Stop Running From Your Calling!
Christians, not doing what God has called you to do is nothing but selfishness. Call it insecurity. Call it fear. Call it being ill-equipped. It’s none of the above. It’s pure selfishness and self-centeredness... I’m calling myself out as well.
I have a dear friend who has wanted to become a foster mom for years. She has gotten her family involved in the decision and everyone agrees. Her husband is on board. Her kids are, too. She has support in her community with family and friends. She has done all the classes and paperwork and is ready to take babies and kids into her home.
BUT she is busy. She works, her kids are teenagers, but ultimately, I believe she’s scared.
I get it. It’s hard to open your home and your heart to a new kid or baby that won’t be with you for very long. She is scared that she won’t be good at it or be able to handle the pressure. She’s worried about how it might change her family and that things might happen that she doesn’t know how to deal with. She is mostly scared of the unknown and stepping in.
Do you know who is not scared of the above? Foster parents who are truly unequipped, not ready, and unhealthy for those kids. The parents who shouldn’t be taking kids into their homes in the first place have no fears about it. Why? Because they are doing it for all the wrong reasons.
They don’t care about creating a healthy, safe environment for those kids. She does. They don’t care about being a good temporary parent to those kids. She does. They don’t care that the children or their families will have a hard time adjusting. She does!
That makes her a perfect foster mom and her family perfect for taking those kids in. Truthfully, I’d be nervous for those foster kids if she wasn’t scared.
She will face challenges in which she has no idea how to handle. She will have days that she is tired, overwhelmed, and wondering what in the world she was thinking to take on such a challenge. Of course, she is unprepared since no one can completely prepare anyone to take care of a child.
It’s no different when pregnant moms prepare for birth. We can gather all the supplies, read all the books, talk to a million moms, but everything changes once that baby is in your arms. Suddenly your mind goes blank and you wonder, like me, how you will keep this precious little one alive.
She will feel the same overwhelm… most likely, each and every time a new child comes into her home.
But that child, with her being obedient to God’s calling, will have a foster mom and family who is scared. They are scared for the right reasons. They desire to provide a happy and healthy home to that child, hoping that they feel secure for the short time they are in the home. They will see a family who loves each other. Sure, they will fight and be tired and stressed, but they ultimately reflect what healthy families look like. They are imperfect but desire good for each other.
Maybe you feel that way with what God has called you to do. You are too scared to do it because you might fail. Well, let me be honest with you. You might fail, so what? Does that mean you shouldn’t try? Does that mean you’re not right for the job? Absolutely not!!
Stepping into a huge risk means that you most likely will struggle and fail along the path. That’s part of it, so expect it.
I told her that pride in writers is a horrible thing. When writers are prideful, it often means that they are really bad writers. Good writers obsess about their writing, they struggle to put their stuff out there to be criticized, and ultimately desire to connect to and build a relationship with their audience. They get scared because they know they are putting their heart out there to be picked apart and criticized. It’s hard to be that vulnerable.
I am reading an article about J. R. Tolkien to share with my British Literature class called “Slaying Monsters.” It’s about how Tolkien translated Beowulf from Old English but he never published it. He also translated both “Pearl” and “Sir Gawain” which would have been printed if he would have simply finished writing the introductions. And after writing “The Hobbit,” he laid it aside for years until urged by a publisher to finish it.
J. R. Tolkien almost didn’t publish the Hobbit. Seriously?!? Although this feels surprising, it’s not at all surprising. Most famous authors go through this same challenge. They write but don’t finish because of fear, perfectionism, or overthinking. They stop. They avoid it.
They run from their calling.
If we run from what God asked us to do, we are being selfish. If J. R. Tolkien didn’t publish the Hobbit, our culture would be missing something that only he could give us. If my friend doesn’t become a foster mom, those little ones are missing an opportunity to be a part of a wonderful, loving family, even if only for a short time. She also misses the opportunity to be blessed by those children. Her family misses the opportunity to open their home to another in need and really understand the concept of serving the “orphans and widows.”
You also have an opportunity. God called you to do something special. It’s time to stop being selfish. No more being scared. Step in!! He didn’t ask you to wait to be perfect. He already knows you’re not. You will struggle and fail, we all do. Do it anyway. It’s time. No more waiting. No more holding on to the gift and talent that God gave you to share. Step into your calling today!
P.S. Do you know your calling? Intimacy with God reveals our calling. I talk more about this in my newly published book: Into the Depths: Pursue Your Calling Through Intimacy with God. In that book, I not only tell you my story but also share my experience as a Jonah, running from my calling. And I have included journal questions and space to respond on every page of the journey.