Welcome to Week Four of the Follow Your Call Series!
I'm so excited to welcome Crystal Twaddell as she beautifully shares the power of walking through the most difficult and feared things in our life in order to find the strength and the joy in following our calling. Her story is so honest and powerful and I'm blessed by her words and know you will be too.
I have always known I wanted to be a mom.
The drive to be a different kind of mom than the one who raised me grew fiercely with every child I carried in my womb. I was determined to wrap each of them in the security of unconditional love, significance and a rich foundation of faith.
So, putting my career goals on hold to follow my calling wasn’t a big leap or sacrifice for me.
I poured myself into motherhood, cloth diapers and all.
It wasn’t until I gave birth to my third child, a little girl, that things began to go awry. Night terrors and anxiety robbed me of more sleep than any newborn. All the unearthed memories hidden deep in the heart of a little girl trying to survive one day at a time began to rise to the surface during the long sleepless nights.
For the first time, I seriously doubted my ability to be the kind of mother I so desperately wanted to be.
I questioned my purpose, my value and my strength. Fear found a place to grow strong. It spilled over into my marriage, my friendships and my mothering. The need for perfection partnered hand-in-hand with fear, and my silent journey to prove that I could beat the odds of repeating all I vowed not to nearly tore me apart.
My life was spinning out of control, and I needed help making sense of it all.
Thankfully, God never leaves us alone in our desperate places. He had already gone before me in timing my path to cross with one who was all too familiar with the terrain I had yet to travel. Her story unfolded to an auditorium full of women, but I knew without a doubt her words were for me.
We shared space in the same dark places of childhood. We shared the same survival tactics and the same conviction to not allow our destiny to be dictated by our past. And that night, we shared the knowledge that following such a calling means choosing to walk through the darkness in order to grab hold of the light instead of just catching a glimpse of it.
So my journey of remembering and healing began. It’s been a long and often frustrating journey. To choose to travel a road we never wanted to be on is difficult and painful. To realize a fiery determination isn’t enough to accomplish our calling is an exercise in humility.
The time came when I had to acknowledge not only the darkness and fear threatening to consume me, but I also had to surrender it all to someone greater than myself. Walking out this calling of motherhood in a place of grace required nothing less…for the sake of my children…for the sake of my legacy…for the sake of me.
I don’t know what dark place overshadows your calling, but I’ve lived long enough to know one exists. It does for each of us. Fear. Insecurity. Doubt. Addiction. Dark places take on many forms; they aren’t respecters of any calling nor do they yield to even the fiercest determined heart.
But dark places are just that and nothing more. They bear only the power over us and our calling that we give them. And they have definitive boundaries - they can’t reside in the same place as hope or grace or forgiveness. Realizing this truth made all the difference for me. It made all the difference on my calling.
It gave me the courage to face each dark place with compassion instead of anger. I no longer had to fear another unearthed memory because even the worst was already being redeemed. The night terrors were calmed by the peaceful assurance that this was the process of equipping and healing me to walk out my calling with confidence and joy. Not in myself but in spite of myself.
Every dark place can be transformed by the light of the One who authored our calling.
We may not see the transformation right away because it takes time to clear and smooth rough terrain. There may be times when our view is blocked, our steps are unsure and we fail to choose the right fork in the road. But our calling is still our calling. No dark place has the power to change our calling if we don’t let it.
God will point the way and He will make a way and He will be with us all the way.
Crystal is an advocate of living outside of comfort zones as a means to unlocking hidden potential and experiencing God’s wild and uncontainable love. She writes on combining a little bit of intention with a lot of passion to create an overwhelming legacy of hope. She is the proud mother of a Professor of History, a Worship Pastor and a soon-to-be Biologist and also loves fresh markets, lattes and all things French. You can connect with Crystal through her Blog or on: Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest