If you had asked me a year or two ago what I thought my calling was, I would have immediately told you I was called to work with children.
I love kids, most especially preschoolers. I am comfortable with them; I can get down to their level and explain things in a way they understand. And my heart is that all children would know that God loves them just as they are.
Ever since I became a Christian, I have worked in children’s ministries in one way or another. And for the longest time, it gave me such joy to do so.
But a few years ago I began to notice something. My joy wasn’t quite so evident anymore. I had to really work at it. I started to lose my ability to connect with kids. I became frustrated and confused. Through it all, though, I kept going through the motions while trying to find new and bigger ways I could serve God’s children.
It didn’t matter what I tried to do or how I tried to serve, I kept experiencing the same frustration and fatigue. Doors began to close on me, opportunities to serve slipped through my fingers, and I began to wonder if it was even worth it anymore.
This in itself was very troublesome to me – I didn’t get how God could be taking away a “calling” I was so sure was mine!
And then something funny happened.
God called me to something I would never, ever have imagined Him calling me to.
I didn’t think God would call me to it because I didn’t feel like I had the ability to do it. Sharing God with kids came so easily to me. But this?
Was He kidding?
I lacked the talent, the know-how, the connections. I lacked courage and confidence.
But overall, I lacked faith.
For months I struggled with self-doubt. For months I questioned God’s wisdom in putting me in this place to serve Him. For months I fretted and worried over my own inadequacies and fears. I prayed long and hard, convinced He was wrong and that I needed to get out of this pool He was immersing me in.
One Sunday I arrived at church, a few minutes late as usual, after wrestling with God yet again over this thing He asked me to do. After settling my kids in the seats beside me, I looked up at the wall where the words to the song the congregation was singing were projected.
“In His presence, I lack nothing.”
I almost laughed right there – could He have made it anymore clearer?
For months I had bemoaned the fact that I was no longer feeling it in the ministry of my choice. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized that I was serving me, not Him. I was seeking recognition and glory that was rightly His, and I was frustrated because I was not getting it.
Now, I was knee-deep in unfamiliar waters, scared of the possibilities of what else He would think of asking me to do, and I realized, finally, that it wasn’t about me and what I couldn’t do.
It was about God and what He was doing through me.
Each time I began to make it about me, I would doubt my abilities and if I was truly good enough to do His calling.
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
I’m not one to brag about my weaknesses. I’m the classic Type-A personality that likes to be in control and let everyone know just how in control I am. Weakness is not an option.
I think that is why I struggled with this for so long. I just couldn’t get why God would choose to use me in an area I felt so weak. I knew that verse in Second Corinthians, but until that moment it hadn’t made sense.
His power works best in my weakness.
I love how the Message puts verse 10 – “I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
When I remember to do this, when I remember to set aside myself, my doubts, and my need for control, when I just let Christ take over, He makes me able.
Able to do that thing He asks me to do.
And able to do it with joy.“As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” Colossians 1:11, MSGLeave a Comment
Kristen - Moms Sharpening Moms says
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I feel like this post was speaking straight to me. I so needed to hear this good word today. Thanks, Andrea, for blessing me with this timely post! Have a great week!
Marilyn from As Good a Day as Any says
Ah, I LOVE this type of story of God’s leading and our following (or not) and the adjustments and lessons therein!
Our niche, our ministry area, is a very fluid and LIVING thing. So glad you shared this!
Thanks you Andrea what powerful lesson and reminder for today.
I could relate on so many levels. Seems that’s been a theme that keeps popping up in my face lately…how God calls the ‘unlikely candidates’ to a particular call.I’ve just been reading about Moses this week.
Blessings to you
Just what I needed to hear this morning. God is definitely speaking to me through this post. I love the fact that he hears me & answers me! When you said, “I hadn’t realized that I was serving me, not Him. I was seeking recognition and glory that was rightly His, and I was frustrated because I was not getting it,” I knew too this is what I was doing & wanting for myself. His power works best in my weakness & oh, how weak I am! I need to remember who He is…
Oh my Goodness! Thank you for your transparency.Your words spoke right to me. Ouch.
I will be praying for you on your new path/journey.
Robin Norgren says
I have experienced the same sort of “transition” and am just now beginning to “resolve” that the change is not my imagination. Thanks so much for sharing!
Paula Jean says
Thank you, Andrea, for this insightful post! The message really resonates with me. I have been kicking around the very same thoughts in my mind & here you are, writing them down. My message from God wasn’t projected verse on a screen, they were thoughtful words posted by you!
Called called me to be a mommy 8 years ago. I questioned him for over 7! Why was he asking me to sacrifice so much? I was already so beaten down from life itself. I now reap blessings I never knew because I finally listened and obeyed Him. I am saddened by all of the years lost. I never felt equipped to be a mommy-wasn’t I lacking too much? Now I see it was faith I lacked. I believed in Him, but I did not believe him. I did not see He was working thru me-not the other way around. Thank you so much for your words today-He knew I needed to hear them.
What a wonderful lesson! Amen!
Thank you THANK YOU for this…for allowing God use you in writting this piece. This is EXACTELY where I am in life right now. I’m being utterly humbled these days as I have learned that I have been serving me and not Him. Ugh! Ouch!
Thank you so much for this, Andrea! It is just what I needed today. It is a painful thing to realize that we often put ourselves before God. It is the human in us that tries so hard to rely on our own devices.
This is just what i needed to hear today. Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us of something so small we so easily forget. 🙂
This was a wonderful seed to my heart
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
Andrea I am right there with you. Oh how he STRETCHES us all for His Glory! I pray that your able to answer His call with joy in your heart and confidence that He know all things and sees all things…including your wonderful future.
Blessings and Grace…
Fiona@ A little bit of honesty says
Andrea, I’m with you friend! Don’t we all hate admitting our weaknesses – yet – God still uses us. Grace. Gotta love it.
Andrea, I really needed to hear this today. Thank you so much for your honesty. I need to remember every day that “His grace is ALL I need…”
Thank you SO much for this post! I am currently struggling with no job and some days are so hard…I know I am to keep pressing forward and not allow fear to keep me from TRUSTing in Him, for our God has a perfect plan for me and my husband. Just when I feel like I can’t go on…God tells me I can for He is with me! Thank you again!
Holley Gerth says
So good and true, Andrea. This encouraged me the first time I read it and it does so still. I love that your heart listens to God and asks, “What do you want me to do?” I can so relate to what you shared and your beautiful words inspire me to keep pressing in and asking that question too.
Here it is 2-2-10 and I am so glad this link is still available…because I needed to hear this today. Lord take over my life and direct it where you want it ti be.
Praying for this new exciting journey…..just hold onto the hem of His garment and be amazed at where He takes you!
Friday Words of Faith: Thirsty | A New Kind of Normal says
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