Note: This post is a continuation of a conversation about calling, which started with my post The Story of how I Meandered My Way to My Calling, the Epiphany that Changed My Life, and Encouragement for Your Journey (formerly titled, Finding Your Calling, Part 1). You can read that post here.
During my first year as a counselor, a former professor invited me to her classroom to speak to her counseling students. She wanted me to share about what it was like to actually be working in the field. Near the end of our talk, one student gushed, “It must be so wonderful to finally be doing what you really love!”
I was at a loss for words. Scrambling for an appropriate response, I pasted on a tight smile and mumbled a weak, “Yeah.” I felt embarrassed that I couldn’t respond with an exuberant, Yes! It’s amazing!
As time wore on and I pondered my dissatisfaction with my career, I sometimes thought, Well, this is hard work and a sacrifice, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Maybe I’m not meant to feel super excited.
While it’s certainly true that our callings will require hard work and sacrifice, our calling shouldn’t leave our soul underwhelmed and drained of life. Instead, we’re designed to feel a deep passion for the mission God has entrusted to us. It’s this God-breathed passion that fuels our motivation and propels us forward in the midst of the challenges that we’ll inevitably encounter.
While I was doing counseling, I didn’t have the passion that made sacrifice a joy. It took me a long time to realize that things could be different.
Maybe you’ve been in a similar spot and have felt that doing God’s work should be all sacrifice and no passion. Perhaps you’ve even feared that God might specifically call you to something you really don’t want to do. I think the classic example of this is the fear of being called as a missionary to Africa.
I love what Heidi Baker, an actual missionary to Africa, says about this common Christian worry: “God is kind. He may or may not call you to Africa, but if He does, you will love Africa.” (From her book Birthing the Miraculous.)
God is kind. What He has called you to, you will love.
I believe this is one reason why Jesus says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Just think on that for a moment. He doesn’t say that His yoke is hard and His burden is heavy. No, His call is easy, and it is light.
God doesn’t call us to soul-crushing work that we dislike or feel neutral about. He calls us to work that, when we are in right relationship with Him, we are happy to pour our lives into. Work that, even when stretching and costly, is seasoned with joy.
Sometimes to get to that place of loving our calling we have to face fears. And sometimes we just have to trust that He knows us better than we know ourselves. We have to trust that He is good and that He always has our best interest at heart.
If you’re trying to understand your calling, take some time to reflect on what makes you feel joy. What ignites passion in your heart? What do you want to sacrifice for? Who do you dream of helping?
And if you feel like what you’re doing right now is draining the life from you, why do you think this is? Take some time to talk to God about how you feel. Be honest—with Him and with yourself.
He is kind, and His burden is light. Imagine how it might feel to partner with Him in joyfully changing your corner of the world!
P.S. Do you feel God nudging you to move forward in a dream or goal, but you’re wondering, How do I start? I’m here to help! Check out my coaching pathways here to learn more.
If they obey and serve Him, they will end their days in prosperity and their years in happiness. Job 36:11
I want to hear from you!
Have you ever wondered if you should feel joyful about what God has called you to? What is one area of your life where you consistently experience joy? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
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