “calling” sometimes feels like a cop-out. Like am I just saying that so I don’t have to be “called” to something else? To me, raising my boys is a blessing I have been given, a choice I have made, and something I take seriously and so I want to do my best at it. But I don’t feel like it is a “calling.”
I know I need to take responsibility with what the Lord has blessed me with, but when does it feel like a “calling?” And is it actually a feeling, or just a leap of faith saying it is a “calling” and just trusting that?
Unfortunately I am not going to be able to wrap this post up with the answers to all these questions. So if you were relating to this post and hoping by the end of this you were going to have the answers you needed I am sorry. I don’t have them.
The real reason I brought this up is because I have been considering some big life decisions lately and I am just not clear on when to hit the “go” button. It is a decision that could very much glorify the Lord and be used for his good, and something that I think I am uniquely gifted at so in a way I think I could say “I am feeling called to do this” and you couldn’t really argue with that. But there is also some selfish reasoning behind it so can I 100% say it is really something God would call me to?
Because I can’t confidently say I feel called, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t pursue it. Right? I mean I haven’t ever in my life felt “called” to anything.
But, I think I want to be. I think I want to be able to say “God CALLED me to do this and I trusted him and I took that leap of faith. And wow that was an amazing journey.”
I have been praying about it and waiting for that feeling but I don’t think it is going to come. I think at some point I will just have to make a decision and trust that the Lord will guide it. But where is that line between a step in faith and a true calling? That is the answer I don’t have.
The last week or so every time I get in the car I seem to hear this same song come on the radio, yes I still listen to the radio, not my Spotify, or my Amazon playlist, just the radio. Anyway, it has totally connected with me, and for now these lyrics are my prayer:
There is a wrestling in my heart and my mind
A disturbance and a tension I cannot seem to drive
And if I’m honest, there’s quite a bit of fear
To sit here in this silence and really hear You
What will You ask of me?
Will I listen to Your voice when You speak?
Help me to move, help me to see
Help me to do whatever You would ask of me
Help me to go, God help me to stay
I’m feeling so alone here
And I know that You’re faithful
But I can barely breathe
God help me*
Help me Lord to know what decision you would have me make. To fight the battle between logic and emotions and faith. And even if I never feel called, that I would trust in the end I am making decisions that would honor You and bring You glory.
*Song lyrics are from Plumb’s album God Help Me.