Hearing & Answering God’s Call: Too Unbelievable to Just be Coincidence

Hearing and Answering God’s Call Series: Part 3

 

Unbelievable Coincidence

 

Recapping Part 1 and Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 2, writing kept creeping up in my life. Even as a child, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I would put the thought of writing aside, but years later I would find myself writing again. Part one of this blog series talks about the 4 clues that you are hearing God’s call. One clue is you have a God-given passion for something. Another clue is that you keep getting signs over and over… and over. Sometimes your passion keeps finding its way back into your life… over and over. I think this reoccurrence of you passion could be a sign in and of itself.

(*An important 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. We need to look at every clue to figure out a calling. Another clue is that your passion matches up with God’s teachings. This series looks at several pieces to “What is your Calling?”

This post may contain affiliate links (See full disclosure here)

The Call Became Stronger

True, my passion for writing was a nice little clue, but standing by itself this clue really means little.  The call became much stronger later…

We had just joined our church, and my husband and I were in the process of visiting Sunday Schools.  One Sunday, we randomly visited a Sunday school class called “Open Doors.”  During the class, the teacher off-handedly mentioned the book, The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures), which was about a missionary named Brother Andrew.  I thought to myself, ‘that sounds like a good book to read.’   Almost a year later, I still remembered this specific Sunday schools comment about this ONE book, but I couldn’t remember the name of the book. It’s funny how one small comment will just stick in your mind, isn’t it? One day I saw the Sunday school teacher, and I asked her again for the name of the book.  This time I didn’t wait around. I quickly purchased the book, and my journey began…

One Book Changed the Direction of my Life

Brother Andrew’s story was inspiring.   The things that he accomplished when he listened to God’s call were amazing.  When he was truly doing something God seemed to ask him to do, God took care of every one of his needs to get THAT job done.  (I thought this was interesting because we sometimes use God as a wishing well, but when we are truly following God’s wishes to help others; then, he will help us do THAT job).  In other words, if God tells us to do something, then God will help us get it done.  If you want to read some truly amazing God moments, I strongly recommend this book.

Awesome “God Moments” from the Book, The Narrow Road

Some of the amazing things that happened in the book were: 

* Brother Andrew had an injured leg. The leg hindered the particular mission work he felt called to do. In fact, he felt the leg would nearly make the mission impossible. One day Brother Andrew talked to God about not being able to do this mission work due to his hurt leg. His leg was healed immediately!

* Brother Andrew felt strongly that he was suppose to take Bibles to persecuted countries. Bibles were not allowed in these countries, and sometimes Brother Andrew was faced with difficult situations. One time some guards stopped him. The smuggled Bibles were right on the seat of his car and the guards didn’t see them!

* Once or twice the money for missionary school was about to run out, and the exact amount came to him in peculiar ways just in time.

Mt Favorite Brother Andrew Story: This is GOOD!

One of my favorite stories took place during Brother Andrew’s time at missionary school.  Brother Andrew and the other students were asked to do local missions as an assignment.  They were given no money, food, or housing and they were told that they were not supposed to ask churches or anyone else for help. They were asked to trust that God would provide.  This was an exercise meant to teach them how to trust God completely.  This didn’t mean that the missionary school thought that people/charities should not ask for donations; the school just wanted them to practice putting all their trust in God for this particular exercise.

The students were also expected to tithe!  The students were divided into two groups. Brother Andrew’s group tithed at the beginning of each week no matter what challenges they faced.  The other group planned on tithing if they had enough after they fulfilled their own needs.  Interestingly, the group who tithed no matter what, always had enough for themselves and the missions. The other group constantly ran out of money and supplies.

They Needed Cake, and They Got a Cake in the Mail!

God seemed to always answer the needs of Brother Andrew’s group no matter how small.  For example, a church asked Brother Andrew’s group to come to a church event. The church also asked the group to bring a cake to this event. Remember, they have no money! The group panicked about how they were going to get the money for this cake.  They even considered doing something they hadn’t done yet, which was ask people for donations.  Just when the decided against asking for other’s help, they received a package in the mail.  Do you know what was inside the package? A cake, sent to them by a loved one!  The giver did not know they needed a cake; she just thought it would be a nice gesture!

The Prayer that Started it All

This book inspired me. Like Brother Andrew, I wanted to experience God’s power and presence more regularly. But was I willing to follow God’s will no matter what? Yeah, I still struggle with that questions, but I decided to pray. Instead of praying for my needs, I prayed for God to show me what God wanted me to do. I told God I wanted to follow and serve God, and I wanted my life to be about serving God and others, not myself. (Yeah, I’m still working on that.) I asked God to please tell me God’s will. I figured if I really listened AND followed, I would see some amazing things happen just like Brother Andrew.  Basically, I was asking God to call on me.  Then God started talking…

God’s Call: Signs That God Was About to Answer My Prayer

Before telling me my specific call, God seemed to be telling me that my request was heard, and is being answered. Messages about God’s call bombarded me everywhere.

In fact, RIGHT after I prayed for God to call on me, our church started “The Call” series, which was suppose to help us learn how to hear and answer God’s call! Even our church band played songs about hearing God’s call. But here is the kicker; the band did not know the sermon topics when choosing songs!

After church, I experienced another coincidence. After church, I grabbed a veggie tales movie for my son to watch not knowing that out of all the Bible stories; this movie was about Jonah trying to push away God’s call!

Finally while I was putting my son to bed, I was showing my son pictures from his Children’s Bible. He was young, so we were just looking at pictures instead of reading the words.  The bottom of each page had a one liner prayer.  I finally randomly glanced at one of the prayers.  The prayer was literally asking God to help us listen to his call!! Out of all the prayers, why was this the one I randomly read?

I asked God if God would lead me because I was ready to do what God wanted instead of what I wanted. God seemed to answer imediatly. God seemed to be saying through signs, ‘Of course, I have been waitng for you to ask this! I will lead you to what I am calling you to do.’

But the next questions was, “What IS God calling me to do?”  Check out part 4 for the answer…

Copyright © 2017 Mindfulness in Faith and Food.

You are free to retain any and all content here for personal use, but need permission to use it anywhere else on the internet.

 

Please follow and like us:

Did God Give you a Passion for a Reason?

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? 

Did God give you a Passion for a Reason?

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?”

What is your God-given passion?

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.

This Site contains Affiliate links (See full disclosure here)

Here are a few beautiful inspiring journals.

 

Check out Part one of the Hearing and Answering God’s Call Series: “What is God Calling you to Do?

Copyright © 2017 Mindfulness in Faith and Food.

You are free to retain any and all content here for personal use, but need permission to use it anywhere else on the internet.

This blog is hosted by Bluehost.

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us: