Do you ever feel like everyone but you has their path figured out? Whether they call it a vision, calling, or an assignment from God, you may not be as clear. Maybe you even wonder if God has a calling specifically for you.
You want to hear God’s direction in your life and want to serve Him well, but things are unclear and overwhelming. You pray and look around in your church, online, and among your friends and wonder if your contribution would be as important as those you admire.
I’ve felt that way. Wondering what God wants me to do. Fuzzy in my mind about all the needs and possibilities. Feeling as if the way I think or approach life isn’t normal, and everyone is already doing what I should do. I’ve pressed into Him, soaked up His Word, and paid attention.
I’ve come to understand that God is unapologetic in the way He designed each of us. We each have an important role to play in His Kingdom in the here and now, and I’m finding a way to let go of my ideas of what my role should be and be open to hear and receive His vision for my life.
I’m not a spiritual director or advisor, who can dive into your situation to help you know the vision God has for your life, but I do want to share with you a little nugget of truth that God has used to help me embrace the calling He has given me.
Fear can be useful.
I’m a big fan of “be strong and courageous.” I know God casts out all fear and gives us power in love. I’m adamant not to let the enemy control me with fear.
But let’s imagine why the enemy tries to make us afraid of certain things in our lives. The enemy means to use our fears to stop us in our tracks, to make sure we aren’t fully who God designed us to be. But we can examine the fear and use it as a posted sign directing us to the right path God has for us. Our fears can actually be tools we can use to see what God wants to do in us.
The kind of fear I’m referring to isn’t being afraid of the dark but the kind of fear that keeps you awake at night or stirs you to pray.
Listen to yourself in conversation. What are you afraid of for God’s children? Are you afraid His children won’t be fed, will remain lost, will live in plenty but be left empty? Are you worried that they will feel discouraged and lonely, that they will not really know the God of their faith? What and who comes to your mind? What brings you to tears? What hurts your guts for others?
The answer to those questions point you to your calling, where you are directed to be brave for others and help them, lead them, and serve them, the very way the Holy Spirit wants to love others through you.
Don’t let your fears stop you. Everyone you admire has them, too. The beauty is in the overcoming. Use your fears as tools to help you figure out where the Lord is leading you.
We need you to do the thing only YOU can do. And if you’re already thinking, “There’s too much out there. What can I contribute?” With over 7 billion people on our planet, I’m sure there is room for your gifts and plenty of people God is preparing to receive what only you can give.Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
Stephanie, this is just eye-opening for me. I’m used to “pushing through” my fear, because I never stand at a microphone or click on “publish” without the fluttering in my gut and the feeling of dread, but I’ve never stopped to look at that fear as an arrow pointing toward anything else.
Thanks so much for this great insight.
I would consider that confirmation the enemy doesn’t want you writing & speaking, so the Lord must be using it to glorify Himself. Press on!
Beth Williams says
Yes. Fear is another tool of the enemy to stop us from doing any good. People feel they have to have huge platforms & be in the spotlight to do any good for God. Nothing could be farther from the truth. God gives each of us gifts/talents. To some He gives much & to others little. He wants us to use our gifts & not hide them as in the parable of the talents. My big gift is encouragement. I try my best to encourage others. Last weekend I got some food together for a neighbor who lost her last remaining child & is almost alone in the world. Also took food to my in-laws so they won’t have to cook much. It may not seem like much, but I know they appreciate it & God sees our doing & applauds it. Right now maybe all you can do is pray for others, send a nice card/text. Go ahead & do -it. The world is watching us daily & the more we do for Him each day the more they will see His love shining through. Don’t let fear get in the way of doing something good for God.
Thank you for your comment! Since I stopped working outside the home and my contact with others is more limited I’ve wondered if I have a calling (I had a “God job” volunteering for a ministry for several years that ended a few years ago-I struggled with that and wondered why until I realized that some things are onky for a season. I’m almost always a little slow on the uptake/direction that God wants me to go and feel that I haven’t been useful. Your post reminds me that all that is done in the name of kindness and encouragement is for the glory of God! You helped me to see that I’m not doing so bad after all! Thanks again!
And Stephanie – thanks for opening the door!
We can’t see our lives from God’s perspective. Trusting Him with our small lives & daily obedience brings Him much glory. In the unknown places is where He helps new life take root in us so we can bloom later. I’m thankful you felt encouraged!
Sarah Walker says
Stephanie, I so needed this reminder today. Thank you for your faithfulness in writing this piece. My fears are currently trying to block me from writing but I know that’s where God wants me to be…even though I don’t have the writing skills or a platform…even though I don’t feel up to the task…even though I sometimes feel I’m preaching mostly to myself when I write…even though I don’t feel seen…
Thanks for this timely God-focused reminder!
I think most of the time the writing is for a documented deeper relationship between you & God. The world wants us to focus on feedback, being seen, platform & publishing. Let God worry about when His work through you is ready to be seen. Enjoy your time with Him & that you know your calling!
Lavontinett Washington says
This is actually great to hear i am 30 years of age and for quite some time i been afraid to step out do what my heart desires…. I thought i’d fail and not finish! But i finally went after it, after countless years of praying and deciding that this was what i wanted to do. And here i stand a believer that we must face our fears and let God do the rest…
Bravo!! Proud to hear you are in your sweet spot with Him.
Ahhh perfect words for me today! To let go of my ideas and visions of what I think my role is and what God says it is! I’m sure I’ve heard this before Stephanie but today is the day you are making it make sense to me:) thank you for your gift of encouraging us along this precious journey of life and loving the way He wants us to! Happy Friday 🙂
There is such freedom in His ways! I’m so happy to hear His words through me helped you. Praying He will show you how to dwell in the special way He made you.
My husband and I have had an atypical path since we got married. He graduated with his masters three years ago and started working as a pastor just last year after waiting on a job for two years that didn’t end up panning out. Our finances have been tight ever since seminary and so we haven’t gotten to the house-ownership stage of life that everyone else around us is already at. We have two young boys (3 and 4 )and are in our early 30s, but we still live in an apartment. Sometimes I feel like we must have been crazy to have chosen this road. I feel anxious when I look around and everyone our age that we know already has a house to call their own.
I know it’s so hard not to compare! We should be inspired by the gifts of others but not competitive. I’m so thankful your family is obedient in the call of the Lord in your lives more than you are worried about how that looks to the rest of the world. Blessings on your Jesus Led Adventure!
Amen sister, your words honestly soothe, comfort and prepare me right now. They are assisting in leading me from one step to the next unknown to me but I’m safe in Gods plan for me because of His will, love and action for me and my life because of who he is and not because of me!
My husband and I have had an atypical path since we got married. He graduated with his masters three years ago and started working as a pastor just last year after waiting on a job for two years that didn’t end up panning out. Our finances have been tight ever since seminary and so we haven’t gotten to the house-ownership stage of life that everyone else around us is already at. We have two young boys (3 and 4 )and are in our early 30s, but we haven’t purchased a home yet. Sometimes I feel like we must have been crazy to have chosen this road. I feel anxious when I look around and everyone our age that we know already has a house to call their own. Your post was encouraging to me.
Lora Bloomquist says
Thanks you for reminding us that when we are weak, He is strong. Facing into our fears enables Him to come through; we can be sure it’s all Him!
Such wisdom in this. Will have to ponder. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie. 🙂
Kathy Cheek, Devotions from the Heart says
I am inclined to think fear is a natural part of God’s callings on our lives because everything He calls us to is bigger than what we can do on our own and requires a courage that only comes from Him, and it usually begins with stepping out and doing it while we are still afraid to do it!
I have read so many things about fear and even written several articles on fear, and I’ve yet to uncover this great truth you shared, “Use your fears as tools to help you figure out where the Lord is leading you.” What a perspective-changer! Thank you for sharing your gifts and the wisdom God has given you!
Pearl Allard says
Stephanie, I’ll raise my teacup to this! A timely reminder. Because each of our lives are designed to fit the Master’s mosaic we are freed to do two things simultaneously: confidently enjoy our own contribution and sincerely encourage others in theirs. Hugs!
Lara Sadowski says
“I’ve come to understand that God is unapologetic in the way He designed each of us. We each have an important role to play in His Kingdom in the here and now, and I’m finding a way to let go of my ideas of what my role should be and be open to hear and receive His vision for my life.”
May I just say, WOW, Stephanie? That paragraph alone is a game-changer for me, and I needed to hear it today.
I have constantly wondered with what gifts God has gifted me, and I find myself (more times than I’d like to admit) looking at all the great things others are doing and feeling a bit inadequate. Thank you for reminding us that we all have a specific role to play in our Lord’s Kingdom! < I'll be in prayer about this not only for myself but for all of us.
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!
Joy in Jesus,
Becky Keife says
“The beauty is in the overcoming.” Yes! Love this, friend. Thank you for being a continual source of wisdom and encouragement. xx
I have committed to doing something fearful (for me!) this weekend and it has consumed me all week. I will keep this knowledge close to my heart and remember exactly why the fear is present – and know that what I’m doing is truly part of God’s calling in my life! Many thanks for the wonderful reminder and encouragement!
Debbie Kirk says
Grateful for your words of encouragement Stephanie! You directly touched on so many, if not all of the things that swirl around in my head and heart. I will be writing your words in my journal as confirmation once again that God interrupts our internal conversations and finishes our sentences in the most encouraging ways!
Thank you Stephanie for your post. After a long season of physical & emotional struggles I’m trying to figure out what is next and where God is leading me. It’s encouraging to know I’m not alone in this. Comparing my life to others never helps but it is hard not to go to this place of comparisons. But maybe as I’m in the waiting it’s about focusing & being open to the small ways God can use me each day. Blessings to you Stephanie and all those who have written comments.