God puts it on my heart to write. I guess I’ve always known that, even in the days of hiding in my room behind my journal, but I’ve never called it like it is. I always saw my writing as a hobby, something I’m good at and enjoy doing, but I’ve never seen it like I know God sees it: my calling.
If you’ve been following my blog since I started it back in March, you’ve probably been wondering where I’m at with God. I’m going to be honest, I am that Christian who puts God on a shelf and only lets Him into the areas of my life that I’m comfortable with. God is not the center of my life, but I’d like for Him to be.
That’s easier said than done.
My broken-sinner-self made it to church this past Sunday, for the first time in I don’t know how long. I think I maybe went to church once over the summer. I’m not proud of that, but I can be honest about it. And it’s not that I was occupied being “bad” over the summer, I was actually fairly good. I just didn’t prioritize my faith.
I began this post stating that God puts it on my heart to write. After Justin Jenkins’s sermon on Sunday at The Cause on the plaza in Kansas City (he’s actually the pastor at Velocity Church in Lawrence, KS), I knew I had to reflect on the way God spoke to me through Justin. I’m just getting around to it tonight because, well, you know, life.
And that’s just it: LIFE. Life always goes on and it always seems to be getting in the way of what WE want, which brings me to the first question Justin prosed: When God reaches out to you, is it an inconvenience or an invitation?
Justin spoke from chapters one through four of Jonah, and I know what you’re thinking now: at church on Sunday I learned about the hardships of living inside of a fish for three days and three nights. As useful as that knowledge may or may not be later in my life, that was not the point of Justin’s sermon. In fact, he barely mentioned it.
If you’re like me, not biblically savvy, you don’t know much about the Bible except the things they taught you in Sunday school. You know, the big picture ideas and miracles like Jonah surviving a trip to a fish’s esophagus.
When you’re (becoming) an adult the Bible (and honestly classic literature in general) actually makes so much sense and it’s almost always applicable to your life. I might just be super passionate about it since I’m so pumped about beginning my journey to be an English teacher, but seriously everyone, all of the old dead guys didn’t just write the things they did because they had nothing better to do… They’re really trying to help us understand life!
Back to my calling, and just callings in general. I think most people spend their whole life, or the majority of it at least, walking around waiting for that moment. You know, the moment where all of the dots connect and everything finally makes sense.
I have great news that Justin brought to my attention. Your calling, whatever it might be, is a calling as soon as you call it like it is. And God doesn’t give up on you. He’ll do whatever it takes to give you your moment.
Something Justin said that hit really close to my heart was that God turns your misery into your ministry. We all define misery differently, but I experienced what I believe to be true misery, for the first time, during my freshman year of college, which is what lead me to the path I’m taking today. The misery of my freshman year is why I want to teach high school. How can something so negative be the reason for something so positive in my life? I don’t know, but a lot of times, that’s how God diverts our senses to Him.
I realized I began talking about this sermon in relation to Jonah, but I never actually explained the relationship. I questioned Homer’s written account of the Odyssey in class a couple of weeks ago, but clearly I have no right since I’m just as scattered as he is (ugh literary humor, that day has come).
So Jonah ended up in that fish’s belly because he was rebelling from God. God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh, but Jonah was not having it because he didn’t think he could help the people there. Jonah didn’t trust God. So God sent a storm to torment Jonah and his crew at sea, and Jonah, in an attempt to sacrifice himself and save his crew, dove overboard in hopes of God calming the storm.
Here we find Jonah in the fish’s belly. God is still looking to bless you even when you’re rebelling, and although the blessings might be in disguise (swallowed by a giant fish), they are blessings nonetheless. They bring you back to where you need to be to notice your calling.
The fish spits Jonah up on the shores of Nineveh, exactly where God wanted him to be. Jonah is still reluctant to trust God, but God definitely has Jonah’s attention. I don’t want to rehash Jonah’s whole story for you, but the point is that through Jonah we learn to embrace what we are called to do rather than run from it.
Avid readers of my blog and those close to me know that my life so far has been a great deal of running. I use the excuse that I’m young and I shouldn’t have everything figured out yet, but what if I could, right now, turn to God and call His plan for me like it is? What if I become consumed with my calling rather than my convenience?
Trusting God can be uncomfortable, but that’s how you know God is redirecting you to His calling. Ironically enough, my mom and brother heard a sermon at our church on Sunday about worrying.
We shouldn’t worry; He’s got this.
I’m a HUGE worrier, especially when I’m uncomfortable. And I’m not going to lie; I’m starting to become uncomfortable with commuting, class, work, studying, Alpha Phi and a sparse social life. Am I where God wants me to be? Maybe… I know I like to think so.
I started off my week feeling like I was trapped in the belly of a fish, but God came through and had me spit up right where I need to be. Spoiler alert A Phi sisters: I’m leading the sisterhood event this Wednesday, and the topic of the activity I have planned is pathways.
I’ll leave you with this question: Is your life about your preferences or a bigger purpose?