“What is ‘my calling’?” “What does God want me to do with my life?”
These are questions that I’m sure every Christian has asked themselves, myself included.
This has always been difficult for me because I am a planner. Whether it’s planning a party, a day at the beach, or my career, I love to have all the pieces in place. I love to plan exactly what’s going to happen, how to make it happen, and when it’s going to happen. I don’t like grey areas and I certainly HATE uncertainty.
Most of the time, this is a good quality to have. It helps me to get stuff done and it causes me to be very straightforward and black-and-white with people.
But when it comes to my trust in God…well…that’s another story.
It’s not that I don’t trust Him, I literally trust Him with my whole life! Although sometimes I wish He would be as straightforward with me as I am with Him. Sometimes I wish He would tell me exactly where I’m going and how to get there.
But really, what good would that do? If it was guaranteed that if I follow Jesus He will tell me exactly every move to make, then what would be the point? It wouldn’t require any faith. It wouldn’t require any trust!
I don’t love God because of what He can do for me, I love Him for who He is. Regardless of what I’m doing or not doing in my life, God is still God and I love Him the same.
In the past year (more specifically, the past few months or so), God has really helped me to understand what my “calling” is. He did not give me a spreadsheet and a to-do list that told me exactly what to do and how to do it.
He gave me a better understanding of who He is and who I am in His eyes. That’s the best thing I could ask for!
So today I want to share two things that I think can help us all find our calling. Yes, just two things! Although these two things are simple, they aren’t always easy…
1. Love God
That’s right, love God. I believe that this is the first step of being obedient to God. You cannot be a Christian if you have not fallen in love with Jesus.
For me, this actually took a while. As a matter of fact, I spent a few years thinking I was a Christian simply because I was going to church. It wasn’t until I came to a fork in the road with my schooling that I realized that this wasn’t true.
I was in nursing school when I first graduated high school. I knew I loved to help people and that nursing is definitely a stable career to have. If you’re a nurse, I’m sure you are basically guaranteed a job! That sounded good to me, so I went for it.
After a semester I started realizing that I hated nursing school. I could not picture myself doing it for the rest of my life. I realized that I had made the decision to go to nursing school without even asking God if that was what He wanted me to do.
I spent the whole weekend praying about school and asking God to show me what He wanted me to do—if He wanted me to stay in nursing school or do something else. His response came three days later. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it changed everything:
“Why would I tell you what I want you to do with your life when you haven’t even fallen in love with Me yet?”
That question changed my life. After that night, I really started to get to know Jesus for myself. I didn’t just listen to sermons about Him at church. I pursued Him on my own and we built our own relationship. I read His Word and talked with Him and prayed to Him. He has become my best friend and I want nothing more in this life than Him.
You can’t want the same things for your life that God wants if you don’t love Him. When you really love God and have a personal relationship with Him, you will want nothing more than to do whatever He tells you to do.
2. Follow God
This revelation is newer to me. It’s a concept I’ve known for a while, but I wasn’t looking at it from the right perspective.
God hasn’t given me a book titled “God’s Calling for Christine Darmanin’s Life and How to Get There,” but I was almost expecting Him to give me something like that. How could I follow God if I didn’t know where He was taking me?
Here is what I have realized recently: following God doesn’t always mean “pursuing your calling”…at first. I think that following God means—simply put—following Him.
I think about the Israelites in the desert after they fled Egypt. In the Old Testament when Moses was leading the Israelites, God’s presence appeared to them as a cloud.
“Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the LORD’s command wherever he told them to go.”—Numbers 9:17-18
The Israelites followed God even though they didn’t know the route. They didn’t know where they were going next or how long they would be there. All they knew is that they had to follow God and if they didn’t, they would be lost. That is what God wants from us. He just wants us to watch where He is going and to be obedient enough to go with Him.
Sometimes Christians get so wrapped up in figuring out exactly which path they’re supposed to go down that they forget why they’re searching for it (I’m guilty as charged). It’s not for our own comfort or our own security. It’s not so we can rest at night and not have to worry about what career we are or aren’t supposed to have.
It’s so we can do exactly what God made us to do.
There’s nothing worse than not being who God created you to be. And I would know because I didn’t even know Jesus until I was in high school.
What God made us to do—”our calling”—is really very simple, and it’s the same for us all: love God and love people.
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”—Matthew 22:37-39
We don’t need to sit around waiting for God to give us a revelation of what we should be doing. He has already told us what to do.
If we’re doing those things where we are with what we have, then we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. If we’re loving God, loving people, and being obedient, we don’t have to worry about exactly where we’re going.
If we’re constantly trying to see where we’re going, we can’t focus on the way to get there: Jesus.
The future isn’t always spelled out for us. I’m not sure if there is even an end point in this life. I don’t think that even being settled into a career can give us the ability to say, “I have arrived! I’m now where God wants me to be.” God is never done growing us, using us, and leading us. There will always be a new adventure ahead of us!
If we’re simply following Jesus, then we’re where we are supposed to be.
I’ve said all of this to say: don’t worry about the future, as cliche as it sounds. All you have to worry about is being completely sold out to the One who knows your future and has already seen you in it. He will get you where you need to be. After that, He will get you to where you need to be next. He will lead you again and again throughout this life, and if you’re in His will then you won’t have to worry about what to do next.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” -John 10:27