Do you remember the most-asked question you received as a child — “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Do you remember your answer?
I remember mine.
From the age of eight and well into college (even though that was not my major) I always chose the same answer. And it always encouraged more questions. People wanted to know did I want to write fiction novels? Journalism? Maybe children’s’ books? I never had an answer for that part of the question. I never fully knew what I wanted the word “writer” to mean for me. I think that was part of the reason I never chose to study writing academically. It seemed that I only knew a small detail about the calling I wanted to chase.
Every week I get to sit down and type out these words and talk to YOU. It isn’t my full-time job. It doesn’t provide sustainable income for my family. It isn’t published. It isn’t the number one title I hold in this life. But this writing is one of the most important parts of my life. Why? Because it has impact — and THAT is exactly what I always wanted — it just took some time to figure that out.
When I think that the childhood dream I once had is currently providing purpose to my life and also providing encouragement to the lives of others….I can’t help but feel the tears well up. It’s an unbelievable blessing that I still get overwhelmed by every single day.
I want YOU to have that feeling, friend. I want you to know that what you are doing matters. That it makes an impact. That it creates conversation and encourages those you feel called to encourage. So, today I want to start a new conversation with you. I want to explore a new, 2-part series that will equip you in chasing your calling and mastering your mission. First, I want to guide you through those first steps in answering your call and pursuing it with everything you have…
- Examine the Emptiness
One short year ago I was struggling in a way I never expected. I had everything I thought I needed to complete my life. I was still a newlywed, pursuing a career in the field I studied, enjoying the perks of finally being a homeowner, and genuinely enjoying the carefree life of a dog-mom. But, something was missing. It took months, but I finally started to examine this empty place inside I felt silently screaming at me every day.
Standing in my kitchen, my sweet husband holding me as I cried, I suddenly realized what the missing piece of the puzzle was: mission. I knew that there was a special purpose for me to pursue. I knew that I longed to encourage women. And I knew that though I felt the sting of emptiness in those moments, God would reveal that mission to me in time.
So, right now, before reading the next steps below, I want you to sit for just one moment and examine the emptiness you might be feeling. Maybe even acknowledge it for the very first time. And then ask yourself how that emptiness might somehow be related to the question you were so often asked as a child. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Typically, we connect the word calling with the word career and the truth is that for many of us those two words are not interchangeable. And that is okay! What truly matters is that we are actively pursuing whatever that calling is, even if it has nothing to do with our career. It is perfectly okay if your calling and your career are not the same thing.
Friend, if you are feeling like the calling part of your life is missing….if you are longing to make an impact…if you feel some sort of emptiness in the middle of all of your pursuits…I invite you to be honest with yourself. That is the first step to chasing your true calling.
2. Search Yourself & Seek Truth
Much like I did, you may find that determining how you will pursue your mission is easier said than done. You might know without any doubt at all what your mission is meant to be but you may not know how you will start to pursue it. For many of us, the blogging route makes the most sense. But that does not have to be the case for you if writing and content creation are not your passions.
I encourage you to take a deeper look at all of the things you love. All of the things that make you want to jump right out of bed in the morning, no coffee needed (the things that come before morning coffee are very powerful if you ask me). Everything you are passionate about has been created within you for a reason — and that reason might just be the calling you hope to chase.
Make a list of what you love to do. Ask friends and family what they think of when they think of you. And then take some real, intentional time to sit and pray. What you’re looking for may be right under your nose so ask God to reveal it to you. I believe we miss out on so many blessings because we never ask the simple questions. So just ask Him. You may be pleasantly surprised by what His answer is.
3. Cut the Comparison
We hear it all. the. time.
“comparison is the thief of joy.”
While this is true, I believe that comparison is the thief of many things.
Success. Individuality. Authenticity. Confidence.
When you think of it that way it is easy to see that comparison is one of the most damaging things to your passion or calling. If you believe that you were created with a unique purpose, to accomplish a unique mission, then you must also believe that comparing yourself to others in your niche or field adds absolutely nothing to your pursuit.
So, cut the comparison. Stop lurking on Instagram and scrolling through profiles that make you feel less than. Stop getting trapped on others’ websites and believing the lie that you are not as important because your site feels simple or underwhelming. Stop telling yourself that the calling you are passionate about is not as important as the one that she is passionate about. Quit comparison, cold turkey. And live in the freedom that your Creator (the same One who has called your to this mission in the first place) has given you to pursue the passion He has placed on your heart.
4. Leap & Learn
Once I realized what I was missing and finally zoomed in on exactly how I wanted to fulfill that purpose, I took two major steps to make that happen. First, I took the leap. I was scared to death, fearful of embarrassment, and greatly doubted my ability to do half of the things I knew it would take. But I took the leap anyway.
What made that leap a little less scary? Preparing myself with as much education as I possibly could. I knew that I wanted to reach women through the blogging community so I took educational courses on ministry through blogging, I wrote everything down, and I continue to learn every single day through reading, listening to podcasts, and doing simple research.
In these beginning stages I insist that you seek education in any way you can. Depending on what that calling is and what chapter of life you are in I would encourage you to take courses, pursue certifications, read as much as you can, take an unbelievable amount of notes, and never lose the desire to learn. All of the information you gain will be absolutely priceless in the journey and pursuit you are leaping into.
So,…..what do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t know about you but my answer has changed a lot from what it was when I was eight years old. My response is no longer simply “writer.” Instead, I long to be many things. Compassionate. Generous. Encouraging. I want to make a real impact. I want to show up for other women.
So my goal? Use this passion I’ve been given to make the impact I feel called to make.
You have passions, friend. Things that you have held dear to your heart for a long time. Loves and interests that you can use to achieve your calling. Even if you don’t know quite what that calling is, you can take steps to figure it out. You can be everything that eight year old version of yourself would have been so proud to be.
Chasing your calling doesn’t have to be this grand, road to fame sort of pursuit. It can be a slow, quiet walk toward the purpose you have been created for. Next week I will be diving into the second part of this series, Mastering your Mission. Don’t miss this part, friend, it might just make all the difference in your pursuit.
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