when you need a new calling

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. I’ve been running. Wrestling. Maneuvering. Pouting. Hiding. Controlling. Hollering. Learning. Growing.

While this blog has been sitting unattended, God has been putting the past couple of years of my life into perspective. Funny how we see things the way we want to see them, and in reality, we’re blind to all that God has orchestrated around us.

My heart was locked up. Hands clenched in a death grip on something:  my dream, my plans for my future. Oh, I could dress it up for Sunday church and make it look pretty spiritual.

At some point, a few years ago, my calling became a stumbling block. It became my idol… the thing I worshipped and paid mental, emotional, and spiritual homage to. My calling became my god, and I had no idea things were so out of balance.

My true God– the Lover of my soul– He used His Jehovah-Rapha balm to heal and loosen my locked-up heart. He used the water of the Word to gently wash the film that had settled in over the eyes of my heart.

It started with a word He spoke during church a few months ago:

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God used that verse to open my eyes. It summed up a too-long season of my life. Six years ago, God gave me an awareness of eternity– of eternal things. He gave me a glimpse of my future and what He wanted to do in me. According to this verse, I cannot fully comprehend or understand the glimpses of eternity that He gives… but six years ago, I thought I understood it very clearly.

It would have been much easier if God had led me from that point of revelation right into the fulfillment of my calling. But that is not the way it happened.

He led me away from everything that I saw… into a season of pruning and refinement. It was as if He showed me that glorious thing and then spun me around and walked me in the complete opposite direction.

The truth of that Ecclesiastes verse played out. I couldn’t possibly… couldn’t fully understand this thing that God showed me.

Instead of trusting His timing and His sovereignty, I made my own plans. Any door that looked the slightest bit open became the object of my obsession. Any door that closed became kindling for the angry and bitter fire building in my heart. I used anything I could get my hands on–including this blog–to force His hand and bring about the fulfilment of my calling. My longing for God was slowly replaced by my longing for what He showed me. In some seasons, I could hardly bring myself to enter His presence because being near Him reminded me of what He’d showed me… what I felt He was withholding from me.

My calling had ceased to be a divine invitation to surrender myself into His hands and to participate in His will. It had become my only desire, the thing I was entitled to, the only thing that would make me happy. It seemed that I loved it more than I loved Him.

It was suffocating me, cutting me off from the One whose dream it was in the first place. How heartbroken He was to watch me run after this thing that He intended to give me when the time was right.

Then in March, I went to a retreat and God used the weekend to speak to me loudly and clearly on this issue. During one of the worship sessions, I saw myself in my mind’s eye, walking toward the throne of God, wearing a sash.

The name He’d given me during that glimpse into glory six years ago was on the sash. I knew immediately that He wanted me to take off the sash and lay it down before Him. This simple piece of fabric symbolized everything I had been holding on to. I realized in that moment that if I were not this– the words on the sash– then what was I? Who am I? Where will I go? What will I do?

In spite of the panic, I laid it down. Tears fell, chains fell, and I felt lighter. He beckoned me closer. I saw that He had another sash in His hands. I leaned forward and let Him place it over my head and then over my heart.

I looked down and saw a new name:

Seeker of His Face

 

This was the thing He had been talking to me about for months. This was no surprise. It was my true calling– no matter the season, location, or assignment. This was a calling I would not have to wait for. It was one that I could step into immediately and live out for all of my days.

And so here I am, trying to walk in my new calling. That old thing that He showed me… I don’t think it’s dead. Just terribly misshapen from my unwillingness to let go for so long. I left it at His feet for Him to worry about.

I’m not very good at this new calling. There are days I’d rather hide, days I’d rather been in someone else’s shoes. But there are days when I enter in… when I seek His face. And those are the best days ever.

For the first time in years, I’m learning to live in the present. I’m learning to appreciate what today holds. I’m learning to see God’s hand as the extension of His heart…. not the delivery system for my dreams.

Right now, in this moment, it’s enough to have Him and Him alone.

 

blessings,

Jamie

 

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