whether or not Your lips move

You speak to me

so…. about that September 8, 2007

Filed under: calling,Deeper Still — Ash @ 10:09 pm

I started seminary… which means I think Isaiah is on hold for a bit. 

I’m in an intro to New Testament class and another called the Ministry of Leadership.  Both classes have been absolutely great.  NT has been a good refresher from undergrad, and with a bit more detail.   Min. of Leadership has been great in helping with clarifying some issues for me, while stirring up some others for me. 

The idea of having a “calling” has always been somewhat illusive and mysterious to me.  I’ve been looking back on the past many years of my life, looking at what I enjoyed doing as a child, taking personality tests, and such.  Trying to allow God to further clarify for me the next steps in the journey.  I just came from the Deeper Still conference (which was amazing btw) and came away with a few thoughts on calling, and other things that will probably need to wait for another post. 

I realized quite some time ago that I really struggle with fear and insecurity.  I think it is ok for me to be a little insecure and not quite so self-confident, because it means that God has to do more work than I do and therefore He gets credit.  And I pray almost daily with all my heart for God to remove any ounce of pride in me.  Fear however, can’t have a place in my life because perfect love casts out fear, God has not given me a spirit of fear, and all over the place in Scripture God is like, “Hey!  Be strong and courageous!”  And really, there’s too much to do and too much going on in this world and the one unseen for me to sit around peeing my pants in fear.  And apparently God wants to get through this message to be courageous because we’ve talked about it in class, it was talked about this weekend, and I’m reading it in just about every leadership book I’ve got on the list right now.

But back to the calling thing.  I think I’ve always felt a calling toward teaching God’s Word, whether through writing or teaching a ‘class’ or one on one.  And honestly, there is nothing that gets me more excited than searching Scripture and researching and having that “a-ha” discovery moment, and then helping someone else have an “a-ha” discovery moment.  I get bored very easily and have to always have some sort of challenge before me or else I start to kinda lose my mind.  So discovery is extremely important to me, and when I discover something I get super excited and just really want to tell whoever will listen. 

So therein lies some of my struggles with my calling– I fear not having anyone to tell.  (I’m pretty sure Aaron will tell me this is a silly fear since I technically am a published Bible study writer.)  I don’t want an audience, I don’t want fame, I don’t want money.  God spoke to me this weekend that even if the only ‘students’ I ever have are my own children, my masters degree will be worth it.  If there is only one person who is ever effected by my writing, it will be worth it.  I will have fulfilled my calling to help someone discover something new, look at something in a different way, to love God and others more. 

So I’ve been able to narrow the calling down to what it seems they’ve always been: write, teach, love college students (after being a wife and one-day-mom of course).  Now, what that all looks like is still a mystery to me in a lot of ways.  It’s a small percentage of people who get to write and teach full time.  And my reality right now is that I answer phones and do customer service (which is an important job but one that may or may not be a fulfillment of my calling).  Another thing God used to speak to me this weekend was the fact that King David was anointed as king of Israel at the age of 15, but it took 22 years for him to actually sit on the throne.  The day after he was anointed he went back to tending the sheep.  And then he got a promotion to taking lunch to his brothers.  BUT he was still the anointed king.  He didn’t just merely survive for 22 years (although he did do that, that Saul sure was out to get him), he thrived.  He took down Goliath, became a skilled warrior, nurtured a heart that beat for God.  And that’s what I need to do, too.

Well, that was a bit more than I expected to write tonight…

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One Response to “so…. about that”

  1. Hello to Ashley!

    I always enjoy reading your and Aaron’s posts since you both have ‘inquiring minds’ and put forth the time and effort to search, analyze and examine your life events and options. Not an easy task! 🙂

    In reply to this recent post, here are some thoughts you might ponder in the hopes that in the additional analysis you may discover some ‘gems’ to help you further develop and grow:

    1. Your comment: “So I’ve been able to narrow the calling down to what it seems they’ve always been: write, teach, love college students (after being a wife and one-day-mom of course). Now, what that all looks like is still a mystery to me in a lot of ways.”

    When trying to understand your ‘calling’….light is often shed when we ask ourselves these questions:
    ‘Is my calling Easy or Difficult?’
    ‘What parts of my calling am I exercising fully?’
    ‘How could I challenge myself to Raise the Bar?’

    Most readings and personal experiences show that often a ‘calling’ is a path one follows regardless of obstacles, lack of skill, lack of money, lack of experience, and regardless of other’s opinions.
    Think of all the people you have read about or know personally who in their life time have ‘lived their calling’? Examining their realities may give you a better light and discovery of what your real calling is and how to ‘live it’.

    Trying to acquire all those ‘things’ is irrelevant.
    A person that ‘lives their calling’ — just does it.
    Kind of like the Nike commercial. Make a list of 5
    biblical people and 5 modern day people who you think
    ‘lived their calling’.

    You may find some enlightening elements that will help you come to better terms with your own ‘calling’.

    Keep searching with objectivity, analytical ability, thinking ‘outside the box’ and listening to not only your heart, but also to the needs of the world where God’s children struggle every day.

    What is your calling?
    What group of people really needs your impact the most?
    What actions could you take in the future to ‘live your calling’?

    Taking down Goliath was a ‘difficult task’ – not an easy one. To truly become ‘skilled’ we must take actions every day that exercise us and allow us to ‘live our calling’.

    You are on the right path….and it is good to read how diligently you are working on finding ‘your answers in life’! Prayers and Love are with you.

    Love to all,
    Carmen Maria Linne


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