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Be worthy of the calling you have received

worthy of the calling

I’m a big believer in calling. By calling I don’t mean you that personal feeling that you love something or feel drawn or brought to life by an activity or purposeful act. What I’m referring to is that actual feeling that you are being LED.

CALLED.

In fact sometimes you don’t really want to do the thing at all. Most times in my experience it brushes up against your deepest fears and insecurities — it requires you to step out of your comfort zone, out of your place of knowledge or skill level and into something where you have to depend on God.

In fact sometimes it requires you to step straight into the voices criticism and harsh judgment and surrender. Surrender to the power you do not have, the people you cannot control and the relationships you thought you knew.

Sometimes you are called to go through that. Called NOT to stop in the middle of it because it’s too hard, or too messy or too risky, embarrassing or shameful. Because it might hurt your pride. No.

You were made with a calling no one else in the whole world has, but you.

But that doesn’t mean its going to be easy. In fact, when God has a plan for your life, chances are it’s going to be hard. Because the people and places and things we cling to in this life will be tested. Many will fall away. Many will criticize your nature, your personality, your gifts and abilities as if they are a bad thing or a weakness, but God crafted them in you for His glory. Your apparent weakness is so that His strength might be made known.

Each of us is crafted with a purpose buried in the fertile soil of our heart. We tend it and nurture it by the way we speak to ourselves and the way we allow others to speak to us. This world is not getting any easier but I wonder if it isn’t that you and I were born for such a time as this.

It’s easy to look around and see people living out their purpose. Living out lives called by God to write, teach, sing, play, inspire, counsel, mentor, heal, and love. Everywhere you look, in every profession and vocation, you see people living out this dream. And you and I? We see the highlight reel. We see the pretty images and the status updates that highlight success and achievement and we have a hard time imagining the loss. Let me just tell you plainly: When you commit to follow after God and the call He has placed on your life, there will be loss.

Does that mean we don’t go? That we don’t choose to believe that the glory will be so much greater than losing what we never even had to begin with? I’ll just tell you again plainly: You keep going. 

Loss will come, but so will life.

As we commit to follow Him it’s so easy to wonder: where do I fit in? The world already has their amazing voices, what does mine matter? Who am I? What can I give that isn’t already being done, said, lived out so much better than I could do?

And that, my friend, is a lie.

That is the voice of perfection, insecurity, shame and unworthiness. The same loud-mouth voices that get in front of our gifts and try to make us stop. Stop searching, dreaming, living out the plan and purpose planted in us from the beginning. From the very start. I ask you: Who are you NOT to be, live, dance, sing, write, speak, love? 

Ephesians 4:1 tells us: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a  life worthy of the calling you have received.” 

I struggle to understand what that means practically. We have these regular lives we have to somehow live too. As wives, moms, daughters, homemakers, breadwinners, caregivers, friends — where does this fit? How do we make ourselves worthy of the calling when there is just so much to do? I won’t pretend that I have the answer. I won’t lie and offer you a made-up checklist on how you can live a balanced life because it would be a joke. “Balance” has become this trendy idea that everyone talks about but no one knows what it means. I don’t know how to balance it all but I fail and I try and I keep moving forward in the best way I know how. I don’t know any more about it than that.

But I do know that living our lives all-in with Jesus  and committed to the calling He has placed on our life requires sacrifice. Sacrifice of our old self and sinful ways, yes, but also sacrifice of some really good things that we love.

As I have been walking out my faith – following God where He leads – I have noticed a necessary falling away from things of this world. He is changing me. Changing not only the things I love, but the desires of my heart. Where I once craved the mindless numbing of a television show, I now crave the deep introspection of a good book. Where I once craved the company of a group, I now savor the solitude of silence. In my quest to draw closer to Him, He is drawing nearer to me and in the most beautiful, humbling, miraculous ways, He is making me new.

I realize that I was given this life to live it well and to live it for Him. My husband, my three precious, wonderful, amazing little boys – they are my first ministry. The very beating breath of my heart. My calling – the dream God planted in my heart from the very first moment of life – that is my purpose.

Just two things. My family, and my purpose serving God, is the heart of who I am and the soul of my life — and everything else is secondary to these things.

I love people and friends and the same ordinary, everyday things that you do. But unless and until I have accomplished what is needed to be done in my primary relationships – my first responsibilities – then these things wait. And unless and until these secondary things add to my ability to do the first things well, well then…they wait longer. And if those secondary things completely oppose my ability to do the first things, then by God’s grace I must allow them to go.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m just a simple small-town girl with a passion for loving my family and serving God with all of my heart. I’m trying to make sense of this life, my responsibilities and my calling just as much as you. For each of us that looks different — and that’s okay. It’s meant to. Your dreams aren’t my dreams and my ideas aren’t your ideas. God made us different for very good reason and all of them are good. But I believe when we start a conversation — an honest, open, loving conversation even when (and perhaps especially when) we disagree — that is how we grow. It’s how we try in all our messy humanness to run this race by faith so that at the end of our life we can meet our Father and say I did the best I could with what I had. Father God, thank you for trusting me with little hearts and minds and allowing me to be your hands and feet on this earth.

For me that means starting with first things first, and second things second, so long as they allow or encourage me to keep the first things first.


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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Lynn Farley February 28, 2014, 12:07 pm

    I loved today’s blog on “Your calling”. I am so happy to read about your growth. I find it restoring and encouraging. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing of deep things.
    Lynn

    • Tammy March 3, 2014, 2:30 pm

      Thank you Lynn! It is such an honor to have you here. xoxo

  • Tina Evans February 28, 2014, 4:33 pm

    What a wonderful uplifting post you wrote. It has blessed me and created a new strength in me, to continue on with my fight to live the life He wants me to live. It can be a weary walk, however, I believe and am seeing that when I feel that weariness seep into my heart and soul, I need to stop and pray and read the bible. If doesn’t matter what I read, anything I read will calm my soul and allow a renewing of my mind. I love this quote from you “Where I once craved the mindless numbing of a television show, I now crave the deep introspection of a good book.” I feel exactly the same way and have been slowly canceling all my recorded shows. It is a freeing and liberating experience to continually have the desire to read the bible or a great book than have the desire to watch numbing TV. Again, thank you for writing this today. <3

    • Tammy March 3, 2014, 2:30 pm

      Oh thank you Tina. I find myself praying over and over that He would continue to chase me and impress upon me my overwhelming need and desire for His word and His presence. That I would make my mornings time to reconnect with Him in His word. It has been revolutionary. I’m so glad you’re here. Blessings to you!

  • Lori Harris February 28, 2014, 4:37 pm

    But I know that living our lives all-in with Jesus requires sacrifice. Sacrifice of our old self and sinful ways, yes, but also sacrifice of some really good things that we love.

    I’m living this now and I so resonate with your words here.

    So glad you linked up ahead of me!

    • Tammy March 3, 2014, 2:27 pm

      Oh, so glad to see your face Lori! We run the same journey as sisters in Christ. Blessings!

  • Rose-Marie March 4, 2014, 2:32 pm

    Tammy,
    Thank you for your posts…I really do enjoy them. They bring to mind the different struggles that I face on a daily basis, to know that I am not alone. I am blessed with your words and encouraged to continue in my journey to find my calling, to trust God in all that I do, and to keep asking for Him to renew me. I loved your quote: “It’s the most beautiful, humbling, miraculous thing I have experienced. He is making me new.” I don’t know if you remember that a few weeks ago I wrote to you about picking a word of the year, and my word was Renew. I love this quote…I am daily being broken down and shown the “simple beauties” in life. I have gained new perspective on things, had my heart and spirit broken, friends and family turn on me with their “advice” on what I should be doing. All the while, I continue to read and crave growing closer to God in my life and circumstances. I am learning that my priorities are 1.God 2. Family 3.Everything else. Praise God, it’s only March and already I am feeling and seeing miraculous things happening. Yes I struggle. I have horrible days of sadness, depression, and bitterness, but like a child…I am learning. I also have been one that loved being in big groups, surrounding myself with others and constantly looking for acceptance and approval. Only now, I am not so much worried about those things. I would rather stay home and read my books on becoming a Godly woman. I also know that God is leading me to where he wants me to be. Anyway, all this to say. Thank you. I am glad that when I feel alone and no one to talk to about “life” I am not the only one who struggles. The renewal process is hard…and some of the journeys I face are yet to come…but I know who holds my future and He won’t disappoint or let me go.

    • Tammy March 4, 2014, 2:44 pm

      Oh Rose-Marie, what a beautiful story you are living. As we surrender to Him, He changes the desires of our hearts. I’ve lived it and you are too…I prayed renew would be as transformative a word for you as it was for me. He is so faithful. Proud of you & so excited for the journey that lies ahead of you. We’re all in this together. Blessings!

  • Stacy Mattheis May 11, 2014, 4:10 am

    Tammy, thank you for this vulnerable and encouraging post. This was my first visit and I loved it! This spoke to the season I am in….waiting, praying and listening for the dream, the purpose I was uniquely created for and staying the course, not allowing the lies to conquer. This quote….”It’s so easy to wonder: how do I fit in? The world already has their amazing voices, what does mine matter? Who am I? What can I give that isn’t already being done, said, lived out so much better than I could do?”…. these questions have all swam around in my head!! You encouraged me to remember my first and most important calling, wife and mother, and to press on towards the second. Thanks again and I look forward to journeying with you.

    • Tammy May 11, 2014, 4:32 am

      Oh Stacy I’m so glad you’re here! Praying for you to reach into the deep and hidden places of your longing and find the courage to pursue the dreams of your heart. He never said it would be easy, but it will be worth it. Excited to journey with you too! xo

  • Janice June 27, 2014, 6:18 am

    Hi Tammy!
    I came across your blog from a group board we share in Pinterest 🙂
    As someone who is also on this journey of trying to live a more meaningful and purposeful life,
    this post is so inspiring and encouraging 🙂 God truly gave you beautiful gifts so you can inspire a lot of people 🙂

    • Tammy June 29, 2014, 4:12 am

      Awe, thanks Janice!! So happy to have you here! xoxo

  • sumatra surf camp June 6, 2016, 8:03 am

    Wow! Thank you! I permanently wanted to write on my blog something like that.
    Can I include a portion of your post to my blog?

    • admin June 6, 2016, 9:19 pm

      Yes of course! Normally how you would do that is to post a portion on your site and then link back to the source (in this case my post) for your readers to read the entire thing. So glad it resonated with you! Blessings!

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