Following a couple recent conversations, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to calling. A while back when I pondered the same topic, the thought occurred to me that while God’s calling is always good, God’s calling will never be easy. The following brief stories from people I know illustrate.
The other day I visited with a woman I don’t see often. She told me about her son and daughter-in-law who adopted five siblings who’d been abused and neglected. As she described the challenge her adult kids assumed and the commitment they made to these beautiful, broken children, I was amazed. When I expressed that sentiment, my friend said, “They feel it’s a calling.”
Another friend told me one of her pastors, a lovely woman, resigned her church position. She, her husband and two children were leaving to do full-time missions work in Central America. My friend said her pastor was stepping into a calling she’d felt since childhood.
Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines calling as:
a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.
Karen told me she’d been called as a child to adopt children. Learning about infertility after a few years of marriage wasn’t terribly concerning, Karen told me because she always knew she would adopt. Over the course of almost 30 years, Karen and her husband adopted ten children, four from local foster care and six from China. Many have had physical disabilities; others have been broken emotionally.
Caroline and Miranda, beautiful young, well-educated women, describe unmistakable callings to work with victims of human sex trafficking. One serves in Cambodia; another is in Indonesia. Surely not an easy calling!
Jacqueline reported, out of the blue, she was struck with the pain of widows, saying the emotional avalanche was so intense, her knees buckled, and she sank to the floor. Since then, she’s stepped into her calling, offering comfort and care to an elderly widow.
Linda said she knew she’d been called as a young girl to be a pastor’s wife. Marianne, even though she didn’t feel the calling like her husband, knew she’d been called to be her husband’s wife. Meaningful ministry for her has grown as she’s served alongside her husband in missions work.
Misty and Mark, a couple well on their way to being ‘empty nesters,’ are considering studying for full-time ministry. Is this stirring within them a calling? They wonder.
Rebecca, highly successful in the business world, developed a passion to help professionals she observed burning out in the “corporate cauldron.” To boost knowledge and credibility, she returned to the demands of seminary, obtaining a Doctor of Ministry degree. My friend makes a difference in her bi-vocational calling.
Writing blogs is part of my calling. I recall sitting at my prayer desk several years ago, considering a vague lifelong dream to write a book. The words, Listening on the Journey… came strongly to mind, and I wrote them in my prayer journal, assuming it would be the title of the book I would one day write. The word “blog” wasn’t even in my vocabulary back then.
Today, I am sitting in a classroom in Springfield, Illinois, pursing what I believe is another piece of my calling—becoming a certified spiritual director.
God Who Calls,
Thank you for all who are courageous and step into their calling.
Give each the strength to do what you’ve called him or her to do.
Fill every heart with the peace and joy that comes from knowing and doing what you’ve prepared for us to do.
- All names used and in italics are pseudonyms ↑