[A.K.A. Why you’re breathing.]
Merriam-Webster defines calling as:
-a stong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work
-the work that a person does or should be doing
-a strong inner pulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence
-the characteristic cry of a female cat in heat
Do you know what yours is?
Hopefully not a crying cat.
Howard Schultz had a vision for a coffee shop on every corner where people would gather, and Starbucks was born.
Martin Luther King had “a dream that one day this nation will rise up and
live out the true meaning of its creed:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Mother Teresa dedicated her life to
“wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”
Frederick Buechner says, “the place God calls you to is where your
deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet.”
Perry Noble, Pastor of New Spring Church, says our
primary calling is the great commission, sharing the Good News of Jesus.
Our secondary calling is how we go about doing that.
I admire people with vision, dreams, and callings. And, I agree with Mr. Noble. But what about our secondary calling then?
How do we know what we are living for?
When it comes to calling….
Some people get one.
Some get many.
Most of us are searching.
And few don’t care.
I have always been bit envious of people that know how to activate their calling. If I’m being honest, sometimes I want to borrow or copy people’s calling cause I am too afraid of failing at my own. People who know their calling seem so confident. They appear to know who they are, and knowing yourself makes you magnetic.
It think a calling starts as a whisper, a burden, or a problem that needs solving. It usually is tied to change. And change is painful. Calling meets you right in the face of fear. It will involve risk, vulnerability, and criticism. But something inside of you knows it is worth it. My current calling makes me cry and sweat when I start talking about it. Like I am down right scared.
And if you are one of the vast majority of people still searching, no worries. Google it and you will quickly find out you are not alone. There are thousands of articles, tests, and steps to discover your calling. And while those may be helpful, I think discovering it is a mixed bag of trial and error, determination, skill, who you know, and who’s will you are pursuing, yours or God’s.
I have written about this before, but for years I have felt a stirring in my heart and mind to share our story more publicly. Not because I am anything special, but exactly because I am not. I’m trusting that it is currently my calling….but the truth is, I’m not quite sure. The only thing I can do is try. Just do it. Stop talking about it, and jump.
I have seen how God has used our story to bring people closer to Himself, encourage someone who has been struggling, move people to compassion, shape the way they interact with people who have disabilities, and help shine a light on what it’s like to live and love in the midst of broken and painful circumstances.
When I write, I feel God is giving a voice for the voiceless. Bursting open the secret, and many times misunderstood, world of disability. My blog gives readers exposure to life on Boyce Lane. And when people read, it gives them permission to stare. And the longer they stare, the more normal we start to become. And everybody wins. God gets the glory and people see the world a bit differently. Both of these wins bring even more purpose to Jayden’s life and Brooklyn’s life, and to our journey. This is my purpose in the pain. This is why I want as many people to look as possible, even if I have to endure the stares.
My 2015 resolution is to be “all in.” To lean into this current calling. Many people have told me I should continue to write. A few have even said I should write a book, which is scary, and hard, and quite frankly, makes me want to puke. I feel so inadaquate. But I am learning it is less about talent, and all about obedience.
Why do we sabotage the voice inside of us with words like, “I can’t” or “I’m not”, when God whispers “you can” and “you are?”
At times, a calling is more of a burden than a blessing. It’s something you have to do, not usually what you want to do. Something bigger than yourself. Something that freaks the crap out of you. So if God is “calling” me to write, I think I should. And if He is proud, that’s all that matters. And if He wants to use our life to work in the world, I am honored to be a small part of what He is up to.
Risk and all. Sweaty pits and all.
Terrified of putting myself out there.
Vunerable. Messy. Naked. Afraid.
What if you never try to do the thing that God is calling you to do?
What will the world miss?
What if you believed that voice inside of you, whispering you to take a leap?
I have been trying to sort this out in a car analogy with Justin. Something we share from our childhood is our love for matchbox cars. I feel like my life as it is right now is like my favorite matchbox car. I love that beautiful thing. I push it back and forth with my hand, I sleep with it, and I take it everywhere I go. Sure, it is a bit beat up and broken, but it is AWESOME.
But something isn’t settled in my soul. I feel like God keeps tapping me on the shoulder. He keeps whispering, like a great Dad would, “I am so proud of you.” “Thank you for loving the life I have given you.” “Stefanie, I will love you and be proud of you either way. But, if you trust me, and give me your matchbox car, I have something waiting for you just around the corner.” And, I am so scared to give him my little life. I am so scared to trust Him. But, I sense that behind that corner is a real car. Not a matchbox one but a real, get in it and drive kind of car. I feel like I am holding onto this safe, familiar life I love, but God wants me to surrender it so I can share in even greater gifts He has for my life.
So this is me putting myself out there. If there is ever a blog you read that resonates with you or you think people need to read, I would be honored if you would share it. The easiest way to do this is find a post you like, open it, and share it on your favorite social media site, like Facebook or Twitter. Click here if you don’t know how to do that.
When you like the blog post, the link appears more frequently in people’s newsfeed.
If you comment, the exposure goes up even more.
If you click “share” AND write a personal comment about why you like it or why your friends should read it, Facebook notices it and it gets the most exposure on people’s new feeds.
This is with anything you share, not just my blog. You can also sign up to get my blog posts right into email and forward them to friends of you are not on social media a lot.
I am also excited to announce that I will be launching a website with an easier .com to remember in the next month. I am even opening myself up to speaking engagements.
Trust me, most of me would like to hide!
I would love to avoid exposing my heart, my tears, and my weakness.
I would love to avoid sifting through the pain and the lessons altogether.
I would love to keep it all to myself.
But, I don’t think that is what God is asking me to do right now. At least not yet.
And as far as calling goes….
I know who I am and who I am becoming.
I am a writer.
I can share my story in front of an audience. Which makes me a story teller.
I am a lot of other things too.
I have a message.
His message of love, and pain, and death, and renewal. A story of courage, hope, and tension.
I am called to share it.