When the dreams of our youth haven’t eventuated, have we missed out on our calling? I struggled for years believing that I had missed out on what God had planned for my life because of choices that I had made and pathways I had taken. I came to a place of settling in my mind that I would never have that calling and would live out my days with a consolation prize type of life. The ideas I had in my teen years seemed forbidden to me, that I was disqualified. Maybe you can relate to that in some way.
I think it was this feeling and belief that has made the leadership journey of the past few years seem even more out of the blue and unreal. It may not look like the picture I had in my head as a teenager. It may not be what I had ever imagined for myself. And yet I know that I am living out my calling for this moment. I am living in my calling by being a mother. I am living in my calling in the positions I hold. I am living my calling in the quiet moments alone that no one else sees. I have had to challenge the belief that I am not qualified time and again. I have had to challenge the notion of what I thought my calling would look like in order to step into what it is now.
What has stopped you living out those ideas you had in your youth? I think that would be the place to start. If it has only been fear or the belief that you aren’t good enough, maybe you need to start with seeking out the truth of who you are and the strength that you have. If you have taken steps and made choices based on what you felt led to at the time, maybe you are exactly where you have been called. It might just look different than you expected. If you are in a season of feeling restless and dissatisfied, my experience is that there is something new on the horizon and you’d better get prepared.
Comparison is a dangerous trap in this. We can look at someone else and the path that they are on and think that we have missed out. We might see amazing things going on for another person or in an organisation and fear missing out on being a part of that. We have to question deeply if we are trying to insert ourselves into someone else’s calling or actually following our own. Do we devalue where we are at because it isn’t the “bright and shiny” stage that we had hoped for or see for someone else. Each of us is on a unique journey with unique timing. I am learning that so much of a journey is done in the mundane, seemingly boring parts of life. So much of our calling is developed in those secret, out of sight places. The visible results and “shiny” parts of a calling are not the full picture. Never underestimate the importance of where you are right now.
This tension in you may be a call to take another step forward. It may be an invitation to overcome the fear holding you back. It may be an indicator that you need to be fine tuning your self leadership and everyday life to be ready for something that is ahead. It may also be a call to challenge the perspective you have on what you are doing that is actually what God has called you to, even if it looks different. Nothing we do takes God by surprise and His pathway rarely looks like you expect.
This post is part of a series for Write 31 Days called "For Your Encouragement." I am taking requests from readers on what they want encouragement about and responding to the best of my ability. I would love to hear from you.
You can read the rest of the posts in this series here.