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3 Reasons We Struggle to Live Out Our Callings

women sitting on a dock looking at water

I’ve struggled with writing over the past several months and questioned my calling. Frankly, I’ve wondered if it’s worth it. I guess you can say that I lost sight of my “why.”

It’s taken me just as long to write this blog post because I’ve had to search my heart and wrestle with some hard questions. Many times I’m not able to serve you without going through war myself.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to release a book AND start the adoption process in the same year totally lost their marbles! Hello, spiritual warfare!

I’ve been scared and apprehensive about every decision I make and every sentence I write. As I’ve wrestled and questioned, and continued to show up, God has pursued me and shown me His sweet love for me.

I know I’m not alone. We all have things that make us want to run and hide from our callings.

1. We run from failure.

We want mountaintop moments without all of the hard junk that comes during the journey to the top.

Wouldn’t it be nice for God to call us and for it to go smoothly?

We live in a world clamoring for perfection and overnight success. We see highlight reels on social media and usually only hear about other people’s mountaintop moments.

We rarely hear about or give attention to the desert days (or more likely years) of someone’s life, the years where they failed miserably and wanted to give up on their calling.

Once we’re called, we want it to be different for us. We want it to be easy and without failure, so our pride doesn’t take a hit. We so badly want God to be glorified through a perfectly paved road to the top without any bumps or potholes.

I’m learning how much glory God gets when we flat out fail. It shows my dependence on Him and how He can make beauty from our messes.

Take Moses for example. He was so concerned at failing at public speaking. Exodus 4:10 Moses says to the Lord:

“Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (NIV)

He continually fought God on his fear of public speaking and God eventually sent Aaron to speak for Moses.

I always wonder what would’ve happened if Moses would’ve spoken himself. Would he have failed or would God have blown everyone away with an amazing speech?

Either way, God gets the glory.

Nothing we do or don’t do can take away from God’s glory. We don’t have that much power, even when we fail. We can absolutely rest in that!

2. We cling to things other than Jesus.

Our pastor recently did a sermon series titled “Cling” and how we cling to so many things other than Jesus. For me, it was the type of sermon series that makes you wiggle in your seat while wondering if someone hooked up a spotlight in the back just to shine down on you.

It made me take a hard look at myself and think about the things in my life that I unknowingly cling to… grudges, judgments, pride, and perfection. All of these things distract me and make me forget my “why.”

I can’t truly cling to Jesus’ promises if I’m holding onto all this other junk.

How often have I clung to my grudges, refusing to truly forgive, rather than Jesus? How often have I judged a situation instead of covering it in grace? How often have I let pride stand in the way of all that God wants to do in a situation? How often have I sacrificed compassion for perfection?

Clinging to Jesus’ promises is water for my thirsty soul and simplifies my world into three simple, but powerful, words…

Jesus loves me.

If I cling to Him, He has amazing plans for me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. THEN you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

3. We don’t make rest a priority.


The idea of Sabbath sounds absolutely wonderful. No responsibilities. No agenda. But that is so hard for us. It’s not natural to put down our lists and simply rest.

As my children continue to grow, I find myself in a new season. Every morning they head to school and I always have at least some peaceful moments during the day. It’s been eight years since this has happened. When I had babies, I used to look forward to these days and all of the rest that would be afforded to me. Ha! I dreamed of quiet time coupled with Bible studies and book clubs with my friends.

Guess what? Now that I’m in the stage of Bible studies and book clubs, other things are clamoring for my time and attention.

It will never be natural to rest. It’s something we have to be intentional about.

I love this quote from Jennie Allen because it shows how thirsty we are for rest and an intimate relationship with our Savior.

“We want to do things for God without spending time with God. It is an epidemic in the church, and we wonder why we are so empty and unhappy. God created us for Himself, and all our attempts to manage life apart from intimacy with Him only expose our ache for Him.”

Without rest, we distance ourselves from God and His amazing calling for our lives. He never intended for us to run ourselves ragged, even if we have noble intentions.

Through rest, we will grow closer to our Savior.

When you feel ready to give up on your calling, remember this.

Don’t run from failure. God reveals so much of Himself through our lowest moments and in the journey. Let Him get the glory through it all. The journey absolutely matters!

Cling only to Jesus. Everything else we cling to will only leave us weary and empty.

Rest, my friend. Jesus wants a relationship with YOU more than anything you could possibly do on this earth. It’s really that simple.

There is someone out there who will benefit from you walking in your calling. Don't underestimate the seeds you are planting.

Keep going, friend. We’re walking towards heaven in our callings together.

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