His Whispered Calling

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT

Last week on my third full week of snow days this school year I let myself dream for a few minutes. Everyone on my blog rolls is setting out on amazing adventures for God in 2014, and I, I am wandering in the wilderness on sabbatical.

I have officially not been involved in a ministry, or even a mission-minded volunteer position, for nineteen weeks. I’ve stepped away from things that have always seemed a part of me. Who I am.

No teaching kids. No organizing adults. No preparing to lead VBS clinics. No memorizing songs and motions to catchy VBS tunes months in advance. No singing as part of a worship team, church choir, or ensemble. No finding mission projects to donate to. No dreaming up ways to motivate and encourage my fellow believers. No making phone calls, sending texts or e-mails, or mailing cards.

I actually haven’t missed everything as much as I thought I would. But my desire to do started kicking in last week with a vengeance. 

What could I do?

It didn’t take long for a word to come to mind. Two actually.

Speak. You could speak.

“Speak? About what?”

You’re a teacher.

“That’s my job. It’s not who I am in Christ.”

It’s who I called you to be.

“Say what?! NO!”

See, I’ve wanted to know my calling for many years. I have friends who know their calling without a shadow of a doubt and have for what seems like all their lives. I, on the other hand, have been wandering from one thing to the next seeking my calling.

I want a calling. I have various gifts. Notice I’m not saying I’m gifted. I don’t think that at all. 

“I can’t be called to teach, Lord. Other people are called to teach. I’m not. You’re using them.”

Several years ago when I was serving as a youth leader I began to hear a still small voice whisper “teach” to me. I was very young. Inexperienced. Under emotional stress. And definitely not educated.

As the voice became more persistent, I began seeking what that might mean for me. And then a dear friend announced her call to teach. She testified with great detail about the call God had placed on her life. The vision she had seen. Scripture God had used to confirm her calling. She spoke of the Christian mentor who had counseled her. She absolutely glowed. God’s spirit was all over her.

And I knew.

In that instant I knew that God wasn’t calling me to teach. That was my friend’s calling, not mine.

Since that time I have been seeking my calling. A specific calling. A place to serve. A job title. Something to do for God.

And last week when I start dreaming about what I can do next for God, I hear a word.

I want to go serve. You know. Like to Honduras or Haiti or some other third world country. I want to work in missions. I want to start with nothing but God and watch Him go.

Instead, He whispers, “Teach.”

Yeah, I don’t know what to do with that. So, I’m praying. 

And I still can’t say it out loud. So I typed it.

photo credit: venspired via photopin cc

6 responses to this post.

  1. Carrie Ann, I'm visiting from the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am also an ordained minister, so I have a lot of experience with finding one's calling. I hope you are giving Christ some silent time each day, to speak into. I know He is trying to reach you and be clear with you. Also, teaching doesn't have to be standing in front of a group talking. I know a woman who is teaching English online to Chinese people. I also know that the shape and locations of God's call on our life may shift with time, as we get closer and closer, more and more attuned, more and more prepared for the astonishing work He has for us. Peace and grace to you! –Rev. Kebba Buckley Button


  2. I found your post very moving and motivating as you talk about your journey. I also know how finding yourself changes with time until you find your ultimate calling. Thanks for sharing


  3. Listen and seek and keep moving I say. Your calling is to be obedient to God. Sometimes we complicate it more than we should. I hope you are able to seek the answers that you are looking for. 🙂


  4. Kebba,

    I truly grinned when I read your response. I deleted a whole paragraph from this post. There are people who have been waiting for me to announce my calling to preach. I say that tongue in cheek. They're waiting to see the fallout if that happens because of my denomination. 🙂 So your response, being first of all things, truly made me smile!

    Please come back to chat again!!!


  5. Andrew,

    Yes, change is inevitable, isn't it? Life sure would be boring if everything stayed the same, though! Please stop in to chat again!


  6. Bec,

    I am queen of complicated. I really need to give up that badge. 🙂

    Thank you so much for dropping in with some encouragement! Please drop in again!


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