“Trust God with the details, you were called!”
“God has called you, it’s all going to be great!”
“I’m so excited to see what God’s going to do as you follow God’s call.”
I heard lines like this over and over again as we prepared to leave our home in Colorado to be near family in Minnesota.
With each repetition of “called” I would shift my weight, smile briefly, and want to leave the conversation as soon as possible, because I did not feel called.
I have experienced definite calls by God 4 times in my life. 1) To be a pastor. 2) To get my MDiv at Denver Seminary. 3) To work for Scum of the Earth Church (read my reaction here). 4) To write my book (in progress).
Though I felt called to Colorado, I was never settled in Colorado and prayed continuously to be “called” to Minnesota. I nagged at God to please bring us back home. Two years ago, after tears and heartbreak, I finally felt I had the “ok.” I was released from the call to Scum and we could move back as we chose.
Not a call. A release from a call.
A month ago today we left our home, we left our kids’ schools, we left our neighborhood, we left our friends. We left it all behind to seek a new life and as we drove through Nebraska the question nagged on me: is this God’s call on our life? Or are we doing what we want?
I’ve heard others ask the same question or make uncertain statements:
“I think I went to the wrong school, am I outside of God’s call?”
“I don’t know if God called me to marry my husband, is our marriage hopeless?”
“I don’t know what job to take. What if I make the wrong decision and step out of God’s call?”
These are cries of desperation and fear. Terrified that their lives would never be within God’s blessing or care, because maybe at one point they made a decision which forever pointed their lives in the wrong direction. Outside of God’s call. Outside of His will. Outside of His blessing.
While I meditated on this question this afternoon Scriptures began to come to mind.
- But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33
- Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4
- You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13
And it hit me: We get so preoccupied with seeking God’s will that we forget to seek God Himself.
What if life is less about a specific calling and more about a faithful following? Less about finding the right path and more about seeking the one who made it? Less about us and more about Him?
These are rough thoughts, because I am still discerning my way. But here is what I do know: God has been merciful and given me those four specific callings to fall back on when trials and challenges came my way. While I missed my family, I knew God had called me away from them for a time. Without that call I would have backed away. I would have quit. The call was a comfort. It was defined and needed.
Now, I do not feel called to a place, to a job, or to a people. But that does not mean I am outside of God’s call. Far from it, now I am simply called to God.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
I decided to link this post to Amy Schlichter’s Looking Up link up. If you need encouragement today, I recommend checking out the writing of the other bloggers here.