“I feel like God is calling me to write,” I explain sheepishly. The rest of the pastoral staff look at me, puzzled. I had just announced that after seven years of being part of this ministry, I’d be moving back home to be near family and to be obedient to God in this new direction He was leading me and that I could no longer deny.
I felt awkward saying those words aloud because I had nothing to show for it. Aside from a few blog posts I’d written, I was calling something into being that I wasn’t even sure about. So I could understand why my colleagues were so puzzled. Some of them had known me for over a decade. They had watched me grow from an enthusiastic college student who had a passion for overseas missions and wanted to marry a pastor into a new stay-at-home mom who became the pastor.
I had always been so sure of my calling to be in church ministry. I was a missionary/pastor’s kid who had served in leadership positions since I was nine, with every skill and gift pointing to a life of ministry. It was what others saw in me and what I saw in myself, and I had no intention or desire to leave it. But it had become clear to me that God was closing that door in order to open a new one that led to mystery and wonder, doubt and a lot of puzzled looks.
I add, “Like on the internet, a blog maybe . . .” My voice trails off, unsure of where it’s headed. And though they—and even I—don’t understand what it all means, we nod together in silence. I want to hide in a hole and forget that I even heard God to begin with.
I second-guess this new calling. I wonder why and ask God again, “Are You sure?” Like Gideon, who questioned and pleaded with God for signs over and over, I beg Him to make it clear.
How could I be called to lead with my words? Throughout my education, my writing was always mediocre at best, and I despised academic essays. I was a hands-on, practical-application type of person, not a philosopher or a scholar. Who was I to think that my thoughts mattered or that I even had the skills to write them?
I position these facts before the Lord, making a case for why He’s got the wrong person. I tell Him I’ll be making a fool of myself—and maybe Him too—if I go down this path. I point out how there are already plenty of talented, well-known people doing the same work, so what good would I be?
He listens to my argument—patient and willing to show me again that He means what He says, that He can give new gifts, new skills, new dreams. In my Bible reading, the story of Bezalel in Exodus 31:1–5 catches my attention. God fills him with His Spirit and gives him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is anointed to become an artist and entrusted to create beauty in the tabernacle, the dwelling place of God.
That’s when I realize I’m not actually thinking little of myself but little of God. If He created the world by speaking it into being, how different was that from what He was doing in my life? God’s creative word is powerful, and filling us with His Spirit is a guarantee that He will carry out what He says He will do. Our gifts, like those of Bezalel, are meant to highlight God’s genius and bring others into His presence. So embracing our gifts, whether newly discovered or slowly uncovered, is not arrogance but humbly trusting that God knows what He’s doing.
Even if it starts with the smallest inkling, even if you and others can’t make sense of it, God’s calling on your life isn’t silly or meant for someone else. He wants to make Himself known uniquely through you.
God, in my limited logic, I often make too little of You. Forgive me for putting You in a box and for dismissing Your word to me when I feel unqualified. You are mysterious, and that isn’t something to be afraid of. Thank You that I can trust You and that You entrust me with gifts that will help others experience You. Amen.
Ruth Mills says
Amen! Amen! Amen! “Our gifts are meant to highlight God’s genius & bring others into His presence.” Wow! Be brave in using & honing the skills He enables us to have! Grace, you do just that with your writings. Thank you, I know I’m not the only one that is & will be brought into His presence through your writing. Blessings, heavenly sibling!
Art is a Biblical gift! I’m so glad to hear that! But of course, since we are created in the image of the great Creator. My gifts seem to lean toward music and art. Covid shut the door on my music, so these days I mostly make cards to encourage others and scrapbook to preserve memories and family stories. Glad you followed God’s prompting to uncover another of your gifts and share it with us, Grace.
I have a hard time figuring out if God is telling me something. I wish I was as clear as others are hearing what that message is. What does it sound like? I wonder what I have missed all these years. And what is my path now. In any event I am delighted for you. And me too as I read these thoughts from everyone.
Anastasia M Stephan says
Dare I even say it, without sounding cliche’. . . I could have written (almost) every word you did and it be true. It is good to see how God is reaching into His kids lives and making clear what we have desperately longed to know.
Madeline, I completely understand. I always wanted God to skywrite His plans for me in the heavens so I would know for certain what to do. That is not how He usually works. Over the years I have learned to walk out whatever situation I was in, all the while checking my spirit to make sure I was still following Jesus. I think I missed opportunities because I was afraid to do something I wasn’t sure was God’s plan. Bible study and mature Christian friendships have helped me, but part is just trusting when I can’t see the whole plan! Grace, thank you for sharing that sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone and what we think is our only calling to serve like Jesus wants us to!
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
We have to trust God in everything. That means having no doubts. God knew us even before we born. As he created us in our Mother’s womb. As it says in Jeremiah 1 verse 5. ” Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” That is in the first line of that verse. That goes on to tell us God knew us even before we were in our Mothers womb. How amazing is that. So God knows all about who we wants us his Children to be. So we have through the Holy Spirit listen to his still small voice to learn to trust him to know what direction he want us to go. So as we be the people he wants us to be do what he requires of us. Some times that means taking a big leap of faith. Especially if you know God is taking you in a new direction in your life. Taking you out of the direction he had you in before. You may say am equipped to go this new direction and you may say but God I comfortable where I am. You may feel you don’t want to leave your comfort zone you are in now. But you know it is God speaking to through the Holy Spirit. To see how much you Love him and trust him. To go on this new kind of adventure he taking you. God wouldn’t ask you to leave your comfort zone if he didn’t think you were equipped. You have to be willing to say yes God I go. Do what ever you ask of me. As I know you will equipt me to do this new work you have for me do for you. If I don’t do it and say in this comfort zone I am in already. I will loose out on the many blessings you have for me. I have to say God here I am I will leave the comfort zone I am happy in to follow you do this new thing you want me to do for you. Know with your help I can do it. As you wouldn’t give me to do anything that you wouldn’t equipped me to do with your help. I will be blessed by you for stepping out of my comfort zone I him you and trusting you in this new thing you want me to do for you. I say Amen to that. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx in my prayers incourage b
Thank you for your authentic sharing. “It’s a Great encouragement to me as I’m leaving my comfort zone and entering a new chapter and I kept asking God, “Are you sure I’m doing this right?”
Sending you blessings and love as we go on our adventures with Jesus!
This was an answer to prayer. Thank you, Grace.
Thank you, I have the same calling and struggle with the same issues. I pray that your words and God’s truth will come to realization.
Beth Williams says
God gives His children gifts & talents. Each gift is important in the works of the kingdom. He expects us to use those gifts/talents to bring glory to Him. Recently I discovered the love of cooking. God has shown me that I’m pretty good at it. Whenever possible or needed I make meals/dishes for people. My pastor’s wife was moving her mom down here to care for her. I fixed a home made chicken pot pie & some bread for them to have before they left or when they got back. Love sharing my gift with others. Everyone don’t worry about the size or type of gift God has bestowed on you. Just embrace it & trust God knows what He is doing.
Sarla Williams, Sri Lanka says
Your authentic writing certainly makes you a great writer! So Grace- follow that prompting by His Spirit and go write what He lays on your heart! The written word is powerful & I believe you will be a blessing & an encouragement to us I am sure. Yes He does rekindle the gifts within us and equips us too.
Grace, thank you for obeying God anyway. Your words have helped confirm things I’ve known for a long time but haven’t believed in myself enough to fully trust God. I finally am now. I fully trust His ability in me.