Do You Struggle with Your Calling?

We all want a calling in life. We want to know our purpose. We want to know that we’re on the right road. We search for affirmation that this is what we’re supposed to do. And I think we do that the harder the road is that we’re on.

For instance, if you stay home with your kids, and you gave up work to do so, you may think God called you there. You may be sure God called you there. But then, as the months and years go by, and you find yourself tired, you constantly second guess yourself. If this really what I’m supposed to be doing? Is there somewhere else God wants me? Am I really making a difference? Have you ever been there?

It’s hard, especially if money is tight. Are you just doing what you want to do, or are you doing what God wanted you to do?

And it’s true in whatever place we find ourselves. I used to second guess myself about homeschooling all the time. I don’t so much anymore, but I certainly did. When we started homeschooling, we felt a definite call. Keith and I both did, and the first few years were great. But then I’d have days where I just couldn’t get anything done of my real life, because homeschooling was there. So I’d have a writing deadline, or a speaking engagement, and I would be so stressed. And we’d wonder if I was really supposed to be doing all of this. Or there would be days when the girls would fight, or when Katie would refuse to do her work (quite a frequent occurrence for her when she was younger), and I’d wonder if someone else could teach them better. How could we be called to homeschooling if things were going so badly?

In retrospect I can see how wonderful it’s been for our family, and how educationally beneficial (they’re both about two years ahead now), but it doesn’t always feel that way in the midst of it. And when you’re frustrated, and you’re tired, and things aren’t going the way you envisioned, you start to wonder if maybe you misread God.

I certainly felt that way all last week. I was getting ready for a really big speaking engagement I had over the weekend, where I spoke at an Ontario-wide retreat for the Salvation Army women’s division. Several hundred women were there, and it was stressful getting ready. I still had to homeschool. I still had to make dinner. I hate it when I’m too busy to do regular housework things, because then I feel like I’m letting down my family. I still had responsibilities at church that weren’t getting done well. And it was hard.

I was probably feeling as low as I have in a long time in regards to my calling to be a speaker/writer. I just didn’t have the time and energy for my family, and I figured something had to give. Something wasn’t right.

Then I went and had probably the most blessed weekend speaking I have ever had. The response on Sunday was amazing. People dealt with some really difficult strongholds in their lives. I had more positive confirmation about speaking than I ever have. It was truly amazing.

And it reminded me that we can’t rely on what we’re feeling in the moment to determine what our calling is. If you feel a calling on your life from God, write it down. Write down the moment you heard it. Write down what you heard. Write down how you know. And then, when times get rough, go back to it. I think we base our idea of our calling too much on the day-to-day feelings. After all, just because we’re called to something doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. In fact, the more important thing we’re called to, probably the harder it will be. You have to take time, I think, every year, just to get away with God, even for a few hours, and wrestle with Him about His vision for your life. Do it at a time when you’re not depressed or anything. And then just listen.

If you don’t feel peace on a daily basis, it doesn’t mean you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. Sometimes it’s just real life, and life can be hard. I think we have this mistaken idea that if we’re in the middle of God’s calling, life will be easy, we will always feel peace, and we will always see success. It’s not true. So don’t second guess yourself. Instead, plan for specific times to hear from God during the year, and really listen. Otherwise we’ll just be like that boat it talks about in the book of James, tossed to and fro with every wave.

Life is tough. Whatever you are called to is likely going to be tough. So don’t despair! Just look for God’s strength everyday, and remember:

There is always time in the day to accomplish God’s priorities for that day.

So don’t fret, don’t worry, and don’t despair!

Comments

  1. >You are SO right my friend. Sometimes, there are just days like that. Don't feel discouraged with your calling. That would be Satan trying to attack and you know that!! This is your gift and Satan will do all he can to prevent you from preaching the Gospel. If you're ever in Florida, I'd love to hear you speak! I really enjoyed reading your book too. Keep up the good work.

  2. Tea With Tiffany says:

    >Congrats on an amazing weekend. I love when God shows up when we are empty and in need.

    Writing things down helps me so much.

    I appreciate your encouragement here.

    Have a great week!

  3. Kathryn Lang says:

    >The enemy does not attack those that are not challenging his strongholds.

    Thanks for letting us know that even those that "have it all together" sometimes feel like it is all falling apart. And for the reminder that if we will just push through the pain we give birth to amazing results ;)

  4. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    >Great words of comfort and encouragement this morning. Thanks, Sheila. Now, take some time to refuel your own spiritual reserves. I would imagine that the enemy and his schemes haven't gone away just yet. I've found that he loves to hit me after the "high" in ways that sometimes knock me to the ground. I'll be praying for you and thanking God for the wonderful work he did through you this past weekend with some of my favorite people of all time…

    the Salvation Army! They are amazing.

    peace~elaine

  5. >I'm feeling you. You know something else I've changed when speaking? I prepare as I always have, but on the day I speak, instead of going back over my notes or re-thinking the ideas, I give it back to God and I spend my time in worship and prayer.

    It's scary because I fear standing up and having nothing to say, so it takes faith.

  6. Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama says:

    >This is a great and timely post for me. I think that doubt that gets planted is just an attack from the enemy. Thanks for reminding me I'm not the only one that feels this way sometimes!

  7. Cassandra Frear says:

    >I'm glad you found some encouragement!

  8. >Thanks for sharing! I was feeling a little bit of the same and didn't want to make the effort to attend my church on Sunday. I went anyway and was blessed beyond belief.

  9. >Thanks for that!! God just knew that I needed to read this!!

  10. >For sure. I think the word "calling" frightened me for so many years. Kept wondering why I couldn't define my calling with a word or definition. But then He showed me that my calling is the stuff I do that I could do and do and do and that some do and can't believe they get paid for it.

    It's no surprise to Him cause He created us with different quirks. Like a bulldozer is useful to push around dirt, it is pretty pathetic in the kitchen. I'm not a bulldozer. Probably more like a Swiss Army Knife. Multi Hatted. Don't need a label to wallow in who He made me to be but we really like them don't we?

  11. Fruitful Vine2 says:

    >You said – "Life is tough. Whatever you are called to is likely going to be tough. So don't despair! Just look for God's strength everyday, and remember: There is always time in the day to accomplish God's priorities for that day. So don't fret, don't worry, and don't despair!"

    I really needed to read this tonight. I've been feeling dissatisfied lately when I look around me. I know that I'm doing as He leads but sometimes I wonder.

    I know this is for a limited time so I need to ease up on the fretting. Thank you so much Sheila.

  12. I believe that is called faith. The verb. Believing what you know to be true, even when you don’t feel like it.

    But how and when do you not feel depressed? How do you get to a place where you’re not trying to hold on and plod along and try to keep your head above water so that you can actually think?

  13. Omagosh! I have just stumbled in your site and have probably read most of these! God has me in such a hard place in my little life right now.. for about the past actually. I feel like I struggle with EVERYTHING… but He keeps giving me confirmation in the perfect form. And this article just so happened to have been another one..today! Thank you Sheila and thank you Jesus!

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