Do you ever feel so clouded and confused by what you “think” God wants you to do with your life? It’s as if you’ve met God and now you just long to “know” the plan he has for you. Or maybe you truly believe that you do know what He wants you to do with your life?
I’ve heard the phrase “this is my calling” or “I was placed here” many times. I’ve heard it from different people since becoming a Christian. From other Christians. And at first I thought it sounded so beautiful. Wow. God has decided this path for you. This is your calling. It was beautiful until I started reflecting on my own journey and it became a lot more intimidating.
I believe in some situations this “calling” phrase is true. In some situations we truly can feel God telling us “this is right, this is the path for you.” Or maybe you’ve been met with confirmation from God. You’ve heard Him speak in ways that solidify the path you currently walk. Whether it’s a path you envisioned for your life or not, God wants you to plant your roots here.
Yes I have heard these expressions quite a lot. And I started to think that maybe it’s just a fun thing for us Christians to say? Not to negate the truth behind it, but in all honesty I believe more often than not we try to convince ourselves that this is our calling, that this is “from God.” We want to feel that deep sense of purpose and fulfillment each and every day so we start
searching for that confirmation. Or maybe we don’t even spend time searching, or even asking God, we just decide for ourselves “this must be it.” But why do we do this? Why do we make such bold claims as Christians without first taking the time to truly ask and listen to what God is saying? For me it goes back to that piece of intimidation I’ve felt.
I went to College straight out of high school because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew at that point was that I love children, and so children it was. I thought “I’ll become an ECE and see how it goes.” During this journey I decided to complete my leadership degree, although I had never considered myself a leader before I just knew I wanted to do more. I had more I wished to know, and more I wished to fight for within this profession. At the time I had no idea how much this course would change me. How much I would grow professionally and personally.
I left school and finally entered the workforce. Working at the same childcare centre I had first walked into four years prior. Living with my parents again. Back in my hometown. Now what?
Yes I was a very different person but something still felt unfinished. Two months after graduation I met Jesus. During my last few weeks at school I had started attending a Vitalpoint Church and I had no idea how much this would change my life. Not long after I too began wondering “is this where God wants me to be forever?” and “is this my calling?”.
I became intimidated by this bold claim because I felt that this wasn’t where I was meant to stay forever. I had dreams to travel, to help people in different capacities, AND to work with children. I wanted all these things but I didn’t have a clue what God wanted for me. In all honesty I hadn’t taken the time to ask Him either.
I was overwhelmed by that longing to know my purpose that I forgot to just simply put my trust in Him. I forget that He has this all mapped out already and I’m truly just along for the ride. I knew I needed to stop longing for the next thing and instead start living for what was right in front of me. And that’s exactly what I did. Oddly enough once I stopped searching, chose to trust and started fully living right where I am, things became so much more clear to me.
As Christians I think we sometimes forget the bigger picture. We forget that God actually gives us choices because we cling on to the idea “this must be my calling.” We long to know “this is where I’m meant to be.” I think this “my calling” mindset is beautiful but it can also be crippling. It was definitely crippling for me at first. Yes, I truly believe God has placed a calling on your life but God doesn’t tell you that this “one thing” is the only thing for you. In reality God gives us choices so that we may make our own decisions. God has set our story in motion but he has never given us the map to follow. No, God doesn’t give us a map, instead God gives us a compass. He gives us a direction but there isn’t one specific path to take.
This idea has been on my heart a lot recently as I struggle to figure out where I see my future going. I have these passions burning inside of me aside from my current career but I had crippled myself by thinking “I must work with children” and “this is what I went to school for so this must be what God wanted for me.” “Knowing” what God wants for me instead of trusting in the unknown was my biggest mistake.
By leaning into my current situation I began realizing that it is okay to make another choice. It is okay to change paths because it doesn’t mean that this one wasn’t meant for me. What it means is that this path was meant for me during a specific season of my life. I do believe this is where I’m meant to be, for now. But I also know that God’s plan has only just begun, and He’s giving me choices each and every day. Choices to follow Him in everything I do. Choices to pursue other passions, while simultaneously doing something I love every day.
I'm no longer intimidated by this bold statement. In fact, I feel at peace knowing that my calling will take on many forms over an entire lifespan because I recognize that the biggest calling on my life is to simply walk with Him.
I recently made the choice to get baptized and as I stood on stage I spoke these exact words. “I’m the most me when I walk with Him.” Afterwards my parents gave me a card with a bookmark that read Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you... plans to give you hope...”
This day solidified the path I currently walk because He has spoken so clearly in my life. He is the only one who truly knows our plans. He asks us to come to Him in everything we do. He doesn’t want us to waste our days longing to know or searching for our calling. He wants us to see what lies right in front of us. He wants us to rest in Him, trust in Him, and to walk with Him.
No matter what season you find yourself in, there’s a reason you’re here. Don’t be afraid to plant your roots for a little while. With compass in hand you’ll be amazed to see where God plants you next.