Welcome to Day One of the Follow Your Call Series!
Here's my story of following God's call even when it's risky. It's not easy, but it is one of the most amazing things when we leap into the call that God has for us.
I hope this post will inspire you to seek out God's call on your own life. And don't miss the giveaway for the Find Your Calling Study at the end!
You must know - I was never the most spontaneous person.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of spontaneity, but when it comes down to it, I prefer to think things over for a while, ask others their opinions and spend time praying. Lots and lots of time.
You may wonder if I’m an over-thinker. I am. I consider every possibility of every decision before I make it.
I berate myself with the what-if’s and the fear of choosing wrong.
So let me tell you how I got to the point of quitting a Master’s program and diving into an unreliable, risky and uncertain job path.
The Confusing Juggle of Job Searching
I graduated college with a degree in Biopsychology. I loved it and it deepened my understanding of how people work and the science behind it. But this major does not set you up for a right-out-of-college job.
I loved psychology and I loved helping people. So naturally, I decided to pursue a Master’s in counseling.
I was quick to discover that counseling wasn’t for me. I love to counsel, mentor and support. But I love to do these things as a friend, not a professional. After discovering that, I moved back home and got a job-which I LOVED.
Starting to see the pattern? I love lots of things.
I worked in a Multiple Learning Needs program with children with autism, ADHD and other amazing kids. I had a knack for understanding these kids and helping them overcome their challenges and find success and I thrived in this job.
But it was really a temporary job because I was getting married and moving states. And so I continued to wrack my mind for what I wanted to do with my life.
I felt pressure on all sides to pursue something greater, something reliable, something that would be sure to provide for me no matter where my life took me.
So I juggled several ideas-teaching, research, psychology, nursing. I prayed and researched programs and tried to decide which would allow me the most freedom to do what I really wanted to do - write.
In the end, I decided on teaching. It would work, right? Summers off, snow days, no weekends. I’d have the life I wanted and I’d be able to use all those free times to write.
I dug into an online Master’s and with the program’s convenience and accessibility, I was breezing through the coursework. I love kids, I love helping kids learn and I love the idea of teaching.
But this all was put to the test when it was time for the student teaching portion.
My program was a mess. Online programs are great, but when it comes to placing you in a real school - they really fall short.
The staff treated me terribly for pushing for a closer location and I felt attacked on all sides.
Things weren’t going smoothly anymore. And it was a slap in the face to look at the situation a little more closely.
I tried SO hard to find a way to make it work. I spent hours researching every school within a reasonable radius, created spreadsheets, made phone calls, sent emails and filled out forms. I stressed day and night about finding something, anything.
And door after door was slammed shut.
What was I doing wrong? I’d prayed about this path. I thought God called me to it?
God put an option before me. A placement that had a con list triple the size of the pro. It would wear me thin and drain me. It would make for a terrible semester on every front in my life. But it was there.
It was as if God was saying, “If you really want to do this, here’s the option. But if you listen to Me, I have something so much greater.”
I couldn’t fight this feeling and so finally, I broke down and I started listening. I stopped forging ahead and trying to fit my ideas of what was best into God’s plan. Instead, I sought God’s will and boy, was I amazed.
God had been there all along, but my voice had drowned Him out over and over again.
I had listened to the pressure and sought the comfort of the world, the financial stability that only God could truly provide.
Slowly, the idea of writing began to take hold. I spent a lot of time talking through the options with my husband and those I trust and I realized that teaching was not what I had made it out to be.
I have friends that teach and I admire them deeply for it. They never stop. It’s a lot of work and it is SUCH an important job. But it was nothing like I had pictured. And it wasn't fitting into the box I'd put God into.
All while this was happening, God was opening doors beyond belief in another direction. I started this blog and I was getting GREAT feedback. I was learning ways that I could actually make money writing. Something I never dreamed of becoming a reality.
So I had to decide. Do I forge into the difficult, draining and yet reliable path of becoming a teacher?
Or do I take a leap of faith and jump into the unknown of writing and follow the call that God placed before me?
I did it. I took the leap. My husband and I took a careful look at our budget, a part-time job fell into place, and my blog was growing-fast.
What seemed to be a crazy and stupid decision to most people, was actually working out.
And as I did this, I received support and affirmation in constant and overwhelming waves.
Responding to God’s call took something that most of us aren’t good at.
Most of us talk at God and not with Him. We come to God with our expectations and the perfect idea of what we want out of life.
I was doing just that. It wasn’t until I stepped back and realized God’s unfathomable power that I started to see that all along, He was calling me to simply listen.
Every time I had been faced with the “What do I do with my life?” question, God had been there with an answer. I can clearly remember writing being placed before me time and time again. But I had brushed it off every time. It wasn’t reliable, it wasn’t steady, it wasn’t possible.
My idea of God’s power was far from the truth.
I need to remember to listen to Him before I rush into my spiel of what I expect from life and what I think I need to get by.
I had to take God out of a box.
My faith has changed radically and because of this, so has my life.
God calls us to follow Him. He calls us to leave the comfort of the world, of backup plans and guarantees, because there is no true comfort in this world.
Things can change in an instant. God is the only true comfort we can hold onto. Our hope is not in this world, but in the next. Our hope is in Christ and our salvation.
And yet I am constantly comparing myself with those around me. What’s wrong with me that I’m not working a full-time, high-paying job with benefits? Who do I think I am-trusting God to provide?
And every time I fall to this thinking, my writing suffers. My heart leaves the call that God placed in my life and falls to wondering if I should turn back and run to something I can control.
But God does not call us to a place to leave us there.
No, I believe that when we have the courage to follow Him into the unknown, He will not only transform our lives, but He will transform our hearts.
Over the next two months, you will see posts from some of my favorite bloggers who took their own leap in following God’s call. These people, like me, are faced challenges on their way to leaping into the unknown. And God met them there. These stories have encouraged and inspired me and I hope that they will do the same for you!
Don't miss the giveaway below as we countdown to the Find Your Calling Study final release!