On Finding My Calling…Posted on Feb 3, 2013 | 3 comments
Knee-deep into the hardest part of the homeschooling year….when, a bit past the half year mark, the scholastic content is the most concentrated and/or challenging …I find myself, here, again….shivering in my bed with dread…afraid to face another difficult day of teaching. I have some children who sail through their studies, only now and then hitting turbulent waters…and when that happens, they remain there only for a short blip of time. I am so very thankful for this. But my other two, try though they may…get repeatedly hung up on the jagged reefs of remaining language barriers, learning disabilities, ADHD, etc., etc., and rarely make it out to the open sea.
This daily hits me at one of my most vulnerable and sensitive places in my soul. For my unproductive experience as a student was so difficult, it left me feeling desperately inadequate and panicky in a scholastic environment…and I vowed it must be, and would be different for my own children. Yet, here I am, watching some of my children struggle and flounder, trying not to drown, and regardless of my best intentions and strongest efforts…history repeats itself.
Do we Christians serve a God who gives us a ministry, only to stand by and watch us fail? This is a much debated topic among believers who are wrestling with circumstances in their lives that are challenging to the extreme. I do not know if that question can be boiled down to a simple “yes” or “no”. Perhaps the answer differs within the varying lessons each individual is desiring or needing to learn. As for me, I have spent the last six years through the overwhelming journey of adoption and homeschooling, shuddering at the thought of a Heavenly Father who bestows upon me a “calling”…only that I might resoundingly fail in it…no matter how sincerely my prayers were to succeed for His name’s sake.
Through a series of beautifully orchestrated events…small, but profound, I believe He at last gave me some much needed insight that did not change the difficulty of my task, but lifted my emotional load incredibly.
My “calling” was not to be a successful wife, biological and adoptive parent, or homeschooling mom. It never had been. These are the duties, responsibilities, and gifts He has chosen for my life, and the beloved charges given for me to keep…but not my “calling.” Tucked away into a small portion of scripture, I found my true “calling.”
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner of the CALLING to which you have been CALLED, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call…” Ephesians 4:1-4 ESV
What a relief! Not that this is easy for the natural man or woman, or even the professing believer….but, with a sincere heart relying on the power and strength of Jesus, a calling that absolutely can be filled.
This makes all the difference in every field or endeavor a Christian finds himself/herself led into or occupied with. For the missionary who saw only a few souls come to Christ, or maybe none at all, but faithfully showed love and kindness to those whom he/she lived among, they were yet successful in their calling. This makes all the difference to the businessman who gave all to his business, yet it floundered and caved, and left him and his family, penniless. If he lived out these principles to the best of his ability in Christ, his hope, throughout the business world… he was a success in his calling. This makes all the difference to the man/woman who did all they could to keep/restore a marriage which their spouse deserted. If the man/woman was living in the spirit of Ephesians 4:1-4, he/she is yet a success in his/her calling. Or the minister that bled his heart out trying to build/unite a church family…and yet, nothing remains of his congregation but fragments. Or the college student that has given the years and finances, and holds the degree for his/her desired career, and is still unemployed. This makes all the difference for me. If I have a child or children that are incapable of any educational/scholastic achievement…or a prodigal that is unwilling to make moral choices or desire virtuous living…, yet I am choosing humility with gentleness, patience, love, and peace as my responses to them…I am successfully living out my calling.
Our Father is not a cruel taskmaster. What He calls each of us to, in Him, we are able to carry out. Though we may have kingdoms, ministries, educational efforts, or relationships that fail…if our hope has been in Him, we can lift our heads and live in peace, secure that we have lived out our “calling” successfully.