Doubting the Call of God
when God’s call doesn’t look anything like you thought it would
It came in a whisper… It was 1998, I was at the kitchen table after the Sunday evening service. The children were asleep, Tom was in the bedroom, and I sat in the stillness of the house. A single light above the table shined upon my open Bible when His spirit spoke these words…
Your entire family will be in full-time ministry.
I knew at that moment it was God because I had zero aspirations of being in ministry.
With no reference to what that meant, other than being a pastor, I figured God was calling Tom. Ok in full disclosure, I briefly considered traveling evangelists, but it was fleeting — I promise. It’s funny how we filter what God speaks through what we know.
For years I tried to convince my poor husband he was called to be a pastor. Until one day many, many years later I heard that voice again. Only this time it was more personal. He was calling me.
By now I had been introduced to Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer, so I had a reference of something beyond a pastor. But once again I filtered what God was saying by what I saw others doing. Only now everything felt impossible. When it was my husband’s call, I never questioned the voice of God, but when it was mine everything became dismissible and doubtful. I had no idea how to get from point A to point B.
My internal dialog sounded something like this…
- Who do I ask?
- How do I know for sure?
- What will people think?
- How can this happen?
I assure you I didn’t step right into full-time ministry. In fact six long, confusing, and frustrating years would go by before I made the leap. Until then I served in my church, I held Bible studies in my home, and I met with a lot of women.
When I felt the time had come to step out, I chose to do three things:
- Fast and pray.
- Meet with the leaders in my church.
- Believe the voice of God even if the voice of man said something different.
To be straight-up transparent, I had visions of stages and large audiences. But in the waiting and refining God brought that vision down to a single person. I remember the day He asked me if I never stepped onto a large stage, but impacted one life that would, will that be enough? My answer was yes, but I didn’t feel good about it. My wounded and immature spirit felt like I had just been seated at the kid’s table, and suddenly “my call” didn’t seem very special.
I spent a few years wrestling out the desire to be the one on stage ( a few too many, to be honest). In those years I began to study the ministry of Jesus, it was then I noticed that He spoke to the multitude, but He went out of His way for the one.
Over the last six years of ministry, I have seen that life-changing impact doesn’t always come from those mountain-top conference experiences. More often than not, it comes in the daily decisions to place one foot in front of the other as we journey toward God. I now see “my call” as the ministry of friendship. I make myself available to counsel, mentor, cheer, and encourage those women God brings into my life. We all need a friend for the journey to help keep us on track.
Oddly enough, when I stopped looking to reach the multitude, and loved the one intentionally, Jesus multiplied the one into a multitude. Now I have thousands of friends all over the place. But coolest part of it all is, Jesus never sat me at the kid’s table — He sat me at His.
Keep up the journey my friend,
PS Friend I couldn’t fit it all in a single blog post, so please join me Monday for #mentormonday at 3:15 PST in the Remade Community on Facebook where I will share more about persevering in the wait.
PSS… Did God speak something to you and you’re in the wait? Leave me a comment about how you’ve persevered. Those are the types of stories that keep all of us going.