Remember what I said about thinking I need to be living Kristen Welch’s calling because in the trap of comparison the devil wants me to think my calling isn’t enough? But if I’m trying to live her calling, who is living mine? And maybe, just maybe, I’m not supposed to live her calling, because maybe God wants to use all our individual callings together for a much greater kingdom purpose than we could ever know or imagine! If we’re trying to be each other, who is being us and what actually is getting done for the kingdom?
At the beginning of this year, my ministry prayer team challenged me to define my purpose, vision and mission. In other words, my calling! If I don’t know what it is, they stressed, how will I know if what I’m doing lines up? While I actually hate that kind of stuff with a passion, God made it clear He was using them to steer and challenge me. So one morning, with no effort on my part other than to be still, listen and record, the Lord clearly defined all three! So I’m actually very clear about my calling. It is to study, live and teach God’s word with honesty and transparency and to write Bible studies to help women know the truth so they can walk free of the sin and idolatry that weighs them down and keeps them bound by strongholds, yoked to the wrong people, thinking, ideas and activities.
That’s not to say God is not asking me to volunteer, serve, go, touch and love the hurting and the lost. It just might not look exactly the same as when someone else is doing it. The most important thing is this: does it look like surrendered obedience to whatever God is asking me?
We each have to look at our own lives in their entirety, holding scripture up to our hearts, our thoughts, our actions and our obedience. And sometimes, God will use another person to ground us and get us back on track again! This time it was my husband.
I am so black and white, all or nothing: it’s either this way or no way, and in some things, that is good! James, on the other hand, sees the entire spectrum of color, including black and white, so he sees more than me, or at least differently, and I need his perspective. While I think we should sell all and fly off to foreign lands at the drop of a hat because that’s what I have decided real world-changers do, James sees the assignment God has placed right before us: He has given us a business to run. Right now, in this season of our lives, it is our vocation and mission. It is the thing God has before us, and until God (not Shauna) changes that, it is what we are to do with excellence as unto Him, because it’s His assignment for us. And because God’s assignment to me is to be James’ helpmate, not just as his wife, but in our business, my immediate assignment and priority behind loving God with all my heart, mind, strength and soul is to serve James.
James also sees clearly how God is using our business to make certain things He’s put on our hearts possible, like needs our business enables us to meet. And here’s the biggie: The very thing I like to blame for not being able to do more of what I want to in “ministry” is the very thing God is using to provide me with the resources and flexibility for ministry!
As James and I talked about our different perspectives the other day (because he was feeling judged by me and we were talking about why), he explained that part of why he works so hard is not just to support our family with physical provision, but he works hard to support the call God has put on my life. The more I take on, the harder it is on him. I put even more on his shoulders than is already there when I get distracted or just downright rebellious about what I want to be doing that has nothing to do with work! Ouch! And then when I shift my focus to others and compare James and our life to theirs with discontentment and disdain… It’s not a pretty picture is it?
When I compare myself to another person’s calling, decide I’m not doing enough and pour my thoughts and efforts into doing more to measure up, I am working against the very ones who are working for me: God and my husband. I am getting ahead of God and James because I think I know something or know better, and I am neglecting the very thing God has given us as a means for giving me what I need to do what He’s called me to do.
Good gracious, how’s that for painfully transparent honesty? Precious Jesus, thank You for Your blood and the forgiveness of my every sin!
Kristen’s calling to go and change the world by creating jobs in Jesus’ name for hurting, oppressed and abused women is helped by God’s assignment to James and me to run our business for His glory. It is helped as the flexibility and availability my job gives me allows me to do what I can to spread the word about her books, Mercy House, their market, online store and Fair Trade Friday. It is helped by my calling to teach women through God’s word how to get free of the sin and idolatry that keeps them from walking in their calling! And you know what? Their calling might be to volunteer, and go, and be hands and feet serving alongside world changers like Kristen, even when my hands and feet are tied up with my assignments and calling. I may not be able to go and do as much as I wish I could, but if I am doing what God has put on my heart to do, then I can trust that in Him, it is enough.
So there’s a bit more I want to share tomorrow! Feast or famine, right? I haven’t written much in the longest time and now several days in a row. Hope it’s not inbox abuse!