Hearing and Answering God’s Call Series
Part 2: Did God Give you a Passion for a Reason? If so, What is Your God-Given Passion?
Blogging is my Passion. What is Your Passion?
I had the hardest time picking a title. I am hoping this post will be helpful for anyone searching for their God-given passion and calling, but I also want this to help people specifically contemplating blogging. Although I talk about my passion for blogging, this post is about so much more than blogging.
Ask your Own Questions as you Read
I hope this post is helpful to you. As you read my story, I hope you can begin thinking about your passions and where God might be calling you to serve. Although I am using my call story as an example, I really hope you to use this post to think about your call story. As you read, think about your God-given passions. Is writing one of your passions? Look back on your own life. Do you see your passion continue to pop up throughout your life? Is there a group of people your heart breaks for whom you want to help?
My Call Story
So here is my call to blog story…
When I think about my call to blog, I have to go back and I mean way back. Isn’t it funny to realize how God was putting your call into place even from childhood?
My call to blog started even before blogging existed. When I was little I would say, “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” When other kids wanted to be teachers, athletes, princesses, singers, and firemen, I wanted to be a writer. I was often reading and writing. In 5th grade my first “published” work was a short story printed in our local newspaper.
By high school, I realized becoming an author wasn’t practical so I put those thoughts aside. I started looking into more practical careers that would still fit my interest and heart. Being a school councilor or a dietitian sounded appealing. (Read here to find out about why nutrition became important to me). Ironically, I am now a dietitian who writes about faith, nutrition, and spiritual growth. How amazing that I get to write (my passion) about my other passions!?!?
I Kept Going Back to Writing
Saying writing has always been my passion doesn’t tell the whole story. Writing feels more like a need. I have kept journals since I was little, and I have little short stories and unfinished books from childhood still sitting around my house.
I would push this God-given passion aside and say journaling is just a hobby, but I kept finding myself writing in different areas of my life.
After college, I was dealing with something difficult. I just couldn’t make peace with broken friendships and my lack of trust in men after experiencing broken promises. I just couldn’t get past this, so I asked God to help me make peace and move on. This next part is so hard to explain. Suddenly, as if a whisper in my mind, I thought, ‘write your story.’ I had not thought of writing in years, but this thought popped in my head. The thought was strong and immediate.
So I got up from my prayer position, went to the computer, and started writing everything that happened. In fact, I wrote about every experience I could think of in which I felt God’s presence.
My story started in middle school and ended after college. I not only wrote the story, but I also wrote how God helped me through different challenging times, and I wrote about the lessons I had learned, and the mistakes I had made. Writing down my story brought me peace, and writing down the moments I had felt God in my life, helped solidify those moments to my memory. After writing those stories, I was able to easily remember and share those stories with people in conversation, and I have even shared written portions of those stories in my blogging.
My Husband Based His Marriage Proposal Around my Writing!
Do you know that writing is such a part of who I am that my marriage proposal was based around it!
When I wrote this particular story, I was dating a really sweet guy (He is now my husband). I mentioned to him that I had written a story, but I hadn’t finished it yet. I told him that one part of the story was about my lack of trust, and I even told him that I had a hard time trusting even his words. After all, I explained to my boyfriend, people say they will love you forever and then change their mind. I was scared that everything my current boyfriend said would turn out not true, and I was scared that eventually he would change his mind about the way he feels and break promises too.
My boyfriend knew I had written about this so when he proposed he had written what he said was the ending to my book. The night of the proposal, he had left pieces of paper and a flower on a park bench. As I looked at the pieces of paper, he tells me that he knew I had not finished the story I was writing so he wrote an ending for the story. He made me read the whole thing. He wrote that I had finally found someone I can trust, and I had found someone who would be committed forever. At the end of the page he wrote, “Will you marry me?”
Still Writing as a Dietitian
Again I never connected my writing hobby as a possible calling. And yet, I continued to feel an urge to write. As a dietitian, I found ways to write. I wrote a full book for my weight loss clients, and I gave each of them this book when they hired me. I also wrote for a nutrition column for our local paper.
Throughout my career, I would write about nutrition just so that I could organize my thoughts and ideas.
Writing Personal “God Moment” Stories
I also wrote anytime I was humbled and awe struck by something that God did. I kept what I called “God journals,” and I would write out my prayers, my questions, and my thoughts in these journals. You can find stacks and stacks of these journals in my home. Again, it never registered that writing could be a calling.
Looking Back, Now I See It!
NOOOW that I blog, I see it! When I look back at my old journals, I realize how much writing has been a part of my life. I keep coming back to writing over and over.
My passion for writing now feels like it was the first of many clues that writing was my calling.
Why Passion Might Be The First Clue to the Question, “What is my Calling?”
So what is the lesson in this? Having a passion may be the first hint to your calling.
1 Corinthians and Romans tells us that God gives us spiritual gifts that will help us do God’s work. Knowing your gifts may help you determine your call. However, I think God not only gives us gifts and talents, but God also gives us a passion for where we are being called to serve. If we don’t have a passion, we are probably not going to give the job our best efforts. If we are not passionate, we may do something only halfway.
When we are passionate, we feel driven to do the best we can do. The Bible seems to back this up through example after example. Most people in the Bible, who were called by God, also had a passion for their calling. Moses, Paul, Mark, John, Isaiah and of course, Jesus, all were passionate about what they were called to do.
You May Have a God-Given Passion and STILL Not WANT to Do It
Passion doesn’t mean we won’t have to step out of our comfort zone. We may have a passion for something and STILL not want to do it. We may have a passion but feel too busy or too scared. Take those same people in the Bible who had a passion for their calling. Many still felt scared and even incapable at first.
Take Moses for example. He didn’t want to step out of his comfort zone and into danger by leading the Israelites out of slavery. But you could see he had a passion for helping the Israelites fight this injustice. My goodness, he even attacked a man for beating an Israelite. Luckily Moses started following God’s lead instead of JUST his passion after God called on Moses. Some had such a passion for God and others that they even gave their own life. They didn’t WANT to give their life, but their passion for God and others gave them strength.
Whew, You Mean I Don’t Have to Do Something I Despise?
Understanding that I will probably have a passion for my calling was such a comfort. Before I began to think about my calling this way, I would say ‘yes’ to everything. As crazy as it sounds, I even felt like I should be slightly miserable as I served. I felt like I should ALWAYS sacrifice my happiness since Jesus had sacrificed so much for me. What a relief to realize that God gave the people of the Bible a passion for their calling. I could really focus on a few ways to serve instead of saying ‘yes’ to everything. I could give my all to those few areas instead of spreading myself too thin. By saying yes to everything, I was not being very helpful anywhere!
Let me add here that sometimes we feel passionate to do something, but don’t love every aspect of the calling. Yet our passion drives us to push through. Maybe you feel passionate about helping the homeless, but you don’t love all the early morning hard work that goes into working at a certain organization. Your passion and calling can drive you to do the less appealing stuff. Does this make since? Jesus certainly didn’t enjoy the pain he endured on the cross, but because of Jesus’ passion and love for us, Jesus suffered the pain for us.
Blogging is my Passion. Could Blogging be Your Passion Too?
So when trying to determine your calling, first look at your spiritual gifts AND your passions. (You can see more about Spiritual Gifts in Part 1 of this series.)
So my questions for you:
- Do you have a God-given passion?
- Do you have a love for something? Perhaps you have a love for reading and writing? Or do you have a love for something else?
- Is there an area or need you feel passionate towards?
Do you feel like Blogging might be a passion for you, but you are not sure how to start? Coming soon, learn about blogging in Part 4 of this series on “How to Start a Blog when you are Called to Blog” AND Part 5 of this series entitled “My Monthly Blogging Routine Including a Blog Promoting Checklist.”
Although God Gives us a Passion for Where We Are Called to Serve, Not Every Passion is from God
One more little side note. Just because you have a passion, does not mean you are called to pursue it. Also, every passion we have is not a calling. After all, we often have passions for not so good things. Passion is just one clue to look for. This series looks at several pieces to “what is your calling?” One of these pieces or clues is that your calling and passion matches up with God’s teachings. Make sure you weigh your passions against God’s teachings when trying to determine if your passion is a God-given passion.
So the take home message is that every passion is NOT a calling, but your calling MAY be one of your passions or will become a passion.
Your Calling Doesn’t Have to Be Your Job
Sometimes our jobs are different than our calling and even passion and that is okay. Some people feel called to volunteer in certain areas. I love how Bob Goff, a lawyer, looked at his job. In his book, “Love Does,” Goff said he viewed his job as fundraising for his mission. We can also view our jobs as a fundraiser for our passion to serve other. Our calling can even be how we feel we should live our lives. For example, maybe you feel called to be an encourager, so you try to encourage others wherever you are. You encourage your co-workers, your family, or random people at a store.
Bob Goff’s book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World is a really good read. His wife, Maria Goff, wrote a book as well called Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want. I have read and enjoyed both books.
Keeping a Jouranl May Help you Figure Out Your Passion
Even if you are not a writer, I think keeping a journal might be helpful. Sometimes writing helps us organize our thoughts. Writing your thoughts, ideas, spiritual gifts, talents, and listing your God-Given passions in a journal may help you begin to contemplate what your calling might be. I find that I am more open to hearing God’s call when I pray before I write. You can also use a journal to write your prayers and write down your awe-inspiring God experiences. I am able to remember those amazing “God moments” in my life when I write them down as soon as they happen.
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Here are a few beautiful inspiring journals.
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