As a Christian, finding your calling in life can be very difficult. When we talk calling, we’re talking about the God given call on your life to serve Him in whatever way He designed you to serve. For some people it’s full-time ministry, for some people it’s being a stay at home mother, and for others it’s showing the light of Jesus in the corporate world. Discovering your personal, individual calling can be tricky simply because we live in a world where we want an instantaneous answer from heaven about the framework of our lives and, as we all know, that’s not usually how God operates. Each individual believer has to spend time with the Lord in prayer, scripture, and through experience to discover their calling. For some people, they know at age eleven at Bible camp. For others, God develops their passions and drive for their calling in college. Sometimes, people are in their late sixties before they come to know Jesus and follow His direction for their lives. We don’t all hear the same way, and we aren’t all on the same timeline. The good news is, most people will tell you everything I just said. The bad news is, people don’t tell you that figuring out with Jesus what your call in life is, is only the beginning.
In my mind, I thought it was pretty simple after you get step one down. I’ve had a call for ministry on my life since I was a teenager. Over the years, God has developed passions, giftings, and talents for me to use in more specific areas of ministry. That alone is not an easy train ride down the mountain of figuring life out. Getting to a place of knowing where I wanted to serve was worked out through God using the most terrible, painful, heart-wrenching experiences in my life. Once it became more clear to me, I figured the hard part was over, all the doors would open, God would give me a ministry, everyone would warmly welcome me, and we would all be besties and it would look like the Jesus-loving version of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Spoiler alert: It was not. I’m speaking from a place of only knowing what I [think] God wants me to pursue with my life for a few years. I’ve just dipped my toe into the side of the pool, and it’s been the most challenging years of my life. People don’t tell you that, and it’s unfortunate that they don’t because the most challenging, gut-wrenching, and tear-filled times have given me the most growth, benefit, and ministry experience.
Another thing that people don’t tell you is when you’ve found what you want to pursue, it can also simultaneously be the most discouraging time in your life. Before I submersed my life into ministry, I had no doubts that it’s what I wanted to do. When I actually started to jump into it, it felt like the sky was falling. The spiritual warfare gets heavy when you become a threat. Being a God-loving, Spirit-filled, calling-driven individual makes you formidable in the spiritual realm, and that’s when the enemy comes at you hard, and usually he aims straight at your identity. As a believer with a purpose, the easiest way for the enemy to derail you is through attacking who you are. If you view yourself as a worthless, shame-filled individual and you're focused on your own insecurities and pain, there isn’t a lot God can do with you until you get out of that pit. No one will tell you is that these discouraging times are some of the most important and instrumental in becoming firm and strong in your identity in the Lord.
When you find yourself on the road to your call in life, when you’re pursuing Jesus with all of your heart, when you dive into the pool head-first, don’t get discouraged. When you’re giving ministry your all but you feel the empty feelings of loneliness, cling to Jesus tighter and keep fighting. When people tell you why they think you should step away from your ministry, why making money or having fame is more important, remember God’s love for you and why you need to share it with others. When your character, heart, and emotions get a full attack from the enemy, rebuke Satan and his work, strongly proclaim God’s power on your life, and remind the enemy you are a child of God, and no one may tell you anything different.
The ride won’t be smooth. The grass won’t always be green. It won’t always be a happy sitcom about best friends loving Jesus, but there is nothing that has more worth, value, or satisfaction that knowing what God is asking you to do, and doing it.
KYLE LOVES TORI PHOTOGRAPHY